UK Methodist Bloggers Conference: Whats up Dave?

Well I have been very quiet since 42: UK Methodist Bloggers Meeting Status Update and yes there has been a reason for that, but I can’t tell you what it is or I will have to kill you (yes I am joking, you know that don’t you).

I have been waiting for some news that now seems will not come til early October. However, I can sense that bloggers patience is pretty limited (us being very immediate types of people).

So here is the scoop.

There is a UK Methodist conference being planned for post summer 2008 that may well include a "track" for Methodist Bloggers. There is a concern that if we have a UK Methodist Bloggers conference in January that the support for the other conference will be reduced. That would be a pity as the other conference (you know, the one I can’t tell you about yet) is much more significant in the life of our church. NB The "other" conference is not "The Methodist Conference" and it would be open to all who have expressed an interest in the "UK Methodist Bloggers conference" (space permitting). The other conference will be longer and mid-week which may restrict access for people in "proper" jobs.

At this point I can see 3 options:

  1. We wait until we can go public about the "other" conference and then decide whether to have "our" conference in January. That means waiting until approx 10th October.
  2. We decide that we will go ahead with "our" conference anyway as the goals are quite different, the timing and costs are different and we do not think it will reduce the attendance at the "other" conference.
  3. We decide that we will not "compete" with the significant and important "other" conference and so decide to throw our whole hearted support behind the mystery conference.

What are your preferences?

As for the rest of the arrangements:

  • Looks like we are slightly leaning towards 4/5 January as the dates.
  • Ruby and I have already exchanged fish on Facebook so I know she is unable to come (the fact that she is doing so much while working full-time amazes me). I have not checked with Martyn yet, but will do so. I would be very surprised if he did not attend the "other" conference although by that time he will be a past president.
  • I have volunteers to help with programme which is great.
  • I have not had much feedback on the times, so far Lunch to Lunch seems popular with the tiny number of people expressing a preference.

I find it exciting to be part of a denomination where lots of things are happening so that decisions like this need to be taken.

11 thoughts on “UK Methodist Bloggers Conference: Whats up Dave?

  1. Methodist Preacher

    I was hoping to blog from this year’s Methodist Conference. I sent a note to the Church House Press Office asking for facilities but they failed to even acknowledge – so I think we will get short shrift if we ask to be part of the main conference.
    The Church in-crowd prefer to keep communications under their control by using the trusties at the Methodist Recorder. (They don’t undrstand that the world has changed)
    Sadly the demands of the real job prevented me from pushing the point this year, but I do hope several bloggers will report from the next Methodist Conference. Time we got out of the comfort zones and blew the cobwebs away.
    I’m happy to go with the January option – there’s a lot to be said for keeping it slightly anarchic. If we join the main conference we run the risk of being house trained, something Methodism doesn’t need at the moment.

  2. Dave Warnock

    I am not talking about “The Main Conference” as I tried to make clear.
    However, I did a fair bit of blogging from the Methodist Conference. There was wifi coverage in the conference room and power sockets. The wifi did not extend to all the rooms used by lunchtime and evening sessions and it was a little flakey at times. For an index to my posts see Methodist Conference Summary, nobody tried to control what I was writing and nobody complained about it (generally positive reactions).
    There is a lot of pressure to keep numbers art conference down for cost reasons and I can’t see sending people to conference in order to blog is a great use of time. Hopefully there will be some there next year who are bloggers anyway.
    While I was at conference Toby Scott said Hi and offered me the use of their facilities if I needed it. I have always found him helpful in blogging issues. I think we are fortunate to have someone in the communications team who has his own blog and experience in capturing on the spot podcasts (such as when I saw him at greenbelt). He has been active on a number of blogs over the years.
    From recent conversations I am confident that we will have someone from the communications/web team at our conference if we go ahead, they have been helpful in encouraging discussions with the “other” conference.
    You and I have very different approaches to “blowing the cobwebs away”. Maybe there are times when one of other of the approaches is more successful.

  3. PamBG

    I’m not of the view that failing to make a quick decision in absence of all the information in a non-urgent situation constitutes ‘ineffectiveness’.
    However, if we’re talking ‘post summer’, my thoughts are that this is just about the worst time of year for ministers and mid-week isn’t good for people in Monday-Friday jobs. I’m probably still prefering January, still prefering the first set of options and still preferring noon to noon.

  4. Richard Hall

    For what it’s worth, I think a ‘bloggers track’ at a larger conference will be a very different event from the small gathering I imagined. If the large event is much later in the year, I don’t really see that we could have any negative impact on its success by meeting in January. And if we enjoy ourselves, we might just find ourselves keen to meet again!
    Jan 4/5 is just about doable, but I’d still prefer 11/12.

  5. Will

    I agree with what’s being said, too. Mid-October 2008 will be awful for me, but I don’t see a 24 hour retreat in January drawing from a mid-Oct conference. Thanks for all your work, Dave.

  6. Methodist Worship Leader

    All very intriguing.
    I’d find midweek difficult – I try to keep leave for family holidays etc. Also I’m not sure that a short conference in Jan would detract from something eight or nine months later.
    I’ll reserve judgement on the October ‘Not the Methodist Conference’ event until there are more details but these are indeed interesting times.

  7. Olive Morgan

    Mid October sounds like half-term to me which, for some, would make a mid-week conference possible, but for me the reverse is true since family get-togethers tend to occur when those working in academia all have a break at the same time. I will have seen them all at Christmas, so the January dates pose no problem.

  8. Pete Phillips

    The other conference is the launch of the Faith and Order Network in early September. (Sorry if you didn’t want this info on the site yet Dave – thought it was better to be open especially after reading the comments coming in.) I, for one, would like to include a track for bloggers and explore the way in which blogging is a form of theological reflection in the 21st century. Some of you may be attending the conference for other reasons – like you are part of the network! It’s going to be held at a conference centre in the South East (alas!) which has wifi broadband access and so blogging will be fine from the venue. I also think that it is slightly different from the Jan 24 hour thing…but I do think that it would be good to have a blogging crowd at the F&O Network conference in order to bring an alternative and ultimately democratizing voice to the proceedings (?). But that is just my view…
    Hope to release more info after meeting at MCH on Thursday. If you have comments before then to feed to me direct: or

  9. PamBG

    I’ve heard of the Faith and Order Committee, but not the Faith and Order Network.
    Sorry if it sounds pedantic, but to me, the Faith and Order Committee is a closed shop. I’m assuming that F&O Network is something anyone can join?


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