Guidance and Encouragement with Andrew Conard

Image by snowriderguy via Flickr

I believe that renewal is possible within The United Methodist Church. While there are many avenues that this renewal will continue to occur, one of them is in leaders mentoring other leaders. I recognize that I have much to learn and experience, however I believe that I may be able to offer some guidance and encouragement to those who are pursuing ordination as an Elder in the UMC.

I want to offer and receive guidance and encouragement for one year. I commit to monthly conversations for mutual encouragement, learning and guidance. I will do what I can to help you be successful in reaching the goals that God has made real in your life.

Only 1 spot is available.

The application is open to anyone, however I recognize this is not going to be the best fit for all people. I am currently serving as Pastor of Resurrection Online and in that role hope to use technology as a tool to build a Christian community where non religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians online and in person. I was ordained as an Elder in Full Connection in the Kansas West Annual Conference last year and hope to be helpful to someone who will be ordained from 2013 to 2016.

If you are interested, please email me at with “Guidance and Encouragement” in the subject line and please respond to: Will you please tell me about yourself?

Why would this be helpful for you?

What are you hoping for?

Deadline is October 20, 2010.

I was inspired to try this by Kent Shaffer, author of Church Relevance in his post at Free Coaching with Kent Shaffer.

Take thou Authority and Responsibility…

Seth Godin
SetImage via Wikipedia

In the post, Responsibility and authoritySeth Godin (picture to the right) inspired me to suggest a change in the phrasing used at the ordination of every United Methodist Elder. The post is short enough to warrant reposting:

“Many people struggle at work because they want more authority.

It turns out you can get a lot done if you just take more responsibility instead. It’s often offered, rarely taken.

(And you can get even more done if you give away credit, relentlessly).”

This post lead me to the conclusion that it would be helpful to reword the phrase used by a United Methodist bishop when ordaining elders should be “Take thou responsibility and authority…”

My Ordination

This is a video of highlights from the 2010 Ordination and Commissioning Service at the Kansas West Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. It has been edited to highlight my ordination. Thanks to the Kansas West Communications team for their work in producing the entire service.

Speedlinking – August 13, 2010

Speedlinking – June 18, 2010

2010 #kswumc – Ordination Service

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.

Thanks be to God.

2010 #kswumc – Zimbabwe Partnership

Yesterday I focused a lot of my energy around the covenant between the Kansas West and Zimbabwe East Annual Conferences. It was my responsibility to pull together the team that shared stories of the trip and presented the legislation. While not speaking, I probably got more anxious than was strictly necessary trying to corral the effort. It went great. Wonderful stories and testimonies shared, excellent video production, good discussion from the floor and in the end a unanimous approval. Following the presentation was the Taste of Zimbabwe dinner. I cooked up some of the vegetables over lunch break during conference and served sadza and rice during the meal. Bishop Nhiwatiwa spoke just the right amount and was encouraging, insightful and funny. I have found his words meaningful every time that he has addressed a group of which I have been a part.

A few other highlights from yesterday:

  • Starting off the day with a presentation of Godspell
  • Responding to Wesley’s historic questions in front of the annual conference along with the others to be ordained tonight.
  • Hearing the stories of the retirees in their own words at the retirement service last night. Especially, my Aunt Karen Osterman Fieser as she retired from over 25 years as a chaplain at Wesley Medical Center.
  • Meaningful conversations with various colleagues throughout the day.

It is good to be here.