A Season of Transition

It is a season of transition. I have had the opportunity to serve as the preacher at Berryton United Methodist Church since July 1, 2018. On Sunday, I announced during worship that I have received a new appointment from Bishop Ruben Saenz to serve as the pastor at Susanna Wesley United Methodist Church in Topeka beginning July 1, 2019. I will miss the good people of Berryton and am grateful for the care our family has received from both the church and community. I look forward to meeting the people of Susanna Wesley, learning more about the ministries, traditions, hopes, and dreams of the congregation, and continuing to reach the mission field with the good news of God’s love in Jesus Christ. I am also looking forward to learning from Rev. Maria Campbell who has served Susanna Wesley faithfully these past seven years!

The Staff Parish team at Berryton UMC has been in conversation with our District Superintendent, Rev. Kay Scarbrough, about who will be appointed to serve as the next pastor. We will share that news when it is available. Will you take a moment to pray for our community, congregations, Bishop, District Superintendents and our family?

If you would like to get or stay connected with me, here are a few ways:

I am committed to making this transition in the best possible way, including saying goodbye, grieving, finding away in the “in-between” space, saying hello, and engaging new beginnings.

Podcasts and Faith

I enjoy listening to podcasts when I run, when I drive and when I’m working. I love the ability to discover stories, learn new things, stay up-to-date with the news, and more. Lately, several podcasts that are part of my regular listening rotation featured episodes about church and faith. Here is a rundown…

StartUp from Gimlet Media

StartUp is a show about what it’s really like to start a business. I have been a listener from day one. Over several seasons, they have shared the ins and outs of starting a business from scratch. The most recent season is a bit of a shift and one that is particularly fascinating for me – church planters. While I have never planted a church, I have resonated with the real life stories from Restoration Church. Here are the episodes so far:

There is more to come, so don’t forget to subscribe to StartUp here.

This American Life from WBEZ

Unlike StartUp, I have not been listening to This American Life from the beginning. I have been listening for a number of years. The storytelling is world-class. I have appreciated many episodes over the years, though the one that brings them to this post includes a segment about Restoration Church and brings in a bit different angle. You can take a listen at If You Build It, Will They Come?

Hidden Brain from NPR

I have been an on and off again listener to Hidden Brain – usually depending on the opportunities and challenges of a particular season of life. This episode, Creating God, takes a look at how religions have evolved, almost like living organisms, to help human societies survive and flourish. This approach to religion is from a social psychologist and it is fascinating, challenging, and hopeful. You can take a listen at Creating God.

After you listened, what was your response? What podcasts do you listen to on a regular basis?

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

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

Top 10 Ways to Connect

Connecting with people is one of the most important roles of being a pastor. I was inspired by Valeria Maltoni with her list of 100 Ways to Connect. I selected my top 10 from the list at Conversation Agent.

  • Introduce Peers
  • Tell Stories
  • Stay offline when you’re tired or argumentative
  • Brag about your fans’ products and services
  • Become the person you’d like to be
  • Stay soft on people, hard on issues
  • Thank often and liberally
  • Adopt and credit good ideas
  • Appreciate success is several years in the making
  • Set a good example
What do you find to be the most effective ways of connecting with people?

SXSW Interactive – Next Steps for Resurrection Online

This is a collection of next steps for Resurrection Online from my time at SXSW Interactive in categories. Will you please share your thoughts, feelings or opinions about these possible next steps?

The Journey of becoming a Deeply Committed Christian

  • Create opportunities for positive competitive environments – best guidance, most faithful next steps, insightful response to scripture or worship, etc.
  • Create feedback loops for membership expectations.
  • Explore the possibility of allowing users to tag, rate, connect and organize Resurrection’s sermon archive.
  • Encourage offline actions (love your neighbor) through what happens online.

User Design Experience

  • What if we allowed Resurrection Online to be embeddable on other sites?
  • Create the opportunity for people to engage from the very first time they worship online
  • Create a vision onesheet for Resurrection Online
  • Intentionally design a user experience strategy for Resurrection Online
  • Design a user experience that will sustain connection over a long period of time
  • Pay attention to the motivating human behavior for worship online
  • Develop a shaping strategy and view for mainline church online
  • Determine whether Resurrection Online will become a shaping platform for mainline church online
  • Audit the Resurrection Online website

Community Development

  • Develop a way to share and receive stories of people who worship with Resurrection Online.
  • Create opportunities to live out attributes of a community for Resurrection Online
  • Facilitate connections among regular worshipers that are in similar situations
  • Practice random acts of connection among regulars – email, phone, letter.
  • Create predictable programs to invite people to engage – once a week, first Monday, etc.
  • Expand the Resurrection Stories shared via the GPS beyond Lent.
  • Engage with people who I may not recognize as being an influencer
  • Introduce members of the Resurrection Online community to one another.

Game Layer

  • What would a game layer would look like for the journey of knowing, loving and serving God?
  • What would a game layer would look like for worship at Resurrection Online?
  • Design game mechanics for Resurrection Online including: Come and Try It – intial engagement; Bring Friends and Play Together – social; Come Back – creating repeat engagement

Open / Crowdsourced Project

  • Explore open projects for the people of Resurrection Online
  • Set up a crowdsourced project for the people of Resurrection Online about how they became connected with Resurrection Online called Why Resurrection Online?
  • Create opportunities for Resurrection Online regulars to influence future development.
  • Focus on a single platform and use it very well before expanding.
  • Pay attention to whether those that share feedback are regulars at Resurrection Online
  • Ask for ideas to improve Resurrection Online from regulars.

Worship

  • Provide guidance for people to prepare offline for worship online. Some internal preparation may be helpful before you turn on the screen.
  • Do not force people to log in or share contact information to worship
  • Clearly communicate what will be done with information that is received in the attendance form

Be Aware

  • Be aware that Resurrection Online is amazing technology to which some people feel entitled.
  • Be aware that Resurrection Online encourages bilocationality – people trying to be two places at once.
  • Pay attention to guidelines for building an online community as development continues with Resurrection Online
  • Visit the communities where I hope to build Resurrection Online frequently
  • Pay careful attention to the updates that we encourage people to make about Resurrection Online