By Steve Casteel
We live in an age where information moves at the speed of light. There is so much information all around us. Sometimes I feel information overload. On the other hand we live in a community of faith where we need to share information well. I have discovered so many incredible stories to be told across this conference. There is an abundance of information about ways we are making disciples and changing the world. You need to hear and share them.
Connectional Ministries has repeatedly heard that there is a lack of information flow from our office. As we have reflected on that we have had extensive conversations about how to get the word out. The problem is that our methods of communication depend on you. The Advocate, the web site, the “Word” and “Connectivity” are all dependant on your receiving and responding.
In a recent conversation someone reminded me of the root word of “information.” The messages and stories we receive are “formational.” We are “in” “formed” by this endless flow. What we think and believe is shaped by information. The lack of information causes the creation of information such as rumor or gossip. We are committed to help the flow of information. We want to be able to hear from you about how God is at work in your life or community of faith. For this to happen we need two things to be in place.
First you need to help us update our contact lists and let us know if you are receiving communication. We need a point of contact. Secondly we need you to know how to contact us. Our phone number is 601- 354-0515. Yes, sometimes there is an electronic answer and it can be maddening, but we are earnestly seeking to answer each call as quickly as possible. Our e-mail addresses are simple. Mine is firstname.lastname@example.org. Administrative Assistant Krystal Bonds’ is email@example.com. Michelle Foster, Fitzgerald Lovett, Jorge Navarrete and Roger Shock can all be contacted by typing their first name and then @mississippi-umc.org. We are currently redesigning the web pages for our ministries and hope to have that project finished by January.
Beginning in August we will relaunch the “Connectivity” e-news. Every first Monday we will send it out. It will contain information about calendar events and stories of “disciple making” and “world changing.” Then each week we will send out a Connectivity Update. For this to be truly effective we need you to send us those stories. This is only a part of our strategy. There will be more. Help us by sharing ideas and information. May the flow begin.
Casteel is an elder in the Mississippi Conference and serves as director of Connectional Ministries.