Wednesday, May 8, 2019

I Rediscovered I Have a Blog

How can one forget about their blogging?

Rather easily it seems.

Even easier to forget how to access your blog if you have a new laptop.

My day job is with the conference office of the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church. After 25 years in congregational ministry, in October 2014 I was appointed in a new, different position working 2/3 time for North Georgia with Connectional Ministries with focus on mission, and 1/3 time working with our UMC Global Ministries. Starting July 2018 I became 100% North GA conference employee though I continued to relate to Global Ministries as they are in Atlanta, and so much of my work has connection to mission. For North Georgia, our Connectional Ministries office (relating to the wide variety of congregational ministries) joined with New Church Development to become the Center for Congregational Excellence. Our unit is a stellar crew of program ministry people who serve as true circuit riders serving hundreds of churches as we train, consult, network, and encourage churches in taking next steps in effectiveness. My area relates to mission and disaster response, though much of what I do seems to be community engagement and helping churches become outward focused. In many ways, I continue to be a program director, as I help churches know their context, evaluate what they are doing, and adjust to be more useful to God and neighbor. It's a fun, challenging ride that I love and grow in every day.

I suppose I lost my practice of blogging due to the miles and meetings. If you know Georgia geography, I live near Augusta, and much of my work is around metro Atlanta. Augusta is 2 to 2 1/2 hours away from everything. Add to it that in the last couple of years, we've continued to have major hurricanes in the region, so my disaster response portfolio has grown significantly. I also work with One Board/ Simplified Accountability Structure for congregations, as well as Fresh Expressions. Another fun area is missional discipleship, especially as it relates to being new forms of church, i.e. not cookie cutter institutional congregations but vital, dynamic, contextually adaptive faith movements. So, we add, adapt, and get into more adventures to help churches both in their decision making structures as well as their local outreach and expression.

Don't even get me started on the UMC denominational mess of General Conference, delegates, special conferences, and everyone with opinions. In many ways it seems we opine on the things we can't control, or vote on, and don't attend to what is closest, local, and we can control. It's such a mess, and while I will hesitate to add to the noise, I have some thoughts. Or, more likely, I'll share some of the "best of the best" that I see being shared. My primarily interest will be in the approaches and systems that elevate a United Methodist witness and connectional ministry.

More in the days ahead as I attempt to get back into a routine. The discoveries I share might relate to Church, or farm, or food, or photo, or other things I learn or question along the way. You know, unless I lose my blog again.

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