Hundreds of persons saw Communication Director Mark Doyal’s face on Monday morning, July 27, as he welcomed viewers to the virtual plenary hall. Here are some of their views of the online experience.
Sari Brown | Clergy Member, Harbor Beach and Port Hope UMCs … I missed connecting with so many inspiring and genuine people I don’t get to see very often, and especially not all in the same place. I also missed running the 5k all together, which I did for the first time last year and was looking forward to making it a tradition! I was really glad that we had the conference digitally not only to protect everyone’s health and safety but also because I am dealing with a knee injury right now and have been very limited in what I can do. I may not have been able to participate in AC at all if it had been in-person during this time. I was impressed with the efficiency of how we took care of business, appreciated the effectiveness of the technology and efforts to make it understandable and accessible for everyone, and was inspired by Bishop Bard’s bold and energizing opening sermon and his enthusiastic, gracious presence throughout. I especially appreciate Nichea VerVeer Guy’s opening land acknowledgment. It took into account all the people of color who have cared for this land, who experienced deep injustices here and even then have worked hard to make Michigan the wonderful human and ecological community that it is.
David Lundquist | Lay Member, Kalamazoo First UMC … I am attending the 2020 Virtual Annual Conference properly masked in UMC style and socially distanced in Kalamazoo from the other 1500 or so Annual Conference colleagues. As the bishop said, one of the things missing from Monday’s conference was the ability to be together in person. Hopefully, that will be possible In 2021. The virtual conference today was well planned and very successful under the limiting circumstances. Kudos to all who made it possible.
Phyllis Jackson | Lay Visitor, Grandville UMC … Since I have not been to Annual Conference since it left Calvin College, I feel pretty removed from it. However, I have connected to the online presentations for several years to try to keep up with what is going on in the conference. When you are no longer involved in Boards and Committees, the feeling is a loss of identity. And because of that, it is important to stay connected, one way or the other. So, I miss the fellowship, sharing of ideas and views, music, and singing. I miss seeing friends, in person, that I have known for many years. I am amazed and impressed with the technology that enables us to experience the business of conference in the safety of our homes, during this difficult time. The ability to keep everyone connected is very special and appreciated. Thank you to those who are responsible for making this possible!
Wayne Bank | Lay Member, Lexington UMC … I am impressed with how smoothly the virtual Zoom Michigan Conference is going. Almost all of my many Zoom Meetings have had an issue of some type. I miss the interaction with conference members and leadership. We have many wonderful memories from past conferences!
Next week we hear more views on the Virtual 2020 Michigan Annual Conference. Stay tuned.