Are you currently working in the ministry of communications in the Episcopal Church? You are not alone. Episcopal Communicators invites you to join the group to gain access to your most valuable resource: your peers. Membership information is available at https://episcopal-communicators.wildapricot.org/Membership.
One of the real joys of being a member is the opportunity to participate in the annual conference. In addition to being a chance to attend a fun gathering of bright, enthusiastic people engaged in communication for the Episcopal Church, the speakers and workshops of the conference provide a continuing education opportunity not to be missed.
We were afraid we might miss the conference this year. It was to have been held in Savannah, GA in April, and we all know what was happening in April. At that point many communicators were working frantically to figure out how to live stream virtual church. The good news was that the event was postponed until August and then re-worked as a virtual conference. Wow!
The plenary sessions were both incredibly timely. The recordings will become available for those who were unable to attend.
The first plenary was by the Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija, the founding director of TryTank. What’s that? TryTank https://www.trytank.org/ is an experimental lab for church growth and innovation. You’ll have to visit the website and sign up for the newsletter to get a real idea of the exciting things going on. TryTank has tried some exciting things and some that fell flat, but gave insight into what might work better. The next webinar, “Leadership Skills for the Next Ten Years” is scheduled for December 9, 2020 as an online event. The recordings of the last two webinars are on the website: Being a Dispersed Church and Faith in the Future.
The second plenary session was “Becoming a Beloved Community: A Panel Discussion”. The panel was moderated by Miriam McKenney, Development Director, Forward Movement, and the panelists were: Gerlene Gordy, Communications, Navajoland Area Mission, Bishop Frank Logue of the Diocese of Georgia; Sandra Montes, Interim Director of Worship at Union Theological Seminary and Spanish Language Resource Consultant at ECF. They discussed questions about the stories we are called to tell: What is the role of Episcopal Communicators in helping tell stories around race? What are the stories we tell, and what are the stories we hide? What happens after you tell the story? Join us for a discussion about Becoming Beloved Community as we discern how the stories we tell move us closer to becoming the beloved community God dreams for us. This was a moving presentation.
In addition to the Plenary Sessions, there were three opportunities to attend workshops on Zoom, which allowed for some interaction. These were all outstanding!
Finally, the eagerly anticipated event that ends every conference is the Polly Bond Awards presentation. Inspired by Polly Bond, a beloved communicator and founding member of the organization, the Polly Bond Awards for Excellence in Communication recognize outstanding work produced by members, across a variety of categories. Members may submit up to 10 entries for consideration, with a maximum of three in one category. Independent judges — accomplished professionals in the fields of journalism, writing, editing, graphic design, electronic media, social media, marketing and related fields — review these entries, provide written feedback for each, and awards up to three levels of recognition. Province II was well represented and congratulations go to:
An excellent conference! Now we’re waiting to see what will happen in 2021. The General Convention Year Conference is traditionally held at Kanuga in NC and the venue has been scheduled. Of course, no one has any idea what will happen in 2021, so we will all just have to wait and see when, where and how EpisComm21 unfolds. Meanwhile, if you work on communications in the Episcopal Church, become a member now!