Eero: My Church WiFi Hero

Last month, I undertook the task of upgrading the wireless network at Berryton United Church. I am a bit of a tech geek at heart and enjoy things working well. I am grateful that there was an existing wireless network, though one of the challenges was that it was a different network in the sanctuary than it was in the office. Devices would be able to hold on to the signal along enough to make it almost, but not quite, usable when I walked back and forth on Sunday morning. So, I was looking for the opportunity for a mesh network that could cover the entire building.

A solution from Ruckus Wireless, while it would have been excellent, was beyond my ability to install. So, I was started looking for other solutions and found a great one in the Eero Pro WiFi System. You can purchase it from Amazon.com here and find more information about Eero and their technology here. After a Memorials request was approved, I placed the order. It wasn’t too long until these sweet looking pieces of technology arrived:

Eero at Berryton UMC - 1

The next step was to get them installed and going. The main network equipment is on a shelf above the door of a closet. Here is the before picture:

Eero at Berryton UMC - 2

You may notice that there isn’t a wireless router of any kind in this picture. That is because I had already taken it down and didn’t want to plug all the things back together just to get this picture. It was sitting on the shelf in just about the middle. Here is the shelf after installation:

Eero at Berryton UMC - 3

There is the Eero on the right hand side, connected to the cable modem on the right and a network switch to the left. A handful of 2 foot patch cables came in handy to help cut down on the cable clutter.

The next step was to initiate the network. Installation was through the Eero app which I had downloaded as per the instructions with the Eero. It was fantastically simple. You created a name for your network, password and I created a guest network with a single swipe. Amazing!

The next step was to add the other two Eero devices to the network to extend better coverage throughout the building. One in the office, which allows wireless connections to the printer:

Eero at Berryton UMC - 2 (1)

And one just outside the sanctuary in the library / treasurer’s office:

Eero at Berryton UMC - 1 (1)

I have experienced rock-solid performance throughout the building and even extending into the parking lot much further than previously possible. This has been particularly helpful in our location with cell service that can be spotty, at times.

I am glad to have made the upgrade and it has been a benefit for the congregation, as evidenced by the connections on Sunday morning:

Eero at Berryton UMC - 1 (2)

Would you like to add WiFi in your local church? I would be glad to answer more questions, be a consultant, or do the install – if you are in the Topeka area. You can contact me by email at aconard@greatplainsumc.org

Happy Small Church IT Adventures to you!

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?

The #li2012 Word Cloud Project

The #li2012 Word Cloud Project for October 3

I am part of a team from First United Methodist Church in El Dorado, KS attending Leadership Institute 2012. I collected Twitter updates tagged with #li2012. Then I used Wordle to create word clouds with the text of updates during the conference. I edited out Twitter usernames, RT and #li2012 to get a better view of the conversation. I hope that you enjoy the results!

  • You can find the raw data of Twitter updates tagged with #li2012 at http://j.mp/VvLjlU. Feel free to use these updates and World to create your own word clouds.

You can download the full size images using the links below:

  • The #li2012 Word Cloud Project up to and including October 2 – http://j.mp/UdSFN2
  • The #li2012 Word Cloud Project for October 3 – http://j.mp/PSJgUW
  • The #li2012 Word Cloud Project for October 4 – To be created…
  • The #li2012 Word Cloud Project for October 5 – To be created…
  • The #li2012 Word Cloud Project for October 3 to October 5 – To be created…

Enjoy!

The #li2012 Word Cloud Project up to and including October 2

Transition Preparation Document for First UMC El Dorado

One month from today, I will begin serving as pastor at First United Methodist Church in El Dorado. Last week, I had the opportunity to spend time with some of the key leaders and staff from the church. I shared a document with everyone that I met outlined some of my personal priorities as well as top five objectives for the first six months and a few of the questions that I will be asking as I arrive. Here is what I shared:

Personal Priorities and Dates

  • June 12 – Expecting the birth of our second child
  • June 25 – Move into parsonage
  • Care for self and family

Top Five – First Six Months

  • Be a good guest and allow the congregation to host
  • Love the people
  • Learn the history and culture of the congregation
  • Learn the history and culture of the community
  • Help discern an appropriate vision

Questions – First Six Months

  • Who are you as a congregation?
  • How did the congregation get to where it is today?
  • Where do challenges and opportunities exist?
  • What has changed the most / least since you joined the church?
  • When have you been most proud to be connected with this church?
  • What means the most to you about this church?
  • Why does this church matter to people?
  • What do you sense God is doing right now?

Contact Information

The #kwc12 Twitter Word Cloud Project

2012 Kansas West Annual Conference Twitter Word Cloud

As a follow up to the The #gc2012 Twitter Word Cloud Project, I completed a similar project for the Kansas West Annual Conference. I collected Twitter updates from May 22 to 27 that were tagged with #kwc12, #ksw12 and #kswumc. Then I used Wordle to create a word cloud with the text of all the updates for the conference. I edited out Twitter usernames, #kwc12, #ksw12 and #kswumc to get a better view of the conversation. I hope that you enjoy the results!

  • You can find the raw data of Twitter updates tagged with #kwc12, #ksw12 and #kswumc at http://j.mp/LlgkSN. Feel free to use these updates and World to create your own word clouds.
  • You can download a full size image of the word cloud at http://j.mp/L2ZwlA

Enjoy!

2012 Twitter Hashtags and Live Streaming for #UMC Conferences

At the end of the #dreamUMC chat last night, I volunteered to collect hashtags for United Methodist conferences this year. I hope you will find it helpful to stay connected across the denomination.

Will you please help me complete this list? Please send me an @reply on Twitter @andrewconard or leave a comment on this post with dates, clarification on hashtags, link if it is being live streamed or additional conferences.

Please tweet or share this link to this post to spread the word – http://j.mp/K26ox3

Dates for Conference Unknown (to me)

  • #tnumc12 / #tnac2012 – Tennessee (@tnumc)

UMNS 2012 Annual Conference Reports

The #gc2012 Twitter Word Cloud Project

The #gc2012 Twitter Word Cloud – Milk Paints

The #GC2012 Twitter Word Cloud Project

Twitter was a powerful tool of engagement during General Conference 2012. I thought it would be fascinating to archive and analyze the updates tagged with #gc2012. On Tuesday morning, I set up an Archive of the #gc2012 hashtag through a HootSuite Pro account. Every day I downloaded the data from the previous day, corrected the date and time to be local for Tampa, removed extraneous data and put it in a spreadsheet. Then I used Wordle to create a word cloud with the text of all the updates for that day. After a few days, I began to edit out Twitter usernames and prominent hashtags to get a better view of the conversation. I hope that you enjoy the results!

Where can I find the data?

The raw data of Twitter updates tagged with #gc2012 are available in a spreadsheet at http://j.mp/Iad0fW. Use the tabs along the bottom of the page to navigate to each day of the conference. (Updated through May 3, 2012)

Where can I download full size images for the entire conference?

I created multiple word clouds for the entire conference in various color schemes and arrangements. You can find the links to these images below.

Where can I download full size images for each day?

You can find the full size downloadable word cloud images created from these Twitter updates with the links below. The #gc2012 Twitter Word Cloud Project for:

How can I support and join in this project?

  • Share – Use http://j.mp/JPiBqj to share this blog post with others.
  • Analyze – Dig in to the raw Twitter data with the spreadsheet above and share what you discover
  • Post – Use the images in your own blog posts, make prints, share with others and include in articles both online and in print.
  • Donate – Will you please donate to a few dollars to help cover costs of the archiving service? Use this link to donate securely via PayPal or credit / debit card.

The #gc2012 Twitter Word Cloud Project Daily Images

12-04-24 Twitter Updates from #gc2012
12-04-25 Twitter Updates from #gc2012
12-04-26 Twitter Updates from #gc2012
12-04-27 Twitter Updates from #gc2012
12-04-28 Twitter Updates from #gc2012
12-04-29 Twitter Updates from #gc2012
12-04-30 Twitter Updates from #gc2012
12-05-01 Twitter Updates from #gc2012
12-05-02 Twitter Updates from #gc2012
12-05-03 Twitter Updates from #gc2012
12-05-04 Twitter Updates from #gc2012