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.
I was saddened but not particularly surprised to hear the news that GracePoint United Methodist Church would end worship this past weekend. After the formation of Grace Point Community Church, the potential viability of Grace Point UMC seemed small. I appreciate the commitment of the annual conference to north west Wichita, but I believe that the damage has been done that will last.
I do not believe that it would be healthy or helpful for the United Methodist Church to use the land and building plans of GracePoint UMC for a future church start. I believe that the land and assets should be liquidated and the money used for future new church starts, but not necessarily a direct correlation to a single future church.
I believe that the new church start that was GracePoint UMC has been and will continue to bear fruit in God’s kingdom.
It is okay that the new church start that was GracePoint UMC did not work out for the Kansas West Annual Conference or the United Methodist Church. I believe that the annual conference should be about starting more new churches, not less as a result of this scenario. They will not all become viable or develop exactly as planned. But some will and will produce fruit a hundred fold.
From an email sent to Kansas Area clergy in the United Methodist Church. How do you respond?
CONFERENCE STILL COMMITTED TO NORTHWEST SEDGWICK COUNTY WICHITA, Kan.—GracePoint United Methodist Church will have its final worship service on Easter Sunday, but the United Methodist Church remains committed to having a presence in northwest Sedgwick County.
“We would have liked to continue the GracePoint United Methodist congregation. Unfortunately, there were not enough remaining members to continue the congregation,” said Kansas United Methodist Bishop Scott Jones. “We are disappointed that things worked out this way.”
The bishop and conference leaders decided that closing GracePoint and regrouping was the best option in consultation with new pastor Rev. Steve Spencer and the 17 remaining church members. Spencer, who was appointed to GracePoint UMC on March 6, will continue as its pastor until the church is formally closed. Remaining church members are being assisted with finding other United Methodist churches in the area to meet their needs.
“The United Methodist Church is still committed to a new and evangelistic presence in northwest Sedgwick County,” Jones said. The land and assets of GracePoint United Methodist Church will remain with the denomination and will be used for the future United Methodist new church in the area. An exact timetable for starting the new congregation has not yet been determined, he said.
GracePoint United Methodist Church was started five years ago by the Kansas West Annual (regional) Conference of the United Methodist Church. On March 1, the pastor and leadership team announced plans to leave the United Methodist Church and form a new community church of the same name. Over the course of the past month, GracePoint UMC has continued to meet weekly for worship at Maize South Middle School while the conference and church leaders assessed the congregation’s future.
Nicole and I are in the process of purchasing a house here in the Kansas City area. Last week at Kansas West Annual Conference we began sharing the news and had several questions come up.
Question: Did you buy a house?
Answer: Yes. Nicole and I have put in an offer, been accepted and will be having inspections on a home. We plan to take possession at the end of June.
Question: What does a home purchase mean for itineracy?
Answer: Nicole and I are appointed yearly by the bishop. Our purchase will not interfere with our commitment to itineracy and availability for appointment.
Question: What does that mean about Kansas West?
Answer: Our probationary membership is in the Kansas West Annual Conference. We hope to be ordained in the Kansas West Conference. We hope to serve in the Kansas West Conference after our appointment at Resurrection.
Question: Why are you buying a house?
Answer: We feel that it is a good financial decision, but more importantly hope for it to be a place of retreat and hospitality. This will be yet another fun adventure for us.
Today was the first full day of the Kansas West Annual Conference. I am coming to enjoy Annual Conference more each year. Last night was clergy session – a time of gathering and attending to the business of approving clergy for membership in the annual conference, retirements or other changes of status. God’s spirit is really present in that particular time and place.
All the business today has gone relatively smoothly, which has been a bit surprising. But I suppose that is good stuff. It is a bit of a shift from the few days that I was able to be at General Conference – much calmer and more relaxed.
The big news of the day is that we have a new vision statement as an annual conference The previous vision statement was “Connecting spiritually alive communities of faith” The new one:
“As we make disciples of Jesus Christ, The Kansas West Conference calls God’s people to…
Invite through radical hospitality
Excite for intentional faith-sharing
Unite in risk-taking mission
for the transformation of the world.”
I believe that this is an excellent change. The new vision is tied to specific action that feels like it means something. Good stuff.