A Sincere Thank You

It was a great blessing to work with Bill Gepford this summer at Resurrection Online (www.rezonline.org). Today he is headed back to seminary at Perkins School of Theology.

This summer, Bill pioneered online marketing, built community online each week, equipped simulcast worship locations and launched additional worship times throughout the week.

Most of all, I appreciated the spirit with which he engaged in the task and his sincerity in following Christ.

I pray the best for him in the days ahead. You will want to follow him as I believe God has great things ahead in his life.

Institute: What’s the Point? (5 of 5)

I spent last week at a youth camp, Institute 2010: God’s All Stars, which is a ministry of the Conference Council on Youth Ministry of the Kansas East Annual Conference. This post is part of a series reflecting on the week and making applications for the local church.

I am unable to deny that there are some positive outcomes to Institute. I was still left with the question, What’s the point? It could have been:

  • Provide a safe place for students
  • Offer freely given love as part of a Christian community
  • Create a place where people are always accepted
  • Meet new people
  • Move forward on the journey of becoming a deeply committed Christian.
  • Have fun and play games
  • Create a culture of hearing God’s call to ministry

After a week, I am not sure what is the driving purpose of Institute. Those who come to camp become part of the leadership team that plans the next year. Students come year after year. Adults come to serve because they came when they were young. It has been going for 99 years…

I gained some additional insight from Notes on Camp and commend it to you as a great listen and insight into summer camp of all sorts.

Institute 2010: God’s All Stars

Today begins my first experience of Kansas East Youth Institute. From a promotional poster:

For almost 100 years, young people have come to Baker University in Baldwin City, Kan., to attend United Methodist Youth Institute. Institute is a tradition of the Kansas East Conference Council on Youth Ministry. Institute is a unique week of spiritual formation and discipleship for senior high youth. At Institute, youth are taught to both receive and give care as taught by Jesus Christ.

Youth who have completed the eighth grade through graduating high school seniors are eligible to attend Institute.

The 2010 summer theme is “God’s All-Stars.” The Institute Vision Team selected this theme with you in mind. We will consider how people whom God calls upon for leadership are often a different type of All-Star than those the rest of the world calls upon for leadership.

Here goes something…

@rezonline’s 2010 Summer Intern – @billgepford

I am excited to work with Bill Gepford. He started on Monday as part of the Resurrection Online team as a summer intern. He is a graduate of Kansas State University and finished his first year as a student at Perkins this spring. He will provide significant assistance moving forward the strategies and tactics of Resurrection Online for 2010. It is going to be a great summer!

All Staff Lunch at Resurrection

Yesterday I had a good time as part of the All Staff Lunch at Resurrection. We have these about once a quarter and outside of our weekly staff chapel worship experience it is one of the only times that our entire staff of over 200 gathers together in one place. Here is a brief rundown of the agenda:

  • Lunch – burgers and dog courtesy of Chris Cakes (who knew they cooked up anything other than breakfast food?!)
  • Introduced 10 new staff people since our last all staff lunch in February – including Anthony James, Software / Web Developer who will add significantly to Resurrection Online’s development.
  • Spiritual Retreat Center Update – Latest plans for future development
  • Employee Handbook – Newly refreshed and available for all staff 🙂
  • Wellness Challenge – This time around focusing on eating fruits and vegetables, sleep and exercise.
  • Destination Resurrection – focus on engagement at each of our locations over the summer
  • Annual Conference hosted at Resurrection – The Kansas East Annual Conference will meet for the first time at Resurrection this year.
  • Multi Campus – Future developments for multiple campuses including reorganization to support additional campuses.
  • Input and Dreams next 10 years of ministry at Resurrection

It is really a great time with other staff. Oh and I nearly forgot, that I was part of the “game show” featuring married or engaged couples on staff a la The Newlywed Game. A good time was had by all.

Faith Like a Deciduous Tree (2 of 4)

As the winter has turned to spring in Kansas, I have been reflecting on faith and its comparison to various things in nature. This is the second in a series of posts on this topic.

A deciduous tree is always somewhere in a cycle with its leaves: budding, green, browning, losing and bare. This type of faith would be somewhere in a cycle: growth, vibrancy, losing luster and barren. While a deciduous tree goes through the seasons in a year, this type of faith could cycle much more often or perhaps over a series of years. Like the evergreen tree there would be periods of growth and dormancy, however they would be more noticeable on the outside. Any disease or pests become evident when the leaves begin to turn brown. Questions about faith or times of spiritual discontent would be evident sooner than later. A catastrophic event could completely uproot this tree (or faith) and leave it without roots to die.

Would you like to have faith like a deciduous tree?

What else would you add to this simile?

Summer Reading List

One of the things which I relearned on vacation a couple weeks ago is how important it is for me to spend time reading. It is good for my soul. Here is what I have on my summer reading list:

What other books do you suggest? Any on this list that you think I should read first?