Speedlinking – August 27, 2010

Mayo Clinic - Gonda Building
Image by StefPress via Flickr

Zimbabwe: Photos and Locations (7 of 8)

As much as I have tried to explain in text what the trip to Zimbabwe was like, there is nothing like photos and locations to see what it was like. I created a log of our trip on Google Earth (http://earth.google.com/) which you can download below. You can “fly” to each of the locations that we visited day by day. In addition, I have uploaded all of the photos which I took to Flickr. You can browse them day by day with the link below. Please feel free to share and enjoy.

Google Earth File – http://j.mp/aJPpqH

Photos on Flickr – http://j.mp/a7v11l

Finally, here is a video from one of the sites which we visited. It was a great blessing.

Zimbabwe: Chabadza (6 of 8)

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.

Back in the United States

I made it back safely from Zimbabwe last week with the team from the Kansas West Annual Conference. I had an amazing time hearing stories and meeting the people of Zimbabwe. I am working on sorting through the photos and stories. I hope to be able to share them with you in a few days. One of the techie wins for me on the trip was successful use of a GPS tracker to geotag photos. I am working on marking locations which we visited in Google Earth as well.

Blogging Break – Zimbabwe

Nicole and I are flying tomorrow to Zimbabwe. I will be away from internet access for a while and will take a break from blogging in the interim. I am looking forward to sharing more after our return from the trip on February 9. Will you please pray for safety, health, God’s vision and direction for us while we are away?

Blog Hiatus – Suggestions?

I am taking a blogging hiatus for the rest of the week.

I will be traveling to a Kansas West residency event in the first part of the week and to visit Nicole’s family of origin in North Carolina in the latter part of the week.

In the meantime, I am looking for your guidance.

What would be most helpful for you in future blog posts?

Email me at andrew dot conard at cor dot org with “Blog Idea” in the subject line or leave your comments below. I am ready to hear from you.

Speedlinking – August 19, 2009

–  from From my Dad’s trip to Africa

Celebrate Grandpa’s Birthday

This weekend, Nicole and I are traveling to Plains, KS to celebrate my grandpa’s birthday. There will be a big gathering of my aunts, uncles and cousins. The fun will include a garage sale, an amazing race, cookout at the lake, singing special music in worship and birthday dinner at the church.

This will be the first time that I have been back to Plains since last summer when my grandma died.

It will be good to celebrate and see family. I am looking forward to a long, meaningful and fun weekend.

Road Trip for Worship Online

At the recent National Church Leadership Conference, I had the opportunity to be a part of a workshop about pastoring an online network church. The presenter, Reggie Kidd, is part of the leadership at Northland, A Church Distributed. He shared a video which I found to be fascinating, encouraging and hopeful. What do you think?

Why take a church benchmarking trip?

During my time at Resurrection, I have taken three trips to benchmark other churches.

Each of these trips have been with several other team members. These trips have each had a full schedule and been intense and tiring. In each of the places you can look to see what the church you are visiting is doing better than your current church. However, it is also important to remind yourself what your church is doing that is better than the one you are visiting. It may be helpful to visit a church that would be considered a peer and another that is bigger than what you are currently. Adam reminded us of these things on our trip to Willow and Granger.

I think that the practice of visiting other congregations to learn is something that would be helpful for church, staff and leaders of any size congregation. Being away together as a team allows you to commit time and brain cycles to a particular project. This often cannot happen in the midst of day to day responsibilities. Perhaps more valuable than the time visiting other churches is the time together as a team to build relationships in ways that are not always possible in other settings.

I hope that other congregations make Leadership Institute one of those events for their leaders. I hope to continue this practice in every church of which I am a part.

Integrating the Variegated Life of Theology and Ministry

Does that title make sense to you? It is going to make more sense to me this week. I am currently a probationary member of the Kansas West Annual Conference. I am in a time of preparation for ordination. One of the requirements for ordination is to respond to a series of theological questions in written form. I am taking part in this event – Kaleidoscope: Integrating the Variegated Life of Theology and Ministry – A United Methodist Probationers’ Seminar – in preparation for responding to these questions. From the website:

Candler School of Theology and Gammon Theological Seminary invite you to attend a two-day intensive lecture series for probationary members. The series will focus on the theology inherent in the questions required for full connection in the United Methodist Book of Discipline. Because these questions focus on the integration of theology and the practice of ministry, each session of the seminar will include a lecture presented by a faculty member or church leader followed by a presentation by an elder or deacon who will describe how they integrate that particular theological concept with their practice of ministry.

Nicole and I are going to be flying to Atlanta on Wednesday for this event and will be back on Friday. Are you going to be there? Make sure and leave a comment…