Many of our members have reached out to us to express concern about attending the 2020 Annual Meeting in Arlington Virginia. Our Leadership Team has been closely monitoring the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. After much consideration, and out of an abundance of caution and care for our members, we have made the difficult decision to postpone next week’s annual meeting.  We are recommending that the Awards Banquet and some form of UMAC be rescheduled for General Conference in May.  Our leadership team is already working on a plan and we will share that with you soon.  Our attendees will be informed today.

Our team was not concerned about holding UMAC.  The concern was for travel to-and-from this event in the midst of a rapidly unfolding health crisis.  It seemed an unnecessary risk, particularly for those members with existing medical conditions.  Some UMAC members are still planning to attend the Religious Communicators Congress.  We know that RC Congress is also evaluating this situation.  You encourage you to monitor the RC Congress website over the next few days. 

If you were planning to attend UMAC, please take a moment to cancel your airline and hotel reservatioms as soon as possible.

The Leadership Team is extremely disappointed that we will not be meeting together next week. In the end, the health and well-being of our members proved the most important factor in our decision.  We apologize for the inconvenience to UMCOM. Please let us know if you have further questions or need assistance.  You will hear from us soon with a new plan to bring communicators together. 


Marketing, Branding
& Outreach

2:05 – 2:50 p.m.

Need help with your church’s marketing efforts through web, social media and branding/logo development? We will provide information on how United Methodist Communications’ Local Church Services Team can assist your church through our marketing services and promotional grants program and share about training opportunities church leaders can take advantage of.

Presenter Steven Adair — From growing up at Glendale UMC in Nashville, Steven Adair developed a passion for helping local churches reach new people in new ways. In his role at United Methodist Communications, he gets to put his passion into practice as the Director of Local Church Services helping churches with marketing services and promotional grants. Over the last 7+ years with the agency, he has worked with local church event grants, conference relations and most recently managed the social media for the global denomination.

Smartphone Photography
& Videography
2:50 to 3:35 p.m.

In this session, Matt Brodie—production coordinator for the South Carolina United Methodist Conference and a professional photographer and videographer—will help you learn the basics about good photography and videography so you can tell your church’s story in the best way possible. He will discuss lighting, composition, sound, and more, whether you are using first-rate equipment or just your smartphone.

Presenter Matt Brodie: Matt Brodie has served in communications for the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church for 15 years. He joined the staff as communications director in 2005, and in 2016, that department expanded, adding a second communications staffer. Matt shifted to production coordinator for the conference, managing video, photography and other special projects. He also serves as the conference’s disaster response coordinator. He has worked in digital video and photography, and owns and operates a photography and videography studio and digital media marketing company, Brodie Media.

Social Media
for Churches

3:45 to 4:30 p.m.

Not sure what you should be doing on social media? Curious about new social trends your churches could be utilizing? We’ll talk about social media options for churches, best practices, and what you might be wasting precious time on.

Presenter Renee McNeill: With more than 20 years of experience in various media outlets, Renee McNeill has helped brands develop and implement strategies for both internal marketing and public facing campaigns alike. For the past five years, she has used the skills she has acquired not only to help her local church, but also to help those serving in global missions abroad with building awareness. As a Senior Social Media Specialist at United Methodist Communications, she loves helping local churches build community on social media, and in her free time serves on global mission trips to Mozambique and Czechia.  

Improving Your Church Website

4:30 to 5:10 p.m.

Potential guests want to “test drive” your church before visiting in person. How can you ensure your website serves as the evangelism tool you need to reach your mission field? In this workshop we’ll talk about the importance of seeing your website as the real front door to your church by sharing tips for the kinds of content potential guests want to see and how to make the most of your home page to draw in seekers.

Presenter Todd Seifert: Todd Seifert is communications director for the Great Plains Conference and host of the Bible-teaching and discipleship podcast “In Layman’s Terms.” He has served in his current role in the Great Plains since February 2015. Prior to entering full-time communications ministry, he served as a journalist for 20 years in Minnesota, Missouri and Utah. His background includes daily and weekly newspapers, the launch and redesign of news, community and local-church websites, the introduction of video to document breaking news, social media integration into news gathering and dissemination, as well as magazine publishing.

Email Best Practices

5:10 to 5:50 p.m.

Whether you’re preparing content or proofing an announcement for email distribution, having a plan is crucial for successfully conveying your intended message. This workshop will discuss practical tips and best practices for content clarity when using email, and essential components of effective communication

Presenter Jasmine Haynes: Jasmine Haynes is an accredited public relations practitioner (APR) with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from United Methodist-related Dillard University in New Orleans and a master’s degree in mass communication from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Content creation, editing and messaging strategy are just a few of the skills used daily in her current role as communications specialist for the Mississippi United Methodist Conference. In addition to serving the church for over seven years as a staff communicator, Haynes also serves as the lay leader at Middlebrook United Methodist Church in Jackson.