Reflections on Day 2 of #gc2019

This morning I led worship at Berryton United Methodist Church and preached a sermon about being in connection with one another – Moved to Connect. It is the second in a three part series, The Movement Continues. It is focused on who we are as United Methodist Christians. During our worship service, we lifted up the delegates and work of the General Conference in prayer at both of our worship services. After leaving the church building, I visited one of our congregants who just entered hospice care and then it was time to head home. In between all of these, I was listening and watching the live video stream of General Conference.

Church and Technology

Each time the church gathers with voting devices of any sort, there is some time that is taken making sure that everyone knows how and is able to vote correctly. My first response was, “Why can’t we move through this any faster?” However, I quickly caught myself with the reminder of how important it is that each person is able to understand the tools that are available to them before they are able to use them effectively. Training and practice to prepare will always be helpful in making progress later.

One Legislative Committee

One of the interesting aspects of this General Conference is that there is a legislative body of the entire body. Most often, delegates are divided among a variety of legislative committees which address legislation to be brought back to the entire General Conference. It was surprising to see a non-bishop leading on the livestream, though it seems likely that the Rev. Joe Harris could become a candidate for bishop.

Prioritizing Legislation

I found the voting method to prioritize legislation to be genius. A vote for high or low priority for each piece of legislation with the results being held until the end was a bit mind-numbing on the live video stream, however it was an efficient way of getting of sense of a sense of the body of delegates regarding the entire set of legislation. As a supporter of full inclusion of all people in the life and ministry of the church, it was disheartening to see the One Church Plan ranked as a lower priority than the Traditional Plan.

Early Adjournment

I was puzzled by the vote to adjourn with nearly 45 minutes remaining until the scheduled adjournment for the day. After dealing with the legislation from Wespath, it was suggested that it would be best to wait until the morning to take up the Traditional Plan. On the one hand, probably so. It was nearing the end of the day and there will be a great deal of speaking against and for, amending, substituting, and other legislative maneuvering. On the other hand, probably not. There is less than 18 hours remaining on the schedule for the work to be completed.

In either case, it seemed that it was time for supporters of both the One Church Plan and Traditional Plan to take in the votes of the day and make plans for the best approach to move ahead tomorrow.

Thank You

I am grateful for the time, effort, and dedication of all the delegates.

I continue to pray for wisdom, clarity, peace, and endurance.

Thank you for your service during these days.

Your work makes a difference.

Rest well tonight.

Blog Reboot: How to Succeed at Everything (1 of 4)

I am a fan of technology. Technology can be used in a variety of ways that vary from mundane, productive, entertaining and more. I have recently started using an app that has made a tangible difference in my behavior in the real world. An app that is helping me make progress on things that I care about in my real life.

I recommend Lift to you.

Lift is an iPhone and Android app that “employs coaching, community, and data to help you be your best.” According to their website, it provides:

  • Coaching – Stay motivated with guidance, encouragement, and optional reminders.
  • Community – Learn from thousands of experts and users following similar goals.
  • Data – Lift makes it easy to track, analyze, and celebrate progress.

I joined the Better Blogging in 30 Days plan which has helped me begin to update this blog after a long time away. I use Lift for a variety of daily habits I want to maintain or start and commend it to you.

What tools do you use to make progress on those things about which you care the most?

Online Memory of Life at 1000 Memories

Image representing 1000Memories as depicted in...
Image via CrunchBase

What is an appropriate way to remember someone online after they have died?

You find http://1000memories.com to be a useful tool to recommend to others. Here is a bit from their website:

1000Memories is a new way to remember the life of someone you love. We help you build a space to share photos, record stories, and memories with family and friends. Everyone knows a person in a different way and together, we can create a truly special place to remember a life. It’s absolutely 100% free to use and your memories will be stored here forever.

How do you feel about this?

Speedlinking – August 13, 2010

Online Spiritual Direction – Engage?

Last week at The Global Leadership Summit I heard about Engage, which is (from the vide0) “an online experience and guide to help you personally. Engage is like your personal spiritual coach.” From the promo text at the Summit – “A web-based church-wide people development system where spiritual formation, technology, and social media converge.” You can find more information at www.willowcreek.com/engage. Here is the promo video:

Isn’t this spiritual direction?

I will be happy to look at a product when it can be used in a local church.

Internet #FAIL at Resurrection Online

The past Sunday morning was not a great at Resurrection Online. First, here is a normal graph of connections from the evening service on June 13:

The blue line is the number of computers that are connected and the green is the estimated worship attendance. The black line at the bottom is the iPhone stream multiplied by 10 so that you can see it on the graph. Here is the graph from Sunday morning:

  1. The initial drop in traffic was the result of a loss of connection between the Resurrection Servers and the Wowza flash servers at Amazon sending out the Flash stream. iPhone stream was not affected, likely as it was on a different subdomain.
  2. Losing the video feed will cause people to reload the page which puts a heavy load on our web server. The deep spike is when the web server was rebooted as people were trying to reconnect.
  3. Uptake around 11:27 was from people seeking to reconnect. The Wowza flash servers were not able to maintain the traffic when people were seeking to reconnect so we did not sustain those who sought to get the connection.
  4. The main player was switched to the iPhone stream around 11:40 and the flash servers restarted.
  5. Restarting the flash servers regained their functionality.

Although the initial failure was out of our control, we are taking steps to mitigate the issue. Sending streams to two different Amazon availability zones with a primary and back up built in as well as continuing to explore other content delivery networks will hopefully move toward preventing this in the future. We have a catastrophic failure like this less than 2% of the time, however we can and need to do better than that.

Thanks to Ian’s quick work on Sunday morning to salvage those that were able to continue worshipping and the entire IT team for the amazing work they do to make Resurrection Online and all of Resurrection’s tech happen well.