Tag Archives: blog

What is the Extreme Center?

I recently wrote a post about my hope that by blogging I will contributing to a middle way / extreme center theological position online. Kim left a comment asking what exactly that means. Here is a summary from our Bishop, Scott Jones, describing the extreme center in Adam Hamilton’s book, Christianity’s Family Tree: What Other Christians Believe and Why it applies to Methodism:

“In the Christian faith, there are people who are extreme right and people who are extreme left. But whether it’s clergy clothing or how our services of worship are conducted or how we read the Bible, we tend to be people of the extreme center. The extreme center means that The United Methodist Church at its best is conservative in some areas and liberal in other areas. We don’t fit a stereotype very well. For example, some denominations are good at helping nominally religious and nonreligious people enter into the Christian life. Well, that’s part of the gospel; and it’s part of what we do as United Methodists. Other denominations want to help the poor and address social issues, however they define them. Well, that’s part of the gospel; and Methodists embrace them as well. The center is a very hard position to maintain because there are always people who are sniping at you from the extremes. Sometimes it’s easier to hold an extreme position because you can be really clear and really forceful, but what you are lacking is the perspective of your brothers and sisters who disagree with you. By occupying the extreme center, we see the value of both sides and try to carve out a position, whether it involves theology or social justice, that embraces the whole gospel.”

You can find more information at Bishop Jones’ blog  - Extreme Center.

I find that there are plenty of strong voices online at polar opposites of a variety of issues both inside and outside The United Methodist Church. I hope to contribute to conversations online in a way that represents an extreme center theological position.

In what ways have you found an extreme center approach to faith to be helpful? unhelpful?

Some Things Change and Some Things Stay the Same

It has been 649 days since my last blog post.

Much has changed since then.

  • Our children are 3 and 2, respectively.
  • I switched from WordPress.com to a WordPress installation, thereby starting over on traffic and links.
  • I am beginning my third year as the pastor appointed to serve First UMC of El Dorado, KS.
  • We have a brand new back lawn and a new roof at the parsonage.
  • I am a member of the Great Plains Annual Conference.

What has not changed is that I am blogging to contribute to the renewal of the church. My hope is that this  will be accomplished by:

  • Making resources available which I have developed for use in the local church
  • Contributing to a middle way / extreme center theological position online
  • Sharing who I am with the congregation to which I am appointed and the annual conference in which I serve.
  • Sharing a distinct voice with background of serving as an appointed pastor for six years at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection and currently at First UMC El Dorado.

Will you please share your thoughts,  feelings and opinions about what will help accomplish this purpose?

Blog Anniversary – 5 Years

I published the first post on this blog five years ago. At that time I was using blogger.com as the platform and was thinking about using it as a tool to communicate with the congregation for whom I cared. A lot has changed since then, but some things have stayed the same:

  • I hope that people in the community and congregation where I serve will be able to read this blog to know me a bit better.
  • Writing helps me process things
  • I am humbled that there are people that actually want to read what I have to write.
  • There is an ebb and flow to my blogging.
Looking ahead, what kind of posts would you most enjoy?

Leaving WordPress.com for Google+

There have been many opinions shared about how Google+ (a new social network from Google) has had an impact on the online social media scene. People have posited that Google+ will eventually cause people to leave another network. I posted about this possibility myself.

After conversation with a good friend, I realized that there is value to maintaining connections with others in that way. So, I’ll likely be on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for the foreseeable future.

I have been wondering about the possibility of sharing my thoughts on faith, life and ministry at Google+ instead of WordPress.com. Here are some pros and cons of this switch:


  • Google+ is built for sharing in a network, therefore, sharing thoughts, feelings and opinions that I hope might spread on Google+ makes it one step easier for people to share with others (instead of Tweeting a link to a post)
  • Google+ is built to draw people back through integration across Google web properties – this would increase the possibility that people would continue to comment on a post, thus creating a conversation. Personally, I hardly ever revisit a blog post after leaving a comment to see if there are other comments added.
  • Social profile and content creation are simplified for me by being at one location.


  • Google+ is not yet public (yet), thus limiting reach
  • Google+ does not have the ability to schedule posts in advance
  • Google+ does not have analytics available around any particular post

I have reposted the content of several of my blog posts from WordPress over the past week and have received about as many or more comments on Google+ with the addition to a share. Will you please share your thoughts, feelings or opinions?

PS – If you want an invite to Google+ leave a comment using an @gmail.com email address and I will send you an invitation.

Speedlinking – August 27, 2010

Mayo Clinic - Gonda Building
Image by StefPress via Flickr

What You are Searching For – 2Q

These are the top search terms over the past quarter that lead to viewing my blog – http://andrewconard.com. What does this list tell you about this blog or about searching people do on the internet?

Search Views
immanent trinity 125
methodist hymns for funerals 79
church attire 72
methodist funeral hymns 63
proper church attire 54
appropriate church attire 33
united methodist polity 33
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top ten funeral hymns 26
economic trinity 25
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spontaneous prayers 16
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immanent and economic trinity 15
appropriate attire for church 15
www.cor.org/li2010 15
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united methodist funeral hymns 14
economic and immanent trinity 14
missionary religion 14
methodist polity 13
pastoral prayer 13
economic trinity immanent trinity 13
methodist hymns funerals 13
“immanent trinity” 13
anoint my head with oil 12
invitation to the offering 12
what is the role and significance of the 12
is christianity a missionary religion 12
funeral hymns methodist 11
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attire for church 11
proper attire for church 11
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explain the role and significance of the 10
adam hamilton sermons 10
top 10 funeral hymns 10
ordination in the context of the general 9
hymns for funerals 9
“what is the meaning of ordination in th 9

Blog Recommendation: Bill Gepford

Bill Gepford is serving as the summer intern with Resurrection Online. It has been great working with him over the past few weeks and I look forward to the rest of the time that we are able to work together. Bill finished his first year at Perkins School of Theology and will be returning there in the fall. I invite you to:

What do you want?

I enjoy writing on this blog and want to be intentional about asking what you want as a reader. Will you please share:

  • What kind of posts on this blog do you enjoy?
  • What is a topic that you would like to have me address?
  • What questions do you have about faith, life or ministry?
  • What questions do you have about Resurrection Online?
  • How could this blog be more meaningful or helpful for you?

Please leave your responses in the comments or email me directly at andrew dot conard at cor dot org with “Blog Idea” in the subject line.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Speedlinking – May 7, 2010