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.
Today was my first time to speak on the floor of annual conference. While it was not exactly what came out, this is what I prepared:
My name is Andrew Conard. I am a clergy member of the annual conference.
I am currently serving at Church of the Resurrection in the Kansas City area and will begin serving at First United Methodist Church in El Dorado beginning July 1.
I speak in favor of forming the Great Plains Annual Conference.
Since its statehood more than 150 years ago, Kansas has been a place of action, a place where people could rally around a cause. Whether it was the abolition of slavery, settling the untamed prairie or recovering from disaster, Kansans mobilized around the cause and demonstrated great leadership abilities.
This is the time to demonstrate leadership in the United Methodist Church on the Great Plains. The annual conference exists to equip the local church for ministry. Becoming one annual conference in Kansas and Nebraska creates the best opportunity for the conference to fulfill its purpose on the Great Plains so that all of our local churches can make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Since I was first appointed to serve in Kansas in 2006, I have prayed every week for three things: the mission and vision of the local church where I serve, renewal within the United Methodist Church and spiritual revival across the state. I believe that forming the Great Plains Annual Conference is the next faithful step in our life together of living God’s dream for us as United Methodists in Nebraska and Kansas.
Members of my family are active in the United Methodist churches in Norwich, Plains, Sterling, Burdett and First-Hutchinson. My father is a United Methodist pastor and his father was a United Methodist pastor. The Kansas West Annual Conference is my home.
The month before we began to serve under appointment in Kansas, my wife and I were driving to Colorado on our honeymoon and we made a point to visit two of the churches where my granddad was appointed – the United Methodist Churches in Tribune and Towner on the Kansas / Colorado border. It was a blessing to step into those sacred spaces. I am proud of the United Methodist lay and clergy people who have come before me and been a part of faithful and fruitful ministry all across this Annual Conference for decades. This annual conference is part of who I am.
The Great Plains Annual Conference will be a change. There is no way around it. I believe that this change is the next faithful step in our life together as United Methodists on the Great Plains. I pray that we will continue together in faithful and fruitful ministry.
One hundred years from now, I want the people of the United Methodist Church in Nebraska and Kansas to look back and remember 2012 as a milestone in our lives together when courageous United Methodist took action that fanned the flames of spiritual revival across the Great Plains.
I urge you to vote in favor of forming the Great Plains Annual Conference.
I received 4 votes in the very first clergy ballot for General Conference 2012. This was a pleasant surprise. I had not submitted a profile sheet to be considered. I wonder who voted for me, as I didn’t vote for myself… I did not receive any votes on subsequent ballots.
I very much appreciate video reporting from various groups. The story is able to be told well and can be used again for various reasons.
The Commission on Equitable Compensation report generated a good bit of conversation, which I found to be quite interesting. How does the annual conference best address gender inequity in clergy compensation?
I was proud of my Dad, receiving a Certificate of Merit from the Kansas Area United Methodist Rural Fellowship at their annual banquet. Later in the afternoon, he was elected as the first clergy delegate to General Conference 2012. Congratulations!
State of the Conference Report is one of my favorite times in Annual Conference. The Lay Leader and the Bishop tell the story of the past year and introduce new initiatives for the year ahead.
I am very excited for the release of http://vitalsignsumc.org. This is going to be fantastic! Church metrics and sharing stories can be very good.
It was a great day yesterday. I was ordained as an elder in the Kansas West Annual Conference at the Service of Commissioning and Ordination last night at the Bicentennial Center. We had a rehearsal at lunch time and got ready to go for the evening. After the afternoon plenary session, I went out to the car to pick up my robe and some slacks to replace my jeans. Dinner was with family and the others who were being ordained and commissioned courtesy of the catering team at the Bicentennial Center. Then to get ready for the service. Photos with family, the ordination class and the bishop came next. After the processional we moved through the service. A few of the meaningful experiences from the day:
Speaking on the phone with my sister, Kristin, from England first thing in the morning.
Sharing the evening meal at the table with my sister-in-law, Melissa.
A time of quiet just before the service to share a few moments with God in prayer.
Swinging my niece, Katie, walking in early to the arena.
Seeing the IT Director at Resurrection, Clif, livestream the service with his webcam.
Sensing the Holy Spirit upon me while Bishop Nhiwatiwa prayed before the elders were ordained.
Feeling the weight of hands on my head and shoulders while being ordained.
Looking into Bishop Jones’ face as he me commanded me to “Take thou authority…”
Having my stole placed over my head by my dad, Mark, followed by a powerful hug.
Linking fingers with my mom, Joyce, during the final hymn.
Sharing a conversation with my brother, Jonathan.
Hearing words of support and encouragement from aunts and uncles.
All the encouragement from social media from friends far and near.
Care and support from my wife, Nicole, throughout the day.
Last night was the clergy session of the Kansas West Annual Conference. My name was raised under the following questions:
31. Who are elected as members in full connection? b) Elders
33. Who are elected for ordination as elders?
Along with 8 other elder and 2 deacon provisional members, I walked in to Mabee Arena at Kansas Wesleyan University. This was the first year that clergy session had been held at this location. All of the clergy were seated on the bleachers on one side of the arena with a table and podium set up on the court. Bishop Jones had us turn to face him, away from the clergy, while the votes were taken for each one of us. One vote as a member in full connection in the annual conference and one for ordination as elder. I remember looking up at the ventilation system, the empty folded up bleachers across the arena and glancing at Bishop Jones as he asked the clergy session to vote for my election. Then I heard, “He is elected.” I found out later from my Dad, that it was at 7:54 PM.
I was expecting the result of the vote to be affirmative. It wasn’t particularly overwhelming emotionally, however I do remember trying to soak in all the details of what I was seeing and hearing as I thought, “This is a marker point in my life.” It did feel good to turn around and see the clergy session applauding at the end of the election of all those to be ordained. I looked back and forth across the full bleachers as I wanted to look at everyone who was there, or at least in their general direction. I remember making eye contact with my Dad who was standing to applaud and wearing a brown United Methodist Shirt from Zimbabwe. Later in the clergy session, I remember looking at my Aunt Karen Fieser, who was retiring as she was voted on for retirement.
Later today is the presentation for the potential covenant partnership between the Kansas West and Zimbabwe East Annual Conferences. This evening is the Taste of Zimbabwe dinner. I am looking forward to both with a bit of anxiety and excitement.
Tonight is the clergy session of the Kansas West Annual Conference. This is where I hope to be elected as a full member of the Annual Conference and approved for Elder’s ordination. I decided to look up officially the process for which I will be ordained and want to share a few of the applicable paragraphs in the 2008 Book of Discipline.
“Questions relating to matters of ordination, character, and conference relations of clergy shall be the business of the clergy session. The actions of the clergy session shall be for and on behalf of the annual conference” (2008 Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, ¶605.6).
“Provisional members who are candidates for full connection and ordination as elders and have been provisional members for at least two years may be admitted into membership in full connection in an annual conference and approved for elder’s ordination by two-thirds vote of the clergy members in full connection of the annual conference, upon recommendation by two-thirds vote of the Board of Ordained Ministry…” (2008 Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, ¶335).
I have already been recommended by the Board of Ordained Ministry, so am looking to the vote of the clergy session to move forward.
The annual conference season has begun in The United Methodist Church. This week I will be attending the Kansas West Annual Conference in Salina, Kansas. I hope to post each day this week about annual conference.
According the the 2008 Book of Discipline ¶601, “The purpose of the annual conference is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by equipping its local churches for ministry and by providing a connection for ministry beyond the local church; all to the glory of God.”
I hope and pray that this gathering of the annual conference will be a means to accomplishing this purpose. Do you believe that your annual conference, Kansas West or elsewhere, fulfills this purpose?
PS – #kswumc is a Twitter hashtag for the annual conference. You can follow live updates from the conference by searching for that text at twitter.com.
On Monday, the Board of Ordained Ministry of the Kansas West Annual Conference recommended me for ordination and full membership. This is officially a recommendation to the clergy session of the annual conference, however practically it was the final approval in the process for me.
This was a journey that began for me before high school when I remember writing in my journal that I may be a pastor one day. In the fall of 2002 I felt called to go to seminary and during the summer of 2004, while working in Yellowstone National Park, I felt called to be a pastor in the local church. I was officially commissioned as a provisional elder of the anual conference in May of 2007 and in a few months I will be ordained.
Thanks to all of you that prayed for me on Monday and that have been guiding, equipping and caring for me throughout this journey.
The next steps from the trip to Zimbabwe are to bring a recommendation to the Focus Team from the Kansas West Annual Conference to move forward, draft a proposal for a covenant and prepare a presentation for Annual Conference.
I am excited to see what will happen in the future and share the stories that I have heard and seen.
I was deeply encouraged by learning about the concept of chabadza. This is a custom of the Shona people of Zimbabwe in which a traveler stops to help anyone whom they pass as they are going on their way. If I am traveling from village to village and see someone working in their field, I will stop to help, even just for a few strokes of a hoe. Then a conversation may start in which I may find directions from the worker and the worker may pass along a message for someone in the next village. It is a mutually beneficial partnership.
Chabadza means that someone is working in the field and a passer by works alongside in the same field with the same goal.
I believe that this is a healthy understanding of partnership and is an excellent model for partnerships between annual conferences.
Today I am traveling to Salina to be interviewed by the Board of Ordained Ministry for admission to full connection and ordination as elder in the Kansas West Annual Conference. I have prepared the paperwork: