Technology is great. Until it isn’t. But mostly, it is great. The North District is really spread out. I mean it stretches across the top tier of Arizona, including the entire Grand Canyon! It encompasses Southern Nevada, from Caliente to Laughlin, and then winds down the Colorado River all the way to Parker, AZ. 5 of the 6 largest counties in the US are in the North District, so planning a District meeting is a pretty tall order.
This year DS Dan Morley challenged the churches and the Conference to come up with a way to make it possible to have meetings in 3 locations simultaneously that could connect with technology in order for everyone to enjoy the feeling of community, share a joint worship experience, and utilize our clergy, speakers, and workshop leaders more efficiently. In addition, the goal was to make it possible for more church members to participate by limiting travel and growing their understanding of the scope of our district and the connectional system. With the great resources of technology and personnel, the Conference stepped up with a plan that would have key people in Phoenix orchestrating and controlling much of the technology. Skilled technical people at the three chosen locations bought into the plan, and many clergy and lay people worked tirelessly to make it all happen.
On January 26, by embracing another – the 1 hour time difference, the meetings went live with a greeting by Dan! Leaders and attendees were able to see and hear the messages of energy and hope by Bishop Hoshibata, Rev. Lynn Bartlow’s heartfelt speaking from Flagstaff, Rev.Bob Gilfert ,singing his message in Mohave Valley, and David Devereaux’s energetic sharing from Henderson, NV. Many of the workshops offered that day were live-streamed from one or another of the venues, making it possible for attendees to benefit from presentations by those in other locations. This also gave us a chance to utilize more workshop leaders to round out the offerings at each event. Additional people in each area helped in registration, hospitality, administration, and music. It was truly a celebration and a collaboration of the entire district. Were there glitches? Yes, there were. But they were worked out and the overall feeling was that we had done something pretty amazing and we were proud of how we had all worked together. After all, Technology is great…until it isn’t…but really it’s pretty great, and so is the North District!