by Guest Writer, Michael Lamb, Lay Leadership Team
In any enterprise, public or private, success is dependent upon the combined efforts of many people, performing a variety of tasks, to achieve some defined goal or purpose. All of us, in work and life, have witnessed that through teamwork, the sharing of responsibilities, we take greater pride in and feel more connected with the end result and organization, than would otherwise be the case.
Santa Monica First United Methodist Church exemplifies this paradigm. Here, the Laity has always played a key role in the daily operations of the church and in providing many opportunities for fellowship, leadership and service. This continues the tradition established by both John Wesley and the early Christian church which relied upon individual believers to “keep the faith” in order to move the church forward.
Your current First UMC Lay Leadership Team consists of Molly Smith, Glenda Martinez, Jocelyn Hicks-Garner, Todd Erlandson, Leigh Erlandson and Michael Lamb. Our team meets regularly with Rev. Patricia Farris and Tricia Guerrero to share fellowship and prayer as well as to address the ongoing issues challenging our congregation such as COVID, hybrid services and moving the church forward in the face of local and national challenges and divisions. Plus, an opportunity to have fun and enjoy each other’s company!
It is useful to note that there are 18 distinct committees which have responsibilities for various aspects of the life of our church. All those lay committee members are lay leaders! If God has our collective backs, then it can truly be said that our laity has the backs of Patricia, Tricia, Anne, Christina and every staff member of Santa Monica First!
The strength and vitality of Santa Monica First grows through the mission and commitment of our Laity. Laity involvement, from my experience, leads to friendships, laughter, personal growth, support, inclusion, purpose, increased faith and a more dynamic, responsive church. Sounds like a win-win proposition!!