#Converse2015 uses technology to spread discussions on 'radical hospitality' in United Methodist churches

March 18, 2015

For the first four Thursdays in Lent, close to 45 United Methodist churches throughout the Louisiana Conference gathered to participate in a “live stream” discussion about “welcoming” and “inviting” during #Converse2015.

The conversations, facilitated by Grace Community UMC’s Director of Worship Related Ministries Stacy Hood, were aimed at helping local churches move beyond the “friendliness factor” into a place of “radical hospitality” toward “anyone that walks through the church doors.”

Participants from churches in the Shreveport District (or nearby) gathered at Grace Community UMC, while others gathered and viewed the live stream conversations remotely. “We had more than 45 sites logged in each week with around 28 in the ‘chat group.’ They were as active online, discussing and offering feedback, as the people in the room,” said Hood.

Rev. Ken Irby, Shreveport District Superintendent, is pictured above with Hood at the first of the four conversations.

About 40 church-based sites hosted groups and individuals during #Converse2015. “I was encouraged that we took a real step forward to help talk about 'talking about' what God is doing in our lives with others so that we might build relationships outside the walls of our churches,” said Hood.

The conversations from all four weeks are recorded and posted here.