June 16, 2017, 10:24 PM

The Status of Lay Leadership

Our family is five generations deep into the Methodist Christian tradition, and I recall the birth of the United Methodist Church. The merger of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Evangelical United Brethen on April 23rd of 1968, we gained an organized "double portion" of evangelical zest to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

Moving onward to our 50th year as First Church Baldwin United Methodist, might we rekindle the zest and fuel the zeal for church growth through. What might the status of lay leadership need to be, in order to maximize our making of disciples of Jesus Christ, during the conference year of 2017-2018?

Recently, our committee on nominations and leadership development met to begin the process of discernment. We are discerning the who, where, and what for the status of lay leadership, which might carry forth the divine intentions of our ministries in Baldwin, New York and beyond. As we were meeting, I deemed it important to encourage person to person contact among laity preceiving personal contact from the pastor. Why?

If lay leadership, as I believe, need assurance of continuity in support, there has to be team building of relatedness with the greatest potential of long term presence. Clergy in the United Methodist Church are subject to itinerate (move to another appointment) within any given year. While it is true that laity may choose another congregation or be subject to job transfers, it is a quarantee that pastors under appointment serve at the discretion of the Bishop and Cabinet in the intinerant system. 

Given such reality, I deem it to be important to empower the lay leadership with development through selection, election, and trainings that enable continuity on the leadership team for an expected three or move years with varying term limits. 

Our current status of lay leadership at First Church Baldwin United Methodist holds a group consisting of chairpersons for Trustees, Finance, SPRC, and Nominations and Leadership Development as the areas for the administration of the local church with chairpersons for Nurture, Outreach, and Witness/Worship for the ministry programs of the congregation. We shall strengthen these areas by having members fill open positions to work with chairpersons in each of the above areas. In other words, we desire for you to serve in one or more areas. Will you?

A core position to be filled during the work of our 50th year as The United Methodist Church is that of Lay Leader.  The local church without a lay leader is missing a beat necessary to operating at full capability.

Janet Heaney for many years has served as lay leaders, very effectively. I often tease her that her work was done with such authority and success that laity dare not attempt to follow such an outstanding servanthood. It does take preparation and dedication to follow one seen as the perhaps the greatest to serve in this era. Sports commentators often speak of who might be the next Ali, Jordan, Nicholas, etc... I wonder who will be the next effective lay leaders for First Church Baldwin United Methodist. 

Is it you?

Might you be the one to work closely with the pastor and ensure that the heartbeat of the local church operates, when transitions and transformations are bound to come? Change is coming to come, we know that, so we must be ready when it comes. Without the status of lay leadership being at full capacity the causes of change agents are strained and the damages hinder our mission in the making of disciples of Jesus Christ. Pray about stepping into open positions for lay leadership, especially the position of lay leader.

Giving a change to the changes brought by my move into Baldwin means providing my administration with a lay leader for the Leadership Team to function at it greatest.

I want to work with you, and show the world that the status of lay leadership here is at its absolute best.


Luonne Abram Rouse

March 16, 2017, 7:01 AM

Apportionment Contributions

Greetings Christian Friends!

First Church​

​Baldwin United Methodist is asked to contribute: 

The main way we support the ministries of the church is through our apportioned funds, a method of giving that proportionally allocates the church wide budget to conferences and local churches.

For United Methodists this method of giving has become a strong, generous tradition.

Together, through our connected congregations, we accomplish what no single church, district or annual conference ever could hope to do alone. In this way, each individual, each family, each congregation gives a fair share for the church's work. We combine our prayers, presence, gifts and service to make a significant difference in the lives of God's people.

The general funds include:

World Service Fund

The World Service Fund is the essential core of our global outreach ministry, underwriting Christian mission around the world. By giving to World Service we empower United Methodist evangelistic efforts…stimulate Bible study and spiritual commitment…encourage church growth and discipleship…and help God’s children everywhere. 

Ministerial Education Fund

Men and women choose the ministry because God calls them. The Ministerial Education Fund is our way of helping them answer that divine call. Our United Methodist seminaries lead the effort to proclaim God’s word in a world desperately in need of that message. 

Episcopal Fund

Bishops have always had a very special role in our church…elected and consecrated to speak to the church…and from the church. The apostle Paul called it “a noble task,” but it is practical, too, since our bishops oversee and promote the church’s spiritual and temporal interests as well. 

Black College Fund

The 11 U.S. historically Black colleges and universities supported by The United Methodist Church have played a unique role in U.S. higher education. Their graduates—teachers and doctors, ministers and bishops, judges, artists and entrepreneurs—are leaders in the African-American community and in a rapidly changing, more diverse United States.

Interdenominational Cooperation Fund

We United Methodists acknowledge that we are but a small part of the worldwide Christian church—the living body of Jesus Christ. Our unity with other Christian communions is affirmed as we witness to a common Christian faith, meet human suffering and advocate for peace and justice all over the world. 

Africa University Fund

This vital fund supports the only United Methodist-related, degree-granting university on the continent of Africa—serving students from 21 countries, all across the continent of Africa. Africa University provides higher education of excellent quality, enriched with Christian values, for both men and women, developing visionary leaders of tomorrow. 

General Administration Fund

This fund underwrites and finances general church activities that are administrative in nature, rather than program-related—like General Conference, the legislative branch of the church. General Council on Finance and Administration coordinates and administers the finances of the church, receives, disburses and accounts for the church’s general funds, safeguards the denomination’s legal interests and rights, compiles and publishes denominational statistics and maintains the church’s records.

Luonne Abram Rouse


January 26, 2017, 12:26 PM

Celebration and Installation Service

On Sunday, January 29th, we are officially instaling into First Church Baldwin our new Pastor Rouse and  wife Marie. It will be a great service. A special fellowship hour will follow in Whyman Hall. Come and join.