Each year churches in the Western North Carolina Conference name their Lay Servant of the year. This is usually what we’d call “an unsung hero,” about whom churches SING as their hero. A group of leaders discuss names of folks that have been suggested by the congregation during the year. You can tell the lay leader, the Administrative Council chairman, the leader of the United Methodist Women or United Methodist Men any time you see someone doing something that helps our church or the people in it.
This year Central has chosen as our Lay Servant of 2022 a woman who gets things done. She’s a determined servant, working to make things better wherever she is. There are two specific things that I’d like to highlight: During COVID we were not in the church, and some parts were a bit neglected. She was drawn to the nursery and the need to spruce it up. As a Methodist, she methodically went through that room and threw out anything that posed a safety issue. She thoroughly cleaned the room from carpet to ceiling. Some painting was done. She ordered and paid for several new things that helped get the room ready. She was asked, “Why are you doing all this when we don’t have any little ones back yet?” She simply replied, “When they come back, things will be ready, and they will feel they have a fun place.”
You know who this person is, but let me give the second reason. Our garden creator and sustainer became critically ill. This servant of God harvested the veggies that had been growing, and as Langston would do, she gave the vegetables to others for them to enjoy. This included a LOT of onions! She pulled up every one. She took them to her own garage to dry out. You might recall we had quite a lot of rain the early part of summer. In time they dried, and she bagged them up and shared with others just as Langston always did. She not only saved the veggies, but she made him smile when I showed pictures of the garden giving that he worried would rot if he couldn’t get them picked.
For years she has been known at Central by her nickname, Saint Sandra, for all the good deeds she does.
After worship Sandra was feted in the foyer to receive congratulations and her favorite food: Krispy Kreme donuts, shared with the congregation.
The district will celebrate all Lay Servants of 2022 at a reception at University City United Methodist Church Oct. 16.