Each year, we are called upon by the Metro District of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church to choose among our laity a person serving and worshiping among our membership who exemplifies that of lay servant hood.  This person is to exude a commitment to the Christian way of life as well as contribute to the life of the church and the community in ways and methods that reflect a devotion of self to the service to others.  Finally, this person is asked to be one who “embodies the mission of the United Methodist Church and follows Jesus to make disciples for the transformation of the world.”


To this end, a group of past recipients of this award and dedicated servants to our church gathered in the back room of the office to discuss, pray and ultimately choose this year’s recipient of the Laity Service Award for Commonwealth United Methodist Church and recognition at this year’s celebration.


This is never an easy task for our church as literally everyone in our congregation is eligible and more than worthy for such an honor.  But as they say…there can only be one... so this group set down to the task of choosing a special person to honor and nominate.


This year’s nominee has been a long time member of our church.  They have been a part of this faith community through service in multiple functions as a member of the Helping Hands Circle, the Kitchen committee and as a Treasure for one of our clubs.  They have helped with the adopt-a-street clean-up and with the maintenance and creation of our butterfly garden.  They are often part of the “behind the scenes crew” helping to organize and clean-up for luncheons, church receptions and special sanctuary décor.  Without this person, our sanctuary would be woefully barren and without flower during the Christmas and Easter services. 


Within the community... of which they have been a part of for many years…they have taken a special interest in helping those with advanced years stay connected and able to participate in church events or just feel less alone.  This person’s vehicle seems to always be available for a ride to the church... grocery store... hairdresser... or to just head to the local eatery for a bite of good food and even better conversation.  To say our recipient is the epitome of a good servant in Christ is a bit of an understatement. 


I think the only thing our nominee loves more than serving the church and community is their family.  I have rarely seen such loving and unswerving dedication for family and it has been wonderful to get to know this person and their family over the years.


Oh... and did I mention they sing in the choir... well they do.


So, please help me to recognize and congratulate Commonwealth’s Laity Service award nominee... Mrs. Marie Rich!



Pastor Steve