Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Laity from across state TEAM to learn more


At Cross Point Camp, Leon Wilson is at right.

By Leon Wilson, Purcell-Trinity UMC

One evening, I received a call from the South Oklahoma City District Lay Leader, asking if I was interested in joining a group for some leadership training. We talked about T.E.A.M. 2010. I had never heard of it before, but after some thought and prayer, I said "Yes."

Isn’t this how many exciting and life-changing events start?

T.E.A.M. 2010 is a group of laity, church members just like you and me, from all over Oklahoma that is meeting four times during this year to learn more about our Oklahoma Conference and our missions. The Board of Laity directs this new leadership development effort.

Just like our churches, the team’s members are diverse, from every walk of life, age, and education level. All that is requested is that we love the Lord and are willing to do a little more for our Church. By going on this learning journey, we are gaining more knowledge about opportunities for our churches and about ways we may be able to serve at the Conference and District levels.

During our first session we traveled to Cross Point Camp, on Lake Texoma. There we met with Bishop Hayes; we studied the Strategic Plan and joined in devotions and worship services. Camps Director Randy McGuire guided us through team-building exercises and showed us how Camps positively affect people’s lives, bringing them closer to God.

Our second meeting was at the 2010 Annual Conference in Tulsa, and the third meeting was with the Board of Laity in September at the United Methodist Ministry Center in Oklahoma City. We also met on campus with leaders of Oklahoma City University and Saint Paul School of Theology at OCU. Our last meeting will be in the Lawton area in November.

Every step of the way on this faith journey, we are guided and mentored by laity who have much leadership experience in our Conference. Judy Benson, Chuck Stewart, Herschel Beard, Bruce Ewing, and Mark Springer have been great mentors for our team.

This faith walk for me has been meaningful. I have had the opportunity to network with a wonderful group of folks, both team members and those who have spoken to us about their parts in our United Methodist ministry. I always look forward to the next time we get together. All of our churches are stronger because we are connected to each other.

The more we meet together and learn what other folks are doing in their churches, the more ideas are sparked for each church. It is great to celebrate the successes at many of our churches, and to give support and suggestions to those who seek input.

Each of us gains individually, too, through more opportunities to use personal talents for the service of the Lord. We have taken part in many moving worship services, devotions, and witnessing. It has made me a stronger Christian and a better Christian leader.

I have become a more passionate, dedicated person in my church by seeing what others have done, seeing possibilities.

T.E.A.M. 2011 is being designed right now. The attendance goal is to include two laity representatives from each District. T.E.A.M. 2011 may be that next step for you as a Christian, as this year’s class has been for me.

Pray about it. Talk to your District Lay Leader. Information to contact that person in each district is at: www.okumc.org/pages/detail/827.  Early next year, the 2011 class will start. We would love for you to join us.

Wayne Grider* TEAM 2010 members: Ardmore District: Pam Anderson, Judy Grider; Bartlesville District: Bill and Sharon Brown; Tulsa District: James McAlester, Christy Morrison, Suanne Bailes; Lawton District: Penny Scott, Christy Clark; Stillwater District: Rhonda and Alethia Bartley; South OKC: Eve Hawley, Leon Wilson; Muskogee District: Rebecca Whisman, and Jeremy Jones*The group renamed itself in memory of member Wayne Grider, of Ardmore, who died June 25.


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