|Georgia lay leader is General Conference speaker|
A UMNS Report
By Alice M. Smith*
Feb. 26, 2007
A Georgia woman has been tapped to deliver the Laity Address at the 2008 United Methodist General Conference.
Lyn Powell, lay leader of the denomination’s North Georgia Conference
since 2004 and the first woman to hold that position, will speak when
the church’s top lawmaking body meets April 23-May 2 in Fort Worth,
General Conference meets every four years, and the Laity Address,
along with the Episcopal Address delivered on behalf of United Methodist
bishops, are highlights of meeting, which draws up to 1,000 delegates
from around the world to discuss and handle matters for the
“This is a humbling honor to represent not only the annual conference
lay leaders of the denomination but all of the laity, which is almost
11 million people,” Powell said. “It gives a person pause to realize
Retired in 2003 as vice president of information technology for
Associated Credit Union, Powell has served extensively in the church,
beginning with her local church, Snellville United Methodist Church,
where she has held numerous leadership positions and taught Disciple
Bible study and the Christian Believer course.
The United Methodist General Conference, held in
2004 in Pittsburgh, meets every four years and will convene again on
April 23, 2008 in Fort Worth, Texas. A UMNS photo by John C. Goodwin.
As the conference lay leader, she serves on the extended cabinet of
Bishop Lindsey Davis and the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry. She
is a member of the conference’s Vision Forum, vice chair of the
Simpsonwood board of directors and serves on the board of Aldersgate
Powell served as a delegate to the 2004 General Conference and
Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference and is on the board of directors
of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship and of the executive
committee of the World Methodist Council. In addition, she is president
of the Southeastern Jurisdiction Association of Annual Conference Lay
The theme of her Laity Address will be “Disciples Transforming the
World,” in which Powell will emphasize the importance of clergy and
laity sharing in ministry.
“As I have worked with laity and clergy in our conference and also
across the denomination, several questions have begun to form in my
mind,” she said. “What is the nature of the calling of the laity,
particularly as it relates to the calling of the clergy? How do the two
callings intersect and intertwine? How can we live out our calling as
laity? How does our profile differ today from our profile in the first
150 years of Methodism in this country?
“My speech centers on these questions,” she said.
Powell was chosen for the speaking task by a five-member committee of
annual conference lay leaders, chosen by the Board of Discipleship,
which reviewed manuscripts from speaker candidates
Gloria Holt, lay leader of the North Alabama Annual
Conference, delivers the Laity Address at the 2004 General Conference. A
UMNS photo by Mike DuBose.
Her selection was announced during the Association of Annual
Conference Lay Leaders meeting Feb. 15-18 in Minneapolis. During that
gathering, Powell presented her 25-minute address to the 48 conference
lay leaders present and received feedback.
Powell’s pastor, the Rev. Richard Hunter, praised Powell’s selection,
noting that “she’s good about listening to the heart of the church.”
“Lyn has two major passions that are contagious,” he said. “First,
reaching people that the church normally does not reach … and, second,
to connect those in the church to a ministry based on their spiritual
gifts and their own personal calling.”
Conference lay leaders have pledged to meet Powell backstage
immediately before her 2008 address to lift up both her and her speech
in prayer. A prayer team has been designated to pray for Powell in the
“That gives me great comfort,” she said, “to know there will be
prayer covering (the address) from this point forward, and shortly
before the address is given.”
*Smith is editor of the Wesleyan Christian Advocate , a publication of the North and South Georgia conferences.
News media contact: Marta Aldrich, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or email@example.com.
Bush, Sirleaf invited to address 2008 General Conference
Logo for 2008 General Conference keys on theme of hope
United Methodist assembly urged to forget ‘I’ and become ‘we’
General Conference 2008
North Georgia Conference
Snellville (Ga.) United Methodist Church