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#DreamUMC – Online Conversation January 26, 2015 @ 6PM

You are invited to participate with The UMC Connectional Table this Monday evening (6 PM PACIFIC TIME) for an online conversation on human sexuality. There are specific details below on how you can participate or observe in real time.

The Connectional Table is one of the 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.

What’s a hashtag?

A hashtag or # is a way of cataloging tweets or facebook posts that are on a similar topic. You could search Twitter or Facebook now using “#UMC” and read everything posted that people have included “#UMC.” In Monday’s conversation, everyone who includes “#dreamUMC” in their Tweet will be included in feed.

How do I Tweet in the conversation?

First, to follow the conversation, you will need to create or login to your Twitter account and then type “#dreamUMC” into your Twitter search window. Moderators will pose questions, typically organizing them with a Q1, Q2, Q3 format. If they tweeted “Q1: Would you introduce yourself? #DreamUMC” You may choose to answer their question by tweeting “Q1: Jenn from Charlotte, clergy #DreamUMC.” You may also choose to engage other people who have answered or retweet (RT) an answer you really appreciated.

Can I follow along if I don’t have a Twitter account?

Yes! Simply go to this link or you can always search Google for “Tweets about #dreamumc hashtag on Twitter.” Be sure to click “All” at the top and not “Top” in order to see all of the Tweets in real time. If you do decide to contribute to the conversation, you will need to login to your account.

What is the benefit of holding a conversation this way on Twitter?

It is not a perfect medium, but then again, any medium has its problems. Among other benefits, Twitter allows everyone who has internet access the opportunity to participate and have their voice heard at the virtual table. It allows more people and more diverse voices, leveling the normal protocols that favor certain voices over others. On Twitter, a bishop has the same privilege to participate in the conversation as a high school student does.

How should I handle abusive Tweeters?

There will definitely be people with whom you disagree. Some you will learn from, some you may choose to engage, but there are some who might be especially offensive. You have the ability to mute or hide them by clicking on the “…” at the bottom of their tweet. Oftentimes engaging these types of people gets you nowhere, especially if their goal is to antagonize and tear down. Try to engage with grace, but do not allow yourself to be abused.

If you have any other questions or need further assistance with Twitter, please contact RMN Communications Director, Rev. Andy Oliver who would be happy to help as time allows.


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