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Can’t go to general conference? Let it come to you!

SUMMARY: Do you want to experience the 2008 General Conference? You can! Today—more than ever before—technology can deliver General Conference to you via the Web and other media.

In long and prayer-filled days April 23-May 2, the future of The United Methodist Church will rest in the hands, hearts and minds of 992 General Conference delegates.

The action begins April 23 at 6 p.m. CT when delegates, alternates, bishops, staff and guests from United Methodist congregations around the world gather at the Fort Worth [Texas] Convention Center. Celebratory, inspirational worship opens the quadrennial event.

Even if you cannot go personally to General Conference, you can keep up with what is happening while it is happening.

The General Conference Web site, gc2008.umc.org, offers the most up-to-date information. Visit there now to access video and audio of panel discussions from the Pre-General Conference News Briefing in January as well as the General Conference schedule and other information about the April 23-May 2 session.

During General Conference, use the official United Methodist Web site, www.umc.org and gc2008.umc.org to:

  • Track petitions.
  • Watch live video streaming of worship services, special addresses, celebrations and selected sessions.
  • Read news articles and watch video stories produced by United Methodist News Service, umns.umc.org.
  • Hear a daily audio newscast.
  • Subscribe to an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed to place General Conference headlines on your local church Web site as United Methodist News Service stories are posted.
  • Subscribe to receive a daily digest of General Conference news stories.
  • Order videos of major events and a summary video.

Check your annual conference Web site for localized reports from General Conference. Some annual conference and local church sites will feature delegate blogs. Many annual conferences will produce daily e-mail reports. General agency Web sites, accessed through the directory section of www.umc.org, have information about legislation they are proposing to General Conference and will carry reports.

Interpreter magazine, which has included stories about General Conference 2008 in each issue since July-August 2007, will feature a report in its July-August 2008 edition. Read the articles at www.interpretermagazine.org or order back issues of the magazine by calling United Methodist Communications Customer Service, (888) 346-3862.

The Daily Christian Advocate [Cokesbury, (800) 672-1789, www.cokesbury.com], produced each day of General Conference, carries verbatim coverage of the proceedings as well as feature stories and other information.

--Kathy Noble, Editor, Intepreter Magazine, www.interpretermagazine.org