Dear UMAC –
Greetings on behalf of the Leadership Team.
I hope you had a chance to watch our fun video about UMAC23.
As all of you know, it’s been far too long since we’ve been together as a family of communicators.
We all know what has transpired since we were last together, most of it out of our control. During our last UMAC meeting, held virtually in Nashville, we committed to doing all we can to make sure we can re-gather together, in person, in 2023.
Since then, the leadership team has been meeting every month virtually and once in person in Atlanta. While at that meeting in Atlanta, we spent a considerable amount of time reimagining what an in-person UMAC meeting might look like, and we are eager to live into some of those ideas.
One of our decisions is to shift our annual meeting from the spring to the fall. This was agreed upon for a variety of reasons.
First, resorting to our fall schedule (once the norm for UMAC), a fall meeting will mean that, in 2024, we will gather AFTER General Conference. Gathering together as communicators AFTER GC24 will be very important.
We can lean on one another to determine the best communication strategies in each of our local contexts, following what we think will be a critical General Conference in the life of our beloved denomination.
As we met, we also discerned our theme for 2023: Salt & Light.
We had a lot of ideas, but the Biblical call for all of us to be salt and light to the world spoke to us, and it specifically spoke to us as communicators.
How can our words, Facebook posts, videos, Instagrams, TikToks, graphics, and tweets provide salt and light at this particular time in the life of the church?
We don’t have the answers except to say two things – we will seek those answers together with the help of the Holy Spirit.
So – where will we do this?
Charleston, South Carolina, October 22-25.
I speak on behalf of the entire leadership team when I say we cannot wait to be back together. So – place a hold on your calendar for the fourth week in October in Charleston.
We will have details very soon on the hotel arrangements.
We will also pass along details about the UMAC awards. Because we are meeting later in the year, the deadline for award submission will shift to later in the year.
Again, we will pass along those details very soon.
Friends, in this season of giving thanks, we want each of you to know how much we value you and the work you continue to do.
Whether you are communicating on behalf of an annual conference, a general agency, or a local church, communicating today is vitally important, and – as you know all too well – it’s also incredibly challenging.
Know that we are praying for you, and we are also here to support you.
We wish you a joyful Christmas and a very happy new year.
May you find the rest and peace you need to continue your important work, sharing the good news of Jesus with the world.