Here is a quick listing of some of the learnings and experiences from our 2018 North District Leadership Conference (February 3). We tried something new – One District Conference in Three Sites (Mohave Valley, Flagstaff, and Las Vegas). Perhaps everyone who braved the experiment should receive an “I survived…” t-shirt!
Peace and Grace in Christ,
Peace and Grace in Christ, Dan
(Superintendent and Missional Strategist/DSC of the UMC)
- We enjoy connecting and getting together —
- It is pleasant to catch up with friends in the faith.
- It is encouraging to hear ideas and how together we are meeting the challenges for our ministries.
- Our River and Canyon Cluster members appreciate the effort made for more local arrangements. We celebrate the many who joined in the conference for the first time. A majority at the Flagstaff and Mohave Valley sites were new participants.
- We experience challenges in connecting across our vast district. Travel is time-consuming and even dangerous. As was mentioned in the opening welcome — our North District connects across the top tier of the largest land mass counties of our country (Coconino, Nye, Mohave, Lincoln, and San Bernardino counties are in the top 5 and then Navajo and Clark counties are not far behind). Yet, connecting over the web has its challenges, too.
- Our church internet connections need strengthening to accommodate the video feed in both directions.
- We need to increase proficiency with our ZOOM application of web video conferencing for improved sound, video interface, and breakout group connection.
- We need a few more pieces of hardware to sharpen our presentations — such as video cameras, microphones, and large screen monitors/TVs.
- We have incredibly dedicated servants who step forward to lead in all areas — hospitality, teaching, technical, and music. They did so with much grace, good humor, and a servant’s heart.
- Folks were willing to try something new in One District Conference — Three Sites. Though we were inexperienced as a District in the scope of the task, there were willing spirits to give it the best effort. We are willing to take risks and allow for failures, as long as we learn from them.
- Our input session with MissionInsite.com opened the many layers and depth of material through the service of this website to which each church has access. Though it offered much insight, the format of presentation needed to be more tailored to our multisite format and more interactive by allowing participants to ask questions as well as directly engage the website.
- We seek to live out our declared values as a district in the Desert Southwest Conference. Look over the below values which we as a conference affirm, and notice how many we were able to experience through our district conference.
- For our 2019 District Conference, it is our intent to advance these values even further. We also intend to take the next step in One District Conference–Three Sites, by creating the experience of a three-way conversation in which each site will take part in leading and sharing during the conference.
The Vision of The Desert Southwest Conference of The United Methodist Church:
God has called us to be a Courageous Church: Loving Like Jesus – Acting for Justice – United in Hope
Our Values – God is Calling Us Towards: Living into the vision of being a courageous church, we believe the following values are necessary for growth and vitality.
Trust — We believe in God’s love and work among us, confidently relying on God and one another.
Compassion — We see the image of God in all of creation, expressing the depth of love Jesus shared with the world.
Relationship — We build grace-filled relationships with our neighbors–becoming involved, serving with, and creating new ministry partnerships–acknowledging we exist for more than just ourselves.
Authenticity — We live into our identity as followers of Jesus while upholding the diverse expression of God’s calling in each ministry setting.
Boldness — We take risks to follow where Christ leads us.
Collaboration — We share learning together and beyond ourselves, relying on one another’s strength, abilities, resources, and courage.