Whitaker offers list of what she has learned in swan song


PEORIA -- IGRC Lay Leader Rhonda Whitaker offered a list of things she has learned at Annual Conference in her eight and final Laity Address.

"Everything I know about life I learned at Annual Conference," Whitaker said. "I’m going to miss being your Lay Leader. I’ll even miss all those meetings – ok, maybe not. I’ll miss answering the phone to hear 'Sister Rhonda, this is your humble servant Gregory Vaughn Palmer.' I have grown so much over the last eight years, and I’ve learned so much."

Whitaker's list is as follows:

  1. The Bishop is always right.
  2. Never get between a United Methodist and their food. "We best not run late into lunchtime and heaven forbid if someone tries to cut in front of you in the food line," she said.
  3. If you want something done, ask a United Methodist "whether it's beans and rice for Haiti, a school for the poorest area in Monrovia, rebuilding a tornado-ravaged town or hurricane-devastated coastline or eradicating malaria."
  4. Connexion works. "None of these things could have been done by a single church, not even a single distict, but as a conference we can do amazing things, and as a denomination we could transform the world," Whitaker said.
  5. Laity + Clergy = Claity.  "Laity cannot be pew potatoes, but clergy, if you want us to follow, you've got to be leading somewhere worth going," she said. "Without each other we are incomplete and the mission of making disciples will NOT get done without our partnership."
  6. The means of grace which Whitaker says is "probably one of the most important contributions we as a denomination can give to the church universal." 
  7. The Bishop is always right.