Gearing up for General Conference


If you follow The United Methodist Reporter these days, you have probably figured out that we have our good days and our bad days. There are times when we will have a flurry of content with stories that capture the interest of many. There are also other days (and even weeks) when not much is posted. The fact is that The United Methodist Reporter is a side project for all involved, and far too often our day jobs get in the way. We do the best we can during “ordinary time,” but we recognize that we often fall short of our ideal in terms of providing fresh content. We are always seeking those great stories about our church, but there are also times when there just isn’t much news and the demands of being pastors, fathers, spouses, and community leaders keep us from focusing on life in the UMC as much as we would like.

However, just like life in the church, there are those seasons, the “high holy days” when we have an obligation to step up and make sure that our readers have the most up-to-date information on events and happenings. Of course, the 2016 General Conference in Portland, Oregon this May is perhaps the highest of “holy days” in the United Methodist world, and we are gearing up to provide gavel-to-gavel coverage of what is happening throughout the two weeks of conference.

Although The United Methodist Reporter and its parent company CircuitWriter Media LLC are incorporated as “for-profit” entities, there has never been any illusion that anyone would get rich on providing news and commentary about life in The United Methodist Church. We operate on a shoestring, basically making enough to pay for the servers and other infrastructure needed to publish this site. Trying to cover a large event like the General Conference is a stretch, requiring the goodwill and support of our many friends who are committed to the notion that having an independent source of news about our church in important. We are putting together a team of folks who are MethoNerds like us who love our church and are willing to staff a guerrilla operation to make sure that we are offering you the latest and greatest from Portland.

We are doing this as cheaply as we can, but in the end there is still a great expense for offering this service. We are, of course, looking for advertisers to help sponsor our General Conference coverage. But as important as our sponsors are, we believe that it’s time to reach out to you, our audience, to ask for your help in funding the UMR 2016 General Conference coverage. We believe that we can offer information in a timely manner that you wouldn’t get through the “official” UM sites, such as commentary from persons across the political spectrum and honest critique of proposals and events. Our goal is to offer information in a timely manner so that you can be aware of the latest developments. We are also hoping to bring stories that capture the humanity of the General Conference, and we are thinking about a nightly podcast roundup for you to listen to on your way to work. We have lots of ideas, but we need your help in making them a reality.

You will find a donation form at the bottom of this page. We, of course, appreciate all donations at any level. However, we’d like to offer a special word of thanks to anyone making a donation of $500 or more by including your name in a special sponsors list that will display on our General Conference portal page. If you donate $1,000 or more, we’ll even send you some official GC2016 swag from the event. Of course, since we are not a 501c3 entity, your donation is a gift with no tax benefit to you.

The bottom line is that we REALLY want to do a great job helping you to connect to all that’s happening at General Conference. We think we are putting together a great team and we’d love you to be a part of that team as well through your financial donations. Please help us cover the 2016 General Conference like it’s never been covered before.


Jay Voorhees, Former Executive Editor

The Rev. Jay Voorhees is the Executive Editor of The United Methodist Reporter and the Chief Creative Officer for CircuitWriter Media LLC which operates this site and Jay is an ordained elder in the Tennessee Annual Conference. Jay has written on life and the practice of faith in The United Methodist Church at Only Wonder Understands since 2003.

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The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
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