Selfie pics – they are not an invention of our day, but they are certainly a sign of our times. We quickly snap them to mark the occasion — a freeze frame of a moment in time. Sometimes we take several until getting the one that works – sort-of. Selfie’s are a strange thing – we want to document the moment of the experience and the location, but we zoom in on ourselves. The selfie inevitably looks distorted and not genuine and it ignores or dismisses the larger picture.
I do like to locate myself in the moment and in the scene. It is important to mark the occasion and my part in it, but I also want to pull back to see the surroundings and note the context. This selfie with my daughter, Ally, is from a bicycle ride we took this summer in Port Townsend, WA. We cycled the Larry Scott Trail along the coast. But from the selfie, you would never know the gorgeous view of the ocean, with the boats on the water, and the beautiful, lush trees along the trail.
It is soon time to make the annual circuit with our District Lay Leader, Phyllis Murray. We will connect with each of our churches across the North District through our local church conferences in which we seek to help us all to be mindful of the larger context of our ministry. The District Superintendent and Lay Leader are the connecting agents in our United Methodist Church. We know we are stronger together and we also know that we need promptings to pull the lens back to get the larger view.
Another neat setting on my smart phone camera is the panoramic view. With a touch of a button, the camera takes a series of photos as I pan the scene before me. It then digitally pastes the many snaps together and creates a single panoramic view. I pray that is what we do together as I travel the district this fall — a panoramic with each church, each ministry, each person, which when it comes together gives inspiration of the scope of our ministry together.
Click here and put the address of your church in the Google Map search (I like to also select the Earth view in lower left) — when your church is located on the map, then zoom in close as you can. Notice what and who is around the church. Begin to “zoom out” and stop every so often and notice the homes, businesses, schools, parks and pray for the people of your parish. Then, “zoom out” and pray some more. Keep getting a larger picture of the world in which you and your ministry are located.
You are a part of something grand — the work of Christ around the world — a global church for a global people — the United Methodist Church.
Blessings in Christ,
Rev. Dan Morley North District Superintendent