Monday, January 26th at 9pm Eastern/6pm Pacific, the online chat for United Methodists will feature special guest The Connectional Table which will lead us through a conversation about human sexuality and the UMC.
The Connectional Table is one of the big-time committees in the United Methodist Church, tasked with articulating the present and visioning the future of the UMC. One of the areas they are exploring is human sexuality, including the debate over LGBT inclusion in the church. They have hosted several forums and alongside each have included live questions from online folks (Twitter and email).
There’s a problem: the next chat in Mozambique on February 10th doesn’t have the proper technical needs to be able to livestream the conversation so that the online community can engage in real time. A conversation they were hoping to have simultaneously between the African community and the rest of the world via online channels cannot happen in real time.
To solve this problem, DreamUMC, the online community (TW, FB) that has been chatting about UMC-related issues twice a month since the 2012 General Conference, has been asked to help fill that gap. The Connectional Table will take over the chat and allow the global community to preview some of the questions and ask some of their own for the panel to consider bringing to the conversation. Since DreamUMC has a diverse online conversation twice a month anyway, it seemed an easy match to bring this topic to every United Methodist with a Twitter or Facebook account.
On January 26, 2015 at 9:00 pm EST, DreamUMC will host a Twitter chat where participants will get a glimpse of the types of questions and topics for the panel, an opportunity to answer or comment on those questions and topics, and an opportunity to pose questions of their own, which will be presented to the panel. Any submitted questions will be asked of the panel during the last 20 minutes on February 10.
“We want to thank DreamUMC for helping us to provide this opportunity to reach out to our UMC connection via Twitter,” said the Rev. Amy Valdez Barker, executive secretary of the Connectional Table.
As one of the moderators of the chats, I was happy to help facilitate this conversation. DreamUMC has crafted a regular community over the past 2.5 years and there are always new people joining in. I think we have the necessary infrastructure in place for the CT to gather the information they need before the human sexuality conversation in Africa.
The Connectional Table will be providing all the questions, and as usual, DreamUMC only posits the questions, pushes for more clarity, and the entire community sounds off with their responses.
DreamUMC is a grassroots movement that arose out of General Conference 2012. They conduct biweekly chats about the mission and vision of The United Methodist Church including such topics as the role of social media in church life, racism, sexism, community engagement, domestic violence, women in ministry and more. Over 400 United Methodist clergy and laity have been involved in those chats.
Thanks for considering the chat, and see you online on January 26th!