Bishops launch social media campaign ahead of General Conference

wearemore_Logo_Color_FINALWe are passionate. We are together. We are united. We are loved. We are hopeful. We are willing. We are bold.

We are more.

The bishops of the South Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church, which includes Arkansas, have joined together to produce a campaign focused on stories that connect people and proclaim that #WeAreMore when united through Jesus Christ.

The We Are More campaign is designed to engage the people in the pews through sharing and listening to one another’s stories in the lead-up to General Conference 2016, to be held May 10-20 in Portland, Oregon.

“I believe General Conference 2016 will require more spiritually-driven leadership than any previous General Conference, so we can truly be the Body of Christ as we carry out our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,” said Arkansas Bishop Gary E. Mueller. “The We Are More campaign highlights the kinds of stories that are unfolding in so many churches, but that can be overlooked. We hope people will share these stories on social media, use them in worship and small groups and submit their own #WeAreMore stories showing how the Holy Spirit is at work.”

Neal Garrett, a member of Midland Heights UMC Fort Smith, shared his story as part of the #WeAreMore campaign.

Neal Garrett, a member of Midland Heights UMC Fort Smith, shared his story as part of the #WeAreMore campaign.

One of the first people to share as part of We Are More was Neal Garrett, a Fort Smith resident and member of Midland Heights United Methodist Church. The video featuring his story is being shared through the Arkansas Conference Facebook page and other social media channels, and is available at Another Arkansas-based piece of We Are More is a quote from Mike Carpenter of Sheridan, which is posted along with his photo in the site’s blog section.

The website will accept submissions of videos, photos, audio and brief written personal testimonies from those who wish to upload a story for consideration.

The South Central Jurisdiction includes United Methodists in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Antidote, a St. Louis-based agency, worked to develop the campaign in relationship with the bishops of these areas. While We Are More began here, any United Methodist worldwide may submit content through the website or use the #WeAreMore hashtag on social media.

We Are More will be at General Conference in Portland May 11-12 in the Oregon Ballroom Lobby with the Missouri Annual Conference communications team, capturing attendees’ video and audio stories. The campaign is expected to run throughout the summer.

“People seem to be anxiously bracing themselves as we draw near to General Conference. Some hope for change, others fear division, and most feel uncertain about what may happen,” said Bishop Robert Schnase of Missouri in an April 25 news release. “Instead, we wanted to inspire people to remember that discipleship in Jesus Christ is more than buildings and structures, more than those in worship, more than the United Methodist Church, even more than the issues that divide us. Regardless of what happens at General Conference, United Methodists will continue to be called by God to ministries that transform lives, that offer hope to an anguished world, that relieve suffering and that offer God’s grace to everyone. Sharing stories of how God uses ordinary people and works through ordinary congregations each and every day reminds us not to forget the kingdom work needed in the days following General Conference.”