Annual Meeting


We all know we live in an ever-changing world. Between the uncertainties in The United Methodist Church regarding human sexuality, our attempts to keep up with technology and continued shifts along the political spectrum, it can be difficult to keep up. UMAC can help.

Join us March 7-9, 2018, in Philadelphia for an opportunity to discuss and learn from each other how we can “Embrace Change.”


Our 2018 United Methodist Association of Communicators (UMAC) annual meetings will be in Philadelphia, where a great change in the world was born with the beginnings of the United States of America.

With this historic city as our backdrop, this year’s UMAC meetings promise to provide stimulating discussion, fun times as we network, a walk through history as we worship and tour landmark churches and, of course, plenty of opportunities to learn information and skills that will help you embrace change and enhance your ministry as a communicator.

You won’t want to miss:

Local Church Communications School

Developed especially for local-church communicators and pastors, this one-day event will expose you to some of the latest technology and practices in the communications industry. Every component of this school, which runs from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (including lunch) Wednesday, March 7, is aimed at helping the local church thrive in its mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Communications Skills Breakout Sessions

The afternoon of Thursday, March 8, participants in the UMAC annual meetings will have the opportunity to choose attend four workshops of about 45 minutes each that will be filled with useful information and tips to help you in your communications ministry. If you liked our “speed-training” opportunities from the past year, you’ll enjoy this concept, which features more depth to the topics open for discussion and learning.

Advocacy Communications Panel

Need some help in communicating advocacy on a subject? This panel may be just the inspiration you’ll need. UMAC is honored to welcome our panel of experienced advocates to provide tips and some of their stories. Our panel consists of the Rev. David Brown, a United Methodist pastor, professor at Temple University and public relations expert; Rev. Robyn Hynicka, pastor of Arch Street United Methodist Church in Philadelphia, which is well known for its efforts to advocate for the least, the last and the lost; Bishop Peggy Johnson, episcopal leader of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference who has a passion for people with disabilities; Susan Greer Burton, director of women and children’s advocacy for the General Board of Church and Society; and Rev. Hector Burgos, director of connectional ministries in the Greater New Jersey Conference with experience advocating for Latinos.

Keynote Speakers

Our keynote speakers will be announced soon. This year’s speakers are asked to share with communicators associated with The United Methodist Church some of their creative approaches to the everyday duties shared by people in our industry. The goal with all of the people the UMAC leadership team is inviting to take part is to provide our attendees with some outside-the-box ideas to addressing issues and concerns that most of us face regularly as we go about our job of getting the message of the Church out to our ever-changing world.

Step Into Philadelphia’s Rich History

United Methodist churches have played a key role in the Philadelphia community. And you’ll have the opportunity to visit three of them during this year’s UMAC meetings. First, attendees of the local-church communications school will have the opportunity to tour St. George’s Church, which hosts a museum that promises to transport you back to the origins of our denomination. Our opening worship on March 8 will be in historic Arch Street United Methodist Church, known for its vibrant ministry to the poor and for the way in embraces diversity. Our closing worship will be at Tindley Temple United Methodist Church, a church whose history is woven into American history, perhaps most famously for singing “We Shall Overcome.”

Tentative Schedule

Wednesday, March 7

  • 11 a.m. – Registration opens
  • 11:30 a.m. – Local-church communicator and pastors school (includes lunch)
  • 3 p.m. – Optional tour of St. George’s Church
  • 5 p.m. – Members meeting
  • 6 p.m. – Opening reception

Thursday, March 8

  • 7:30 a.m. – Breakfast
  • 8 a.m. – Opening plenary with Dan Krause, general secretary of United Methodist Communications
  • 9 a.m. – Opening worship at Arch Street United Methodist Church
  • 10:15 a.m. – Panel discussion on advocacy communication
  • 12:15 p.m. – Lunch
  • 1:15 p.m. – Keynote address
  • 2:30 p.m. – Four breakout sessions (45 minutes each)
  • 4:15 p.m. – UMCOM Shop Talk
  • 6 p.m. – Break for the evening

Friday, March 9

  • 7:30 a.m. – Breakfast with information from general boards and agencies
  • 8 a.m. – Business meeting
  • 9:30 a.m. – Innovation Talks
  • 11 a.m. – Keynote address
  • Noon – Lunch
  • 2:15 p.m. – History of Tindley Temple United Methodist Church (at the church site)
  • 2:30 p.m. – Panel discussion on honoring our history while leading through change
  • 3:30 p.m. – Closing worship at Tindley Temple UMC
  • 6 p.m. – Reception
  • 6:30 p.m. – Awards banquet

Previous Annual UMAC Meetings