Rev. Laura Rainwater to serve as new Whole Church Initiative Coordinator
September 01, 2017
The Rev. Laura Easter Rainwater has begun a new position in the Mountain Sky Area as Whole Church Initiative Coordinator, effective Aug. 7. Rev. Rainwater will continue to serve as the lead pastor of Grace United Methodist Church in Cheyenne, Wyoming, as she takes on this new role. She is a well-known circuit leader and coach in the Rocky Mountain Conference. Grace UMC has previously participated in the Whole Church Initiative (WCI) under her leadership.
Rainwater’s new position will focus on expanding participation in the WCI process. She said, “I am excited to help other churches learn about and experience WCI. This is a great opportunity for our congregations to discern where God is already at work in and around them. I hope I can play a small part in helping this process transform our communities through this position.”
The WCI has been used in the Mountain Sky Area over the last four years and 30 congregations have already participated in various versions of the process. The need to expand WCI to the other 300-plus congregations in our area led to the creation of this position. The WCI aims to help congregations practice team-based ministry with a focus on lay/clergy partnership, missional outreach, cultivating a culture of experimentation, and most importantly – following the lead of the Holy Spirit.
“Laura is a proven leader, coach, and facilitator” said Rev. Jeremy Scott, Mountain Sky Area Vital Congregations Developer. “She will bring an energy and passion to this work that is really needed.”
Rainwater will work closely with Scott and his team, which includes Rev. Dave Merkel, Worship Developer, and Rev. Susan Otey, New Faith Communities Developer. Each will play an important role in helping equip local churches to better fulfill their mission to "make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world."
Rainwater is currently helping refine the WCI process as congregations are recruited for the next round. She will then take primary responsibility for resourcing congregations to successful navigate the WCI process.
This is another example where the Mountain Sky Area is investing in the success of our local congregations. At this year’s annual conference sessions, the Mission Shaped Future team laid out a powerful vision for our area saying, “The Mountain Sky Area will reignite a Christian movement that begins with grace, offers abundant life, and reclaims the life-changing love of Jesus Christ for ALL people.” Investment in tools like Whole Church Initiative, and leadership from individuals like Rev. Laura Rainwater, is one way we will live into that vision.