My name is Andrew Conard. I am a Christian, husband, son, brother, friend, United Methodist and a pastor of Congregational Care at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. I am particularly interested in living life as a disciple of Jesus Christ, the emerging movement, and renewal in mainline churches. I joined Resurrection in July of 2006 after graduating from Wesley Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity degree. Prior to seminary, I attended Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, KS and received a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2003.
I am a Kansas native. I was born in Lyons and my parents currently live in central Kansas. Andrew is married to Rev. Nicole Conard, who is also a Church of the Resurrection pastor. Andrew and Nicole met at Wesley Theological Seminary and were married in June of 2006.
My vocation as minister is to live my whole life in response to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am called to share my life with other people and help them connect with God’s love in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. This best happens in ways that are meaningful, personal and in community with others. I am convinced that the best way to fulfill my response to God is to be continually open to the way God is at work in and around me. I am passionate about connecting theology to real life and exploring the significance of having an identity in Christ and as a United Methodist.
Why do you blog?
Blogging helps me to articulate my thoughts about faith, life and ministry. I blog to interact with the congregation that I serve, United Methodists, non-believers and believers of all kinds. I hope to share my passion and be a catalyst for renewal within the United Methodist Church and spiritual revival in the state of Kansas.
What has been your best blogging experience?
Meeting people in the congregation whom I had not met before, but who had read my blog.
What would be your main advice to a novice blogger?
Pay little attention to blog and feed stats.
If you could only read three blogs a day, what would they be?
unclutterer - http://unclutterer.com//
[daily dose of imagery] - http://wvs.topleftpixel.com//
Signal vs. Noise - http://blogcabin.37signals.com/
Who are your spiritual heroes?
Martin Luther King, Jr., Karl Barth, Lesslie Newbigin, Mark and Joyce Conard, Everett and Nora Fieser, Richard Foster, John Wesley, Charles Wesley, …
What are you reading at the moment?
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. The tactics described in this book have been transformational in the way that I approach tasks at work.
What is your favorite hymn and why?
Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing is my favorite hymn. I find that it expresses both my inclination as a human to turn away from God and God’s pursuit of me in spite of myself.
Can you name a major moral, political, or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind?
Several years ago, I was a strong supporter of farm subsidies as a way to enable farmers to make a living. I have become more aware about the effects that subsidies in the United States have on farmers around the globe. Today, I lean toward supporting the end of all farm subsidies. However, I still struggle with what is the most faithful side to support. Several of my aunts and uncles make their living as farmers.
What philosophical thesis do you think is most important to combat?
I think that that it is important to combat the culture of global consumerism. I believe that it promotes self-centered consumption and disregard for others. When people are enmeshed in global consumerism they are less likely to live in to God’s economy.
If you could effect one major change in the governing of your country, what would it be?
I would implement term limits for senators and representatives. I believe that when elected officials are in the capital, either state or national, for a sustained period of time there is a great possibility of losing touch with those whom they have been elected to represent.
If you could effect one major policy change in the United Methodist Church, what would it be?
I would remove guaranteed appointments for clergy. I believe that this would lead to increased effectiveness of leadership across the denomination.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life?
Do not take yourself too seriously.
What, if anything, do you worry about?
At times I worry about taking good care of the body which God has given me in this life.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything that you'd do differently?
I do not think I would do anything differently. This is not to say that I have had a blissful existence since birth, there have been good and bad times. I think that all things in my life have shaped me into the person that I am today.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do now)?
I would enjoy living close to a stop on public transportation.
What do you like doing in your spare time?
I enjoy running - for fun, exercise and stress relief. I like to take photographs both to remember particular people and events and to capture interesting subjects and scenes.
What is your most treasured possession?
I treasure relationships. But I am not sure that I can say that they are possessions.
What talent would you most like to have?
I would like to have the ability to play the piano well. I took piano lessons for years growing up, but have not played much since high school.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner, who would they be?
Arlyn E. Conard, Martin Luther King, Jr., John Wesley. I am not sure how the conversation would go between them, but these are three people with whom I think I would enjoy conversation.