Communication from A to Z

PCN Big Tent conference to tell old, old story in many new ways

July 31, 2013

LOUISVILLE

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Office of Communication Ministries, The Presbyterian Outlook, the Presbyterian Writers Guild and the Pittsburgh-based Presbyterian Media Mission are joining forces to sponsor the Presbyterian Communicators Network Conference (PCN) ― one of 10 constituent conferences that comprise Big Tent, Aug. 1-3 here.

The conference will feature special events presented by each of the co-sponsors and more than a dozen workshops on all aspects of church communications ― from websites to social media to writing to drama to photography to self-publishing.

“The message remains the same ― communicating the love and justice of Jesus Christ to a world in need,” said the Rev. Jerry Van Marter of the Presbyterian News Service and convenor of the PCN conference planning committee. “But in this age of exploding technology advances, there are an incredible number of ways to communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ.

“These PCN partners have mastered many and are the cutting edge of many more, so their combined expertise makes for a great, great conference at Big Tent,” he added.

Highlights of the conference include:

  • A “poetry jam” featuring renowned Presbyterian poets J. Barrie Shepherd and Dee Wade, along with jazz stylings by pianist William McConnell, director of the Presbyterian Association of Musicians (Aug. 2 evening).
  • An address by Jack Haberer, editor of The Presbyterian Outlook, entitled “Reconnecting Our Connectionalism: Making the Case for Staying Together” (Aug. 2 luncheon).
  • A multi-media presentation by the Presbyterian Media Mission featuring Scott Galloway, award-winning documentary filmmaker, and introduction of a new smartphone music app for young people called “Twisted” (Aug. 3 luncheon).

Well-known Presbyterians leading workshops include the Rev. John Vest, associate pastor of Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago; the Rev. Carol Howard Merritt and a panel of social media experts; photojournalist Erin Dunigan; Outlook national reporter Leslie Scanlon; the Rev. Sue Washburn; the Rev. Bill Lancaster; the Rev. J. Christy Ramsey; website expert Laura Lupton; and the Revs. Emily Odom and Cheyanna Losey, pastors and storytellers.

“There’s literally something for everyone,” Van Marter noted.

Duane Sweep, communications director for the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, will be covering the Presbyterian Communicators Network Conference at Big Tent for Presbyterian News Service.

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