Tag Archives: deputy

A wonderful General Convention and a misleading WSJ opinion piece

Your bishop and deputies from the Diocese of Fort Worth have just returned home from a wonderful General Convention, filled with a new sense of working together and enthusiastic about a restructuring effort aimed at creating a more efficient church intentionally focused on ministry. A time will be scheduled soon to present to the diocese a formal summary of our impressions and the actions taken at General Convention.

Several follow-up articles and videos about the Fort Worth experience of General Convention will be presented on this blog. We also will share the many reports forthcoming about General Convention from many points of view from around the church. Sadly, an opinion piece published yesterday (Friday) in the Wall Street Journal was wildly inaccurate and misleading.

Responses followed swiftly from Kirk Smith, Bishop of Arizona; Scott Gunn, deputy from Rhode Island; and George Conger, senior correspondent at the Church of England newspaper (which not an official publication of the Church of England).

We urge you to read the responses.

And here’s one from Taylor Burton-Edwards, a Methodist who is married to an Episcopal priest. Interesting perspective.

 

 


Handy WordPress Tutorials for General Convention 2012

Good stuff to get you started being a General Convention blogger

 

–by Susan Kleinwechter, social media coordinator for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth

Whoopee! Found the handiest bunch of video tutorials to equip our deputation with the details of posting in our General Convention blog: WordPress101Tutorials 

WordPress 101 – What is WordPress
WordPress 101 – The Dashboard
WordPress 101 – Admin Bar
WordPress 101 – Exploring Settings
WordPress 101 – Posts vs. Pages
WordPress 101 – Creating Posts
WordPress 101 – Adding Links
WordPress 101 – Adding Images
WordPress 101 – Formatting Posts
WordPress 101 – Scheduling Posts
WordPress 101 – Categories and Tags

 Are there other WordPress resources you have discovered to help anyone getting started ? Please share them!

Diocese of Fort Worth Goes to General Convention

It happens every three years. It’s a combination of family reunion, tent revival, legislation session, county fair, liturgical fashion show, and giant sing-along. It’s General Convention and the bishop and deputies from the Diocese of Fort Worth will be there. What’s more, the whole diocese is invited to come along — well, at least virtually.

The 77th General Convention of The Episcopal Church is July 5 through July 12 in Indianapolis, Indiana. General Convention is the governing body of our church.

Registration begins Wednesday, July 4, and legislative committees begin their work that morning. The first legislative session is at 8 a.m. Thursday, July 5.

Several people from the Diocese of Fort Worth will be attending General Convention. Below you will find who they are, what they will be doing, and how you can stay connected to them and to the news from Indianapolis.

WHO THEY ARE:

The Fort Worth deputation is led by Bishop Wallis Ohl. Lay deputies are Deputation Chair Kathleen Wells (Trinity FW), Victoria Prescott (ECPC), Katie Sherrod (St. Lukes’s FW) and Bob Hicks (St. Christopher FW). Clerical deputies are David Madison (All Saints, FW), Susan Slaughter (St. Luke’s, FW), Fred Barber (retired) and Amy Heynie (St. Martin, Keller).  First lay alternate is Lisa Neilson (St. Martin, Keller) and fIrst clerical alternate is ClayOla Gitane (ECPC).

Delegates to the Triennial meeting of the Episcopal Church Women are Sandy Shockley, Jackie Meeks, Lynne Minor and Cynthia Hill.

Ministry Developer and Administrative Officer Demi Prentiss also is attending. Lay alternates Norm Snyder (Good Shepherd, Granbury) and Brent Walker (St. Stephen’s, Wichita Falls) are paying their own way to attend.

 WHAT THEY WILL BE DOING:

Bishop Ohl will be attending legislative sessions of the House of Bishop. The Deputies will attend legislative sessions in the House of Deputies.(The two houses will meet in joint session on the July 10 for the presentation of the budget). The ECW delegates will be attending daily sessions of the Triennial. During the Sunday, July 8, worship service, they will participate in the UTO Ingathering.

Much of the business of General Convention in done in legislative committees and our deputation will be playing a role in several of them. Bishop Ohl is vice chair of the Constitution Committee, and Chancellor Kathleen Wells is a member of that committee. Deputy Katie Sherrod is the chair of the Communication Committee, and Deputy David Madison is on the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget & Finance.

Every resolution submitted to Convention is referred to one of the several committees or commissions. An open hearing is held on every resolution, and members of the Fort Worth deputation will be monitoring as many of the committees as they can and reporting back to the whole deputation each day.

Eucharist will be celebrated everyday day at 8:30 am Central, except the final day (July 12) when it will be celebrated at 10:30 am Central. Each day, Eucharist and the sermons will center on an important figure from Holy Women Holy Men, a listing of saints who are commemorated in the calendar of the Episcopal Church.

General Convention worship services will be featured live on the Media Hub athttp://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/gc2012/

There are many other events held in conjunction  with General Convention — seminaries have banquets, various church-related organizations have events (films, tributes, dinners, breakfasts, etc) and various ministries have gatherings. The Exhibits Hall is enormous and is always filled with interesting and enticing goods and information.

HOW TO STAY CONNECTED:

Diocesan website: Episcopaldiocesefortworth. org – This will be the place where you can get connected to everything else we will be doing, or you can go directly to any of the other places we will be posting content. See below.

General Convention blog: FortWorth.GoesTo.EpiscopalGeneralConvention.org This will be our primary publishing vehicle while in Indy. You can visit it, or subscribe to it to receive updates. Feel free to ask questions and add comments.

Social media: Follow breaking news and engage in the conversation on

Facebook (www.facebook.com/DioFW),

Twitter (twitter.com/DioFW or follow hashtag #GC77)

Tumblr (http://www.tumblr.com/blog/diofw general for diocese or http://diofw-gc2012.tumblr.com/  for diocese at General Convention)

YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/DioFortWorth)

Pinterest (pinterest.com/diofw/episcopal-general-convention-2012/)

We also will be posting content on a site set up by the Diocese of Maine that will feature 3-minute video updates — http://indy300.net/

The Media Hub presented by the Office of Communication of The Episcopal Church. Will include Episcopal News Service reports, videos, blogging, Twitter feeds, photo galleries, live webcasting, legislation tracking and commentary. The Media Hub will be available July 1 at   http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/gc2012/  

Policy wonks can see every resolution filed at Scott Gunn’s blog Seven Whole Days

http://www.sevenwholedays.org/2012/06/22/resolutions2012/ Scott will be blogging daily during convention.

The General Convention website http://www.generalconvention.org/ run by the General Convention Office, provides no subscription content, but you can get information on legislative committees, download the Blue Book and schedules, and track the progress of resolutions as they move through committees and onto the floor of the House of Bishops or House of Deputies. Tracking will become available July 5, the first legislative day.

Tweeting about the Episcopal General Convention

A short primer on Twitter, suitable for any deputation, but written for @diofw tweeps

by Susan Kleinwecher, social media coordinator for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth

Convention deputies and anyone tweeting about convention will use a personal accounts, not our diocesan twitter account @diofw. We want a lot of voices tweeting!

@DioFW on Twitter!

Getting Started: At twitter.com, create an account, select a username, and in your profile, upload a photo that looks like you.  In your account settings, do NOT protect your tweets (you may change that in a month).

Tutorial: Good Twitter Tutorial from gcflearnfree.org

Connect with the diocese: search for and follow @diofw. @diofw will add all tweeters in our deputation to a public, subscribable twitter list: @diofw/GC77. The list aggregate our voices. Other people can subscribe to it. Here’s how! to subscribe to/follow other people’s lists:

At the start (starting now): Start listening to the conversation! Search  #gc77 in the twitter search box. Follow people you want to hear more from, find other hashtags that interest you #episcopal #tweeps.  Learn how to retweet (RT), reply & mention (@reply & @mention), send a direct message (DM), subscribe to a list.  Go to twitter help  https://support.twitter.com/ and search for an unfamilar term.

https://support.twitter.com/articles/49309-what-are-hashtags-symbols
https://support.twitter.com/articles/20169873-how-to-retweet-a-tweet
https://support.twitter.com/articles/14023-what-are-replies-and-mentions
https://support.twitter.com/articles/20169555-send-and-receive-direct-messages
https://support.twitter.com/articles/76460-how-to-use-twitter-lists

Contribute to convention dialogue:  When we are tweeting about General Convention, we will use the hashtag #CG77 in every tweet. Every. Single. Time.  In fact, lead with it, so you don’t forget (voice of experience).

What are hashtags? Hashtags, indicated by the hash or pound mark “#” provide a way to track messages associated with a topic; think of them as a keyword to search for. Consider your target audience when using hashtags; they are there for tracking, not for fluff, although that does not inhibit creativity! Use #gc77 for information related to the 2012 Episcopal General Convention. See what hashtags others are using, either from twitter or using a web service like (twittterfall.com) – you will see #churchgrowth #drama #budget #conventionprobs #PHOD

“Dang!” you exclaim when you grapple with the fact that Twitter limits your messages to 140 characters. You’ll get the hang of it without looking like a teenager; most of it is phonetic, so moving your lips helps.

Best Practices: One of the best uses of Twitter is to tweet about blog entries, with a “topical tease to read” introduction and a shortened URL link to your blog entry. Typical URL shorteners are bit.ly http://bitly.com/ and goo.gl http://goo.gl/ Copy the shortened URL into your tweet, so it looks like this: “Light bulb ON at #gc77 lunch http://goo.gl/9agxG & now I undrstand the lingo”

Use #diofw if you want us to track your comments there or track comments about us.

Subscribe to our public deputy list @diofw/gc77. Subscribe a list of tweeters employed by TEC using  @diofw/TEC-Tweeters. This tells article describes how to subscribe to lists: https://support.twitter.com/articles/76460-how-to-use-twitter-lists

Go Mobile: When you’re comfortable with using Twitter in your browser, get it on your smartphone by downloading the app for Android, iPhone, Blackberry, or Windows Phone 7. No smartphone? You can still tweet – read https://support.twitter.com/articles/14589-getting-started-with-twitter-via-sms and http://support.twitter.com/articles/14020-twitter-sms-commands. However, there is no mechanism to search for hashtags using SMS (probably because the message volume would be overwhelming).

Handy Tips: Consider a handy service called Twitterfall at twitterfall.com. In Twitterfall’s searches box, type #gc77 and “add” it. You can change the color scheme if you like, making searches and lists different colors. Add list @diofw/gc77 and @diofw/TEC-Tweeters. Updates come every 30 seconds or so.  Many find that tracking #episcopal is overwhelming!

What other handy tips do you have to share about Twitter for General Convention?

Who, me? You say I should “be social” at General Convention?

The Strategy of Using Social Media at the Episcopal General Convention

by Susan Kleinwecher, social media coordinator for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth

The 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church brings the opportunity for participants to share so much of their experiences in the governance of TEC and the shaping of the future of the church. And it is vital to do so, in ways perhaps unfamiliar to many. It’s insufficient in 2012 to simply go home and write a 2-page article and publish it along with the rest of your July news and email or snail-mail it to your normal recipients. Yes, by all means, do that, but do more, and do it during General Convention.

The “more” is important. It is vital to the life of our church in a time that we so clearly need to grow and reach further, especially to younger audiences, ones that will become the leadership of our church. It is vital to help “folks at home” understand the topics and discussions and decisions that shape our church.  It is important that we do this in a social context, because that’s where our reach is both strategic and effective.

It is heartening that so many dioceses have launched their convention publishing initiatives and sites, realizing why social media coverage is so important now:

  • Social networking has twice the click-throughs as email, reaching more of your audience.
  • Conversation about a subject engages more people than reporting about a subject.
  • Pictures and videos elicit more engagement than other forms of digital publication.
  • Social networking is a powerhouse for encouraging online engagement, improving and driving how people connect to your information.
  • When people feel more connected, they participate more and give more.

When we embrace and follow a new model of engagement and conversation, while not abandoning less timely, traditionally authoritative ones, we won’t leave any listeners behind, and we’ll grow new ones. It’s win-win.

Serious nonprofits use the social web in intentional ways, not as a gimicky playground, but as part of a larger communications strategy, driven by solid content.  Add to the content.  Be social at General Convention, on social media, perhaps in ways that are new to you.  Check in using Facebook or Foursquare so your peeps know you made it. Blog; perhaps enjoy the brevity of Tumblr. Post to Facebook, and Tweet about it all with hashtag #gc77. By all means, point us to your blogging on Twitter using #gc77 and a link shortened with bitly.com or goo.gl. Pin your good visual stuff, and tag it so we can find it. Add your ideas to the commentary every way you can.

The Church will be richer for the experiences and information you share in a timely manner and in newer ways.

 

Writing About Episcopal General Convention

Who, me? Write? I’m not a Reporter!

by Susan Kleinwecher, social media coordinator for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth

It might have gone down like this: the bishop said, “You guys are all going to write during General Convention, and we are going to publish it. We’re not waiting until we get home.” Blank stares around the room, curt, affirmative nods, except from the excited communications director, who worked late into the night to get a small team very busy on the how. (There will be more on that). Did something like that happen with your convention possee?

For the next few weeks, deputies and alternates from all over the country are asked to become content creators and to publish things digitally. So here are some basic instructions for folks who are writing and publishing:

You must contribute.
Write about what is going on.
Write about the context surrounding what is going on.
Write what you think about what is going on.
Write about how you feel about what is going on.
Write about your spiritual experiences, connections and revelations.
Take pictures and video of what is going on.
Use the pictures and video to help people understand and connect to what you are writing about.
Write about what other people say is going on, and comment on their writings.
Quote other people.
Link to content that will help people understand what’s going on.

These are 10 basic instructions for writing about any event, to be re-used over and over. (Yeah, right; did the communications director make you say that? Is that director hinting that some of us are expected to do this for our ministry meetings and diocesan convention, too? )

words and voices by Design Decoration Craft, John Hopper

Few among us are news copywriters, but that’s OK. The largest shift that has occurred in communications lies in how much everyday people in the world, versus official reporters and designated authorities, are now publishing useful information to eager audiences.  News is not just broadcast at 6 pm and talked about at the dinner table, or read about in a morning paper or monthly newsletter.  It’s not just done by “the official source” who can always be expected to be fair and balanced.  It’s done by people watching and participating in what’s going on.

Another subtle difference and new communications concept is the opportunity to talk about a subject, not report on it. There is more to convention than governance discussions and outcomes; smaller stories matter, too.  Adam Wood, the up-and-coming Director of Online Development for the The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth offers:

“We need to lay aside the outdated assumption that the only things worth talking about at General Convention are issues of finance, governance, and church polity. Sharing reflections on homilies and keynote addresses, revealing new ideas about mission and evangelism, conversing about the evolving theology in our church – it’s all worthy content.”

Recalling her previous participation at General Convention, Diocese of Fort Worth Communications Director Katie Sherrod shares, “There is so much, much more than governance, although reporting on what is done is important. What’s more important are the relationships the deputation develops and shares. The daily Bible study, the daily worship services have always been, for me, the best part of General Convention. To worship with 10,000 Episcopalians is a powerful experience. To get to do Bible study with an Episcopalian from Haiti, or Taiwan, or from the European Convocation of Churches, or Puerto Rico, or Honduras enlarges one’s perspective in all sorts of ways. Many Episcopalians may not realize The Episcopal Church has congregations in 16 countries.”

So, yes, YOU, write! All of you! Everywhere! Photograph! Record! Publish! Comment! Dive in! You’ll find your voice.