Shirley I. Parris Laity Service Award


Honoring New York Annual Conference Laity for Exceptional Service to the United Methodist Connection

Shirley I. Parris exemplified the connectional strengths of the United Methodist Church through selfless service and ministry on various levels. 

Ms. Parris was the first woman to serve as District and Conference Lay Leader in the New York Annual Conference (NYAC). She literally served in every capacity at Union United Methodist Church, including as the member of the Conference until 2008. She held positions on both district and conference levels and was elected as a delegate from the NYAC to the General and Jurisdictional Conferences in 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004.

She also:

  • Led the delegation twice and was a member of the Jurisdictional Episcopacy Committee.
  • Served on several conference committees including the Committee on Finance and Administration, the Episcopacy Committee, Conference Board of Laity and the Parish Development Committee, and was a 
    lay member of the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry.
  • Chaired Legislative Section 3 for many years, guiding the section in their deliberation of many challenging and divisive issues with grace and patience.
  • Loved preaching and as a district lay speaker filled pulpits in most of the churches in the Long Island West District, as well as beyond the district and the United Methodist Churchincluding both Baptist and Episcopal churches.
  • Led Bible study and workshops within NYAC and other Conferences.

The Shirley I. Parris Laity Service Award was created in her honor at NYAC's 2011 Annual Conference. 

Go here to learn more about Shirley I. Parris

Apply for the Shirley I. Parris Laity Service Award

The NYAC Board of Laity Is seeking outstanding nominees for the Shirley I. Parris Laity Award. The award will be presented during the virtual 2022 Annual Conference Plenary Session. Nominations are open to all uncompensated youth and adult lay persons. Applications must include a descriptive one-page resume detailing the nominees' service to the local church, organizations, committees, boards, and beyond.  

The deadline for nominations for the 2022 Award is Wednesday, June 1, 2022.  

Please go here to complete the application form online

Save and e-mail the completed form to NYAC Conference Lay Leader, Roena Littlejohn or print your completed application and *send it via snail mail to: 

Roena Littlejohn, Conference Lay Leader
91 Laurel Place
Bridgeport, CT 06604-1717

  *All mailed submissions must be postmarked on or before June 1, 2022

Past Recipients of the Shirley I. Parris Laity Service Award

2021: (No award issued due to Covid-19)

2020:  (No award Issued due to Covid-19)

2019: Frederick K. Brewington, Hempstead United Methodist Church and Westbury United Methodist Church (LIW District)

2018: Edna Rouse, Vanderveer Park UMC, Brooklyn, LIW District

2016: Marilyn Wakefield, Reservoir UMC, Shokan, N.Y., CH District

2015: Magdalene Russell-Tattnall, Vandeveer Park UMC, Brooklyn, LIW District

2014: Barbara Edwards, St. Paul's UMC, Jamaica, N.Y., LIW District

2013: Beth Capen, Rondout Valley UMC, Stoneridge, N.Y., CH District

2012: Lucille Dockery, UMC of Hyde Park, Hyde Park, N.Y., NYCT District