The Laity Empowerment
Project (LEP) was started in 1989 by Ron Farr, an ordained United
Church of Christ pastor who presently shares a co-pastorate with his
wife, Patty, at Emmanuel Congregational United Church of Christ in
Watertown, New York.
Ron, who has been a local church
pastor for 20 years and has written articles for WEAVINGS and FAITH AT
WORK, designs and writes the LEP curricula.
Ron Farr's "Laity Empowerment Project" display at the June 2007
National UCC Synod Meeting
LEP curricula are revised and refined
innumerable times from the helpful, inspired feedback of friendly
colleagues and hundreds of LEP participants and leaders.
For 20 years Ron has led retreats on
prayer and meditation, personal spiritual growth, laity empowerment, and
local church revitalization. He has sought, through the Laity Empowerment
Project, to write a number of user-friendly but intensive course curricula
which local congregations can use to transform themselves. Each group
session is designed to feel like a "little retreat." Ron's dream has been
to create group curricula in which laity and clergy spiritually nourish
each other, activate each other's passion to do ministry, learn to be
sensitive small group facilitators, and became true colleagues with one
Ron leads LEP leadership training
events in various parts of the country, and works as a small group trainer
and church consultant when not at his local church. The LEP program,
initially sponsored by the New York UCC Conference, has spread to other
UCC Conferences and other mainline denominations by word of mouth.
Over the years Ron has worked in a
variety of ministerial settings, which has helped him produce materials
that are sensitive to people's hurts and hungers, yet appeals to broad
audiences. He has served as a UCC local church pastor, a program director
for a large Roman Catholic retreat center, Protestant chaplain to several
state psychiatric hospitals as well as the Massachusetts Hospital-School
for Handicapped Children. He studied pastoral counseling in a year-long
hospital internship; studied eastern religions at Banaras Hindu University
in Banaras, India; and studied Buddhist Vipassana meditation for several
years at the Washington Buddhist Vihara, Washington, D.C. Ron received his
Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School.
He and his wife, Patty, have two
daughters, two dogs and two cats. He loves networking with all those who
are experimenting with ways to deepen the spiritiual life, activate the
gifts, and awaken the ministries of EVERY one in their local church.
Revs. Ron & Patty Farr
Co-Pastors of Emmanuel Congregational Church, Watertown, NY
Learn more about Ron and Patty's
ministry and local church at