General Conference Cheat Sheet {UPDATED}

General Conference Cheat Sheet via Youthworker CircuitFor those of my United Methodist tribe, we have in one week this monster of gathering we call General Conference. It comes around every four years and becomes the vocal & legislative body for the United Methodist Church. General Conference may not have a direct impact on you and your youth ministry at the local level of practice. But General Conference this year will, most likely, have some effect at your conference and global church level. So things that might be impacting is the perception of the church as a whole, the level of resources, news, structure, and connections that you’ve become accustomed to.

But how in the world will you be able to keep up with all the information, legislation, amendments, votes, reports, and the like? Well.. You probably won’t. Honestly you should probably not try to keep up with all the information flowing out of General Conference, especially if you want to keep your job by the end the events. However, you can use my handy cheat sheet of links and ideas to keep you in the know and engage in #GC2012 in a way that is fruitful.

Pre-Conference 

  • Call to Action:  The Call to Action is going to be the big buzz of conference this year. There are some major restructuring elements contained in the call to action which you may have been hearing about (vital congregations, guaranteed appointments, etc).
  • Plan B: Plan B is a response to the Call to Action in resolution form. This as well calls for changes to the structure/infrastructure of the church.
  • Methoblog: Is a community/collection of methodists around the world who blog and agreed to have their thoughts and conversations funnel through this portal. Check out what some people, just like you in the local ministries of the church are saying and thinking.
  • Issues 2012: United Methodist News services has this simple site set up to help answer questions about what might happen at or be covered at General Conference.

Things News

  • Download the General Conference Mobile App: This is the first year you can download a mobile app to help you navigate General Conference. It has some pretty useful functions of daily schedules (which is a big deal in helping keep up) as well as the live stream.
  • Methoblog & United Methodist News Conversations: Jay Voorhees of the Methoblog, is teaming up with the folks at United Methodist News Service to create a non-traditional news source for the conference. They will not only have the standard stories, but they will also be doing behind the scenes type videos & articles to help you grasp all that goes into the conference and the decisions made. {This is an updated link, as the UMNews folks wanted a separate site from their news to the blogging commentary (aka: snarky stuff)}
  • General Conference Main Page via UMNews: As always you can check out the United Methodist News Service
  • United Methodist Portal General Conference Section: The United Methodist Reporter is our independent media outlet. They have a great team of reporters who will be on site and reporting the news inside and outside the halls of the delegation.
  • Watch the Live Stream: The live stream looks like it will be integrated with your twitter profile if you want to do live chat. Might have a Facebook integration when it finally goes live. There is a comment capability already available, which you can subscribe to for updates when others comment (you might get a lot of emails by doing this, consider it your warning). Watching the live stream of action can be a whirlwind of information and inspiration. Services as well as legislative sessions will be streamed.

 

Things Social

  • Twitter Conversations: #gc2012 is the un-official hashtag of General Conference and can be used to search all the conversations, links, opinions and photos from conference.
  • General Conference Delegates Twitter List: Andrew Schleicher has a growing list of General Conference delegates, so keep in the know by keeping up with people who are there, working the committees and voting on legislation.
  • Young Adults & Youth Leader Delegate Listing: We have started our own list of delegates and attenders to conference that are young adults and/or youth workers. You can interact with these folks through twitter to ask questions and their view of what might happen.
  • General Conference Facebook Page: Not a twitter person? Get plugged in with the conference Facebook page. You can start conversations, make comments, or just keep up with what others are sharing.
Things Friendly
  • Organize a Viewing Party: in the last general conference my favorite part was getting online to view the live stream with friends. It was great to keep up with the fast pace of legislation and give shout outs to people we knew. Someone would even keep up with all the amendments as they were happening (updated on the UMC.org general conference webspace). You can use services like Google Plus Hangouts a webinar service like Anymeeting or even Skype. Not that technical? Have some folks over at the house or at the church to watch. Just be sure someone brings food, we are methodists remember.

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Comments

  1. says

    Gavin, I’d like to encourage you and your readers also to check out United Methodist Insight, http://um-insight.net for General Conference updates. Our educational project has been gathering together in one place a wide-ranging collection of information and resources about General Conference issues for several months. As the project coordinator, I will attend the second week of General Conference, when legislation is voted on, and will be posting regular updates via our website, Facebook and Twitter. Thanks.

    • says

      Patrick,

      Please feel free to do that. There is also a post from last week by the AGS DYMP about why GC should matter to Youthworkers you might want to link to as well.

      Thanks for helping to get the word out!

      ~Charles

  2. says

    One in five youths has a disability. I don’t see that being addressed in the “Youth Worker Categories.” Maybe next time?

    From a former youth minister and one who now works with youth with disabilities.

    • says

      Naomi, that is an aspect of ministry we have not covered with any real dedication. Thanks for calling us out on it. If you would like to write something for YWM we are always looking for contributions.

  3. Mark Hagewood says

    Gavin,
    Here are a couple of other people you may want to add to your GC Twitter list:
    GBHEM Staff who have a vested interested in young people: @MegLassiat, @pastordj, @GBHEM
    Young Adult Delegate: @pastormelissa
    Other young adults present (not sure if they are delegates or not): @theonj3, @justinhalsberma, @aprilcasperson

    Thanks for the article!

    Mark

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