A celebration of Lay Preachers (usually on the first Sunday in August)
To preach the Gospel, the grace of God in Jesus Christ, is one of the greatest privileges anyone can have – and a pretty significant responsibility as well!
In the Uniting Church that that privilege is extended not just to Pastors and ordained ministers – Ministers of the Word and Deacons – in congregation placement, but to lay people, “ordinary” members of a congregation who respond to a Call from God to bring the Gospel of grace to their people.
The Ministry of Lay Preaching is a Specified Ministry in the Uniting Church, that is, it is of such importance that there are Regulations relating to the training and formal recognition of Lay Preachers. And those who have been through the formation will bear witness to the incredible richness of understanding, and deepening of faith, that accompanies the study involved.
There are also many who faithfully lead their people in worship and with preaching each week and who do not have any formal recognition. The church recognises the reality that without the faithful service of these people, there would be many congregations on any given Sunday with nobody to lead their worship.
So in the celebration of Lay Preachers Sunday, we thank God for the dedication and the gifts of accredited Lay Preachers, but also all people Lay and Ordained who bring the insights of their life experience to their faith and share that with us each week.
We pray the blessing of God on them all.:
There are diverse gifts:
but it is the same Spirit who gives them.
There are different ways of serving God:
but it is the same Lord who is served.
God works through people in different ways:
but it is the same God whose purpose is achieved through us all.
Each one of us is given a gift by the Spirit:
and there is no gift without its corresponding
There is one ministry of Christ:
and in this ministry we all share.
Together we are the body of Christ:
and individually members of it.
(Based on 1 Corinthians 12:4ff)
A reflection by Rev Prof Andrew Dutney on lay preachers