Why Do We (AMEs) Meet Sooooo Much?

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I'm sure this question has been raised and discussed within our membership but I feel it's time to look at time efficient methods to conduct the business of the AMEC without stressing folks out. I understand the importance of having meetings. I simply question the way we go about meeting. It's my experience that alot of our local and district level meetings emphasize face-to-face meetings. Well, what about utilizing teleconferencing as a substitute "meeting venue"? Teleconferencing enables members to "meet" from the privacy of their homes without having to participate in the more perfunctory elements of face-to-face, e.g., drive time to church, gas expense, sacrifice of home activities, etc. I am planning to introduce teleconferencing for my Church School Board meetings and once a sufficient number of my staff is online we will "meet" via reserved online chat rooms where we can exchange data, audio and video products in real time. Just think about the possibilities that teleconferencing brings at the Episcopal and COnnectional level. Cost savings resulting from long car commutes, air line tickets, hotel expenses can be redistributed to programs which support our mission. All of our churches should have a dedicated phone line equipped to handle conference calls. You will pay more but the savings of time and money translate into a quick payback period. If most folks are like me, professional career which requires travel and carrying work home, making many of our many meetings becomes extremly problematic. It's time as a church body we use technology as a tool to aid our total mission. QED

-- Anonymous, November 01, 2001


Bill yesterday the Red Cross had a national teleconferencing for chapters across the country regarding what is still needed for the victims of twin towers bombing. It was open to everyone who wanted to participate the meeting was held in Washington D.C but those of us on local disaster teams in Montana could participate ask questions and also find out how our Montana volunteers in D.C and New york are doing. I know for myself living in Montana it is very difficult to get to national AME meeting for the airfare is so expensive. I like your idea other organizations are using teleconferencing, video taping conferences etc.

-- Anonymous, November 01, 2001

You can't take an offering at a teleconference. As a pastor, I have to travel 8 times per year for episcopal district meetings, 7 times for presiding elder meetings, not to mention the expectation that we will attend Annual Conferences other than our own, PE Distrist Revivals, etc. We even schedule a meeting to give our reports and assessments to the presiding elder. For example, it is expected that I will make a 275 mile round trip on Sat., Nov. 3 to give the PE my church's assessments, which he already has since I mailed the check on Monday.

The offering is the thing.

Blessings, Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, November 01, 2001

Rev. Paris:

Thanks for your note. Financial offerings can still be mailed in advanced to the treasurer before the meetings or at the time of the teleconference. I personally don't see this as a major obstacle. The example you cite about your planned trip on Nov. 3, 2001 supports my basic position. Geography is a real impediment for many of our members. The case cited by sister Rev. Rogers is prima facie evidence. We can meet we just need to rethink how we meet to maximize participation. QED

-- Anonymous, November 03, 2001

I am all for teleconferencing. I think we need to start implementing these forms of technology. On a side note, this is just a "rhetorical" question. Where exactly do the offerings "go" that are taken up at these "meetings". To unpaid assessments??? I am sure the offerings go to a variety of places, depending on the districts, etc. I am just curious. I don't expect an answer. Since I have never had the awesome task of serving on the Conference/District Finance Commission, I really have no idea. Maybe someone who has served in such an office can enlighten me.

-- Anonymous, November 10, 2001

I can tell you where they do not go. . . . .


Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, November 10, 2001

Welllll,, let's just take this teleconferencing thing to another logical conclusion...which many already are doing ---> to wit, just stay home on Sunday mornings and enjoy the "teleconferenced" services that are already available.

We can still get the gospel preached and sung, but there is still one element of worship that is missing -- personal fellowship and I would suggest that this (in addition to offerings) remains one of the reasons for so many meetings.

-- Anonymous, November 11, 2001

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