Social Media at #pnwac13 | By Amy Pazan

Throughout plenary at The 2013 Pacific Northwest Annual Conference, Pazan was welcome to the same table where Bishop Grant Hagiya was presiding. She had a chance to moderate and even field questions during this year’s Conference through the social media site, Twitter.

This year at Annual Conference we decided to take a chance and have a young person on Twitter live tweet the plenary sessions as they happened. Social media in the church is something congregations are still trying to understand – especially in the best ways to use these tools to help their congregation. With Annual Conference, we decided that social media was going to a part of our holy conferencing.

One might ask, “Why add social media to an already busy Annual Conference?” We added an official tweeter because we saw the need and wanted to try something different. Tweeting through the Conference’s Twitter page and personal tweeting with the hashtag #pnwac13, people had the opportunity to voice their opinions both good and bad, amidst some of the struggles we were having at the time. We even poked fun at things that were entertaining or annoying.

Being the lead tweeter was rather daunting at times. While sitting at the Bishop’s table with his crew, we were overlooking the whole body of Annual Conference. I needed to make sure my emotions of my own opinions didn’t get in the way of helping people to understand what was happening during plenary. I have to admit there were a few times I had to ask the Twitter world what we were discussing during plenary because I was completely lost by all the amendments and motions people were tossing out. If you happened to see me making faces while at the table, I may or may not have been having staring contests with my incoming and outgoing DS’s in the Seven Rivers District (thanks Mary and Juli).


I’m sure people are wondering if tweeting was easy. In all honesty it was both easy and confusing at times. Trying to figure out what to tweet, when, and how to write the tweet in a mere few seconds before the discussion passed. I often got fielded questions by people tweeting on where to find more information about a topic. The second thing people tweeted to me the most or texted me about was the click of Bishop Grant’s pen. Numerous times I was asked to please figure out a way to silence his pen. Being the lead tweeter had its advantages as well. I could see the wide range of perspective of people’s opinions on different legislative topics. I as a young person at the head table, I had the advantage of informing Shirley DeLarme and Bishop Grant to recognize young people’s need to speak on topics rather than just letting the young people be voiceless when we need a voice in today’s times.

I hope the conversations we had at Annual Conference through social media will serve as an example to other congregations around the Conference and will help break boundaries in new ways for the Church to connect. Using social media is a viable option not just for your own church members, but for reaching out to people who wouldn’t normally step foot into our churches. So, next time you see a person on their cellphones in church, don’t tell them to get off, but be involved and ask how the church can connect with them. The younger generation has a lot to share with the earlier generations about social media. We do care about the Church and want to share our faith with others…especially through social media.

Amy Pazan is a member of Aldersgate UMC and is a student at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash.
Pazan also co-blogs about the future of the Church at

The Amen Report

The Amen Report • June 14, 2013
Blessing & Overturning Our Tables • We are Changed: Laity Gathering at #pnwac13 • Rethink Church • Curtis’ Time-Out Corner

The Amen Report

The Amen Report • June 15, 2013
The Change the World Movement at #pnwac13 • Memorial Service ‘hints’ of Heaven • Outrageously Fun & Spiritually Rich: Camping & Retreat Ministries Lunch • Plenary: Not a Room Full of Danas • Curtis’ Time-Out Corner • Social Justice & Holiness: Why I Am a United Methodist

The Amen Report

The Amen Report (featuring Legislative Reports) • Ω
The 2013 Pacific Northwest Annual Conference Sessions • How are you going to bear fruit? And why? • Closing Worship challenges Conference to Reclaim the Name “Disciple” • Get to know Brant • Bishop Hagiya: “The Annual Conference of The Greater Northwest” • Social Media at #pnwac13

Leave a Reply