Address and Session calls Laity to love the Lord

June 08, 2014

“I would like to invite each of you to reflect on your calling,” said Dave Decker, Conference Lay 
Leader, in opening his Lay Leader Address at the 2014 Iowa Annual Conference Session. 
“For some of us that may not mean a whole lot,” he said. “However for others it reflects back to 
that time that you may have decided to dedicate your life to Jesus Christ.”
We all have a calling from God, he said, and it’s up to each of us to discern what it may be and 
how to apply it our lives.
After the strategic priorities were adopted at the 2013 Annual Conference Session, Decker said it 
laid a clear path of what he needed to do to lead to a transforming environment in his ministry. 
However even though it was clear what needed to be done, he discovered that putting this 
into action was more complicated when it came to locating and employing a direct line of 
communication with the laity.
Decker continues to work through the logistics of serving roughly 800 churches, but doing so 
with 600 names, fewer than 400 email addresses and 75 names without phone numbers.
He offered five statements he wanted every United Methodist in Iowa to hear: 
You are not alone; God has a calling for all of us; There are education piece and groups available 
to lead all of you in discerning your call; Small groups must be a part of our community; and The 
Lay Leaders are the spiritual leaders of the faith community.
“So where is all of this leading us?” Decker asked. “I see us on a threshold of a more faithful 
church and a healthier world.”
“We need to glorify God for what he has done and is doing through us,” said Decker. “I see us 
working together as we learn more about each other, pray for each other and tell each other what 
we all are truly in love with God.”
What are we waiting for, Decker asked; we cannot transform the world until each of us is truly 
Decker invited Conference attendees to contact him.
“I want to hear from every one of you,” said Decker. “I want to hear from every one of your 
members of your faith community. Let us all join in a true bond of the body of Christ-The Iowa 
Annual Conference.”
In closing, Decker referenced John 21: 15-19, with the message, “Feed My Sheep.”
“It is my pleasure and privilege to serve you as your Conference Lay Leader,” Decker said. “Stay 
in love with God!”
Jill Miller of Sioux City gave her testimony before performing her song, Imagine, composed for 
the 2014 Annual Conference Session. 
“Love one another as I have loved you,” she said. “Simple things are transformed by the gift of 
Miller shared the story of the loss of her marriage and subsequent transformation of her life.
Bob Colquhoun offered the next Laity Witness 
“We need to fall deeply in love with God,” said Colquhoun.
He quizzed the Conference on frequency of reading the Bible.
“Jesus is the Word, and the Word is Jesus,” he said. “If you love Jesus you’ve got to love the 
Colquhoun spoke of his previous life in rock music and drugs, and how he was brought to the 
Lord by hitting bottom.
He performed the song, “Breath.”
Jerry Matchett gave a witness based on his experience with Iowa School for Ministry.
“I am better equipped to share God’s love through the Iowa School for Ministry,” Matchett said. 
“Than I ever was before.”
Matchett also spoke of faith-sharing experiences that showed him the school was a treasure for 
all laity than can come to make disciples for the transformation of the world.