Petition 80469

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Guide for Lay Members (80469-DI-NonDis)

                  Guide for Adult Lay Members of United Methodist Churches
  
     New United Methodists promise to support the Church with prayers, presence, and talents.  But what do those words mean?  This guide can help rookies and long-time members too.  
     Some may consider these minimum expectations, while persons with small children, health issues, more than 1 job, limited resources, and other difficulties may be overwhelmed. God knows peoples’ limitations as well as their potentialities.  
     Members should do the best they can, but not underestimate their abilities.  Many find keeping a daily log, or record, keeps then on track.
  
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    1.    Begin each day with prayer, organized Bible reading, a devotional, and reflection or meditation. Some do the latter while walking, running, or exercising.  
    2.    Attend congregational worship weekly unless sick or away.
    3.    Take l formal course a year or participate in an adult Sunday School class each Sunday unless sick or out of town.
    4.    Give as much financial support as you can; a tithe (or more) is an ideal goal.
    5.    Participate in at least 1 small group, activity or ministry team most  of the year.
    6.    Attend church programs and events – dinners, parties, musicals, festivals, service projects, etc.
    7.    Trust and support volunteers, lay leaders, staff and the Minister.
    8.    Greet and speak warmly to others with a smile and a positive word; seek visitors and people you do not know.
    9.    Invite others to visit your church if they do not have a church home (goal - 2 or 3 a year).  
10.    Volunteer 2 or more hours a month.
11.    Be open to becoming a volunteer leader in an area, activity, or team you enjoy or  (may) have a knack for (let the Holy Spirit into your heart) and counsel, coach and mentor  those with less knowledge and experience.    
12.    Each year, read at least 1 religious book and participate in 1 mission activity outside the local church.
13.    Strive for excellence (perfection) in yourself, overlook and forgive imperfections in others.  
14.    Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and might and love your neighbor as yourself.

Rationale

     At a recent large institute, one of the speakers noted his church had come up with guidelines for its members, as the UMC as a whole has none very specific.  I concluded that a universal guide was needed, and herewith submit a draft.