This year, Annual Conference has announced plans to run a pilot test of webcasting–that is, broadcasting
live over the Internet–a smattering of sessions including Sunday morning worship on July 4.
“Can’t make it to Pittsburgh this year for Annual Conference?” asked Conference director Chris Douglas in her report on the decision. “Have to miss that connection to the gathered body of Brethren? The news is that you can now participate in some sessions anyway…via the Internet! While it won’t be as good as being there, it will sure beat not participating at all!”
The move is designed to include as many Brethren as possible in the Annual Conference experience. Brethren are invited to view all the broadcasts either individually, or in groups. “Plan a viewing party with others at your church!” Douglas invited.
Conference worship services have been named as the highest priority to share with the wider church. In fact, congregations with projectors are invited to consider joining their Sunday morning service on July 4 with the live Internet broadcast from Pittsburgh. The prelude music will begin at 10 a.m. (eastern time), with worship starting at 10:20 a.m. Those congregations further west will have the option of streaming a recording of the webcast into their sanctuaries at a time more suitable for their own time zone.
While plans to webcast some other Conference activities are tentative, consideration also is being given to offer webcasts of business or meal events, and perhaps an insight session or even a concert.
All the webcasts in this pilot project will be evaluated for participation, cost, and effectiveness, Douglas said. The webcasts are being provided at no cost through a collaboration of the Conference Office and Enten Eller, director of distributed education and electronic communication at Bethany Theological Seminary. No pre-registration will be required to participate in the webcasts.
More information will be posted at the website for the webcasts as it becomes available. Go to www.bethanyseminary.edu/webcast/annualconference2010 ahead of time to see what is available, and to view webcasts during the Annual Conference July 3-7.