Saturday, October 6, 2018


Location: The Mission and Resource Center
205 Jumping Brook Rd., Neptune NJ 07753

The 2018 Laity Leadership Academy provides tools and skills for leaders facing the challenges of the 21st century. Tracks will help laity and their churches go deeper spiritually, go wider in the community, grow older with grace and support, go farther with generosity and share the Good News with excellence.

Churches are encouraged to send a team of congregational leaders to develop an action plan to implement a new ministry in their church. Attendees will be able apply for seed grant to enact these ministries in their churches. Certified Lay Servants who successfully complete the Laity Leadership Academy and implement the action plan will receive re-certification recognition.

Program Schedule

7:45 a.m. | Registration
8:30 a.m. | Worship
9:15 a.m. | Assigned Laity Track
12:15 p.m. | Lunch and Networking
1:30 p.m. | Assigned Laity Track

Laity Leadership Academy Tracks

Track 1: A Closer Walk
Facilitators: Betty Quackenboss of Aldersgate UMC, Rev. Erica Munoz and a team from Aldersgate UMC

This workshop will engage participants to improve the spiritual tone in our churches; by helping to create an environment more conducive to going deeper in faith and by infusing a more intensely expressive spirituality centered upon our Lord Jesus Christ, by testifying through word and deed that He is alive in our lives and in our churches

  • Using the small group model, workshop will be interactive.
  • Looking at specific tools and “Means of Grace” to increase faith commitment.
  • Examining ways to engage people with the Bible as a transformational tool.
  • Expanding prayer time.

Track 2: Building up the Beloved Community of God
Facilitators: Rev. Dr. Grace Pak, Director of Cross-Racial/Cross-Cultural Leadership, General Commission on Religion and Race & Rosa Williams, Chair, Board of Laity.

The demographic landscape of the United States is changing with increased diversity in the communities throughout the country. We will explore how we can build up the Beloved Community of God as we seek ways to minister across racial and cultural boundaries.

  • What does the Bible say about diversity?
  • What is culture?
  • What is my cultural location?
  • How can I minister across the racial and cultural lines?

Track 3: Vital ministries with Older Adults
Facilitators: Helen Hunter of Wesley UMC in South Plainfield & Arthur Harrell of Cokesbury UMC

This track provides an overview of the aging process, including physical, mental, and social changes. Learn strategies to engage in the support for elderly parishioners and families.

  • Identifying available community resources and services.
  • Understanding how faith communities can partner in ways that bring value to God’s people in response to their needs.
  • Engaging in vital conversation/resourcing around leveraging older adults.
  • Developing an action plan to implement ministry of elderly caring.

Track 4: Generosity Vs. Funding
Jana Purkis-Brash, Executive Director, The United Methodist Stewardship Foundation & Brian Mickle of First UMC in Glassboro

There are ways to help your church better understand the importance of “generosity” and not just fundraising. This track will discuss taking the 4-point starter stance to get it right from the start.

  • Identify how growing in generosity will help people grow spiritually.
  • Learn the value of creativity to engage with the people of your congregation and community.
  • Explore ways to connect to the younger generation and those that are always on the go.
  • Find out how to make stewardship a year long process without the constant “ask”.

Track 5: Digital Strategy for Salvation
Facilitators: George Lagos, Director of Lay Servant Ministries and Debbie Bruce

Morning Session: Your Church Brand & Social Media Channels. This track provides guidance on how to determine a powerful church brand through sharing your “Unique Church Story.” We will reveal the seven “must haves” to ensure the time spent on social media provides engagement with both existing and new church members.

Afternoon Session:
Websites. This website building track is designed to help your congregation and their leaders understand the critical decisions for the church website.


  • 2018 Laity Leadership Academy Brochure
  • 2018 Laity Leadership Academy Seed Grant

    2018 Laity Leadership Academy Seed Grant

    The Laity Leadership Academy seed grant program, is offered to teams of lay leaders who have attended the Laity Leadership Academy and completed an action plan to develop a project/initiative in their local church around the areas of worship, small groups, making new disciples and social media communication ministries. Grant amounts will not exceed $500 and will be allocated based on demonstrated willingness and readiness to grow vital congregations and develop lay leadership. This is a one-year, one-time grant program. grant application updated 9-20-18

For more information, please contact: