Exploring Digital online conference

This event has now taken place!

We had an amazing time with more than 200 of you joining us live on the day and hundreds more ready to receive our follow up resources. We'll be sharing the live stream recording with those who were registered. 

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A day online exploring the digital world for Methodist churches and communities.

Join together with Methodists from all over Britain for a special digital gathering. Learn from key individuals who've mastered the digital world on how to connect and share the Gospel online. The event will feature insightful keynotes, group discussions and an expert panel. Don't miss this chance to enhance your church's online presence and explore faith in the digital era!

  • When: Saturday 30 September, 10am to 3:30pm.
  • Where: Online, so you can join wherever you are. 
  • Cost: We are providing this day free of charge.

The conference will include:

  • Three keynote speakers, talking about major themes and topics with discussion groups
  • Plenary sessions after each keynote speaker, bringing together thoughts from across attendees
  • A question panel, answering FAQs and talking about how digital works into the day-to-day life of churches
  • Open and closing worship sessions, led by two District Chairs

Keynote speakers

James Poulter

 Jams Poulter standing inside a subway with an orange outline.

AI, Everywhere, All At Once: Understanding the theology of artificial intelligence

What happens when your kids make friends with a chatbot? Should you be polite to Alexa? Is AI generated worship music welcome in the church? In this talk James Poulter, CEO of Vixen Labs and founder of Ecclesiai.org will unpack the key themes of how AI is already impacting the Church, and the theological, practical and pastoral issues it presents as we think about mission, evangelism and discipleship in the decades to come. 

Emma Sijuwade

Emmaanuella Sijuwade smiling at the camera in a circle headshot with a light red background.

From Bulletin Board to Engaged Community: how to transform your church social media

With more than 4 billion people now using social media (yes, more than half of the world), Social Media is an undeniable force in today's world, and it's an invaluable tool that the church cannot afford to ignore.

How can your church stand out from the crowd, and leverage its social media presence? Join Social Media Marketing Specialist and CEO of Socibelle, Emma Sijuwade, as she shares practical social media strategies, tips and tools that will help your church connect with new audiences and grow an engaged online community. 

Revd Katie 'Kt' Tupling

Revd Katie Tupling smiling at the camera.

Online and Onsite Church: presence, accessibility, inclusion, belonging...

In 2020 the 'physical' church moved online, leaving behind buildings where we once gathered, and instead turning on cameras and gathering around laptops. We took the Church, and God, online - whilst using the language of longing to be 'back in person' once the pandemic was under control. There was talk of Church Online as a place of Exile, and a desire to 'go home to church done properly'.

Many questions have arisen since then: how is Church Online different from Online Church? Is 'in person' more authentic than on being on a social media platform? Why use the language of Onsite rather than In Person? How accessible is Church (onsite or online) for disabled people? These are some of the areas we'll be considering in our session together.

Opening worship and Plenary sessions

Revd Dr. Jennie Hurd

Chair of Synod Cymru.

Jennie smiling at the camera.

Closing worship and Commissioning

Revd Mark Slaney

District Chair of the Methodist Church in Scotland.

Mark smiling at the camera.

Question panel

  • Ben Hollebon, Director of Digital Engagement for the Methodist Church
  • Revd Mark Slaney, District Chair of the Methodist Church in Scotland
  • Eunice Attwood, Church at the Margins Officer for the Methodist Church
  • Tori Allen, Digital and Communication Officer for Manchester and Stockport Methodist District
What is the cost for the conference?

The Exploring Digital online conference is completely free of charge. We want to make this as accessible as possible to everyone across the Methodist Church.

Who is speaking at the conference?

James Poulter

James is the CEO and Co-Founder of Vixen Labs, a Voice first consultancy and Founder of the UK’s leading Voice & AI community Voice2.

James is an innovation and Marketing consultant with over 10 years experience specialising in Voice, Conversational AI Technologies and emerging platforms such as Immersive AR/VR, 5G and Blockchain. 

Previously as Head of The LEGO Group’s Emerging Platforms & Partnerships team as part of the Digital Consumer Engagement division, James Poulter is pursuing new technologies, platforms and partners to build digital consumer engagement with LEGO customers, shoppers and consumers on a global basis.

James previously was the Head of Social Media for LEGO’s social network for Kids, LEGO Life – which launched globally in 2017 and has since grown to over 2m active users regularly posting their content to the world’s first global and safe social network for kids. 

As well as devising and developing social features such as LEGO Life’s emoji keyboard, custom characters and moderation systems, James oversaw the launch of LEGO’s global partnership with GIPHY leading the LEGO channel to accrue over 1 Billion GIF views in it’s first year.

Prior to joining LEGO, James worked for a number of the world’s leading marketing, advertising and public relations firms including Edelman and Ogilvy leading digital marketing, mobile and social campaigns both in EMEA and globally as well as new business efforts for clients such as Diageo, Unilever, Bose, PayPal, HP and Adobe.

Outside of work James is an advisor to the Church of England’s digital board as well as well as a number of other charities, entrepreneurs and startups.

James is also the host of the show “Signal” for Christians In Media which explores on a monthly basis the intersection between faith, media and technology. 

James is a father to Hazel and Willow and husband to Holly and lives in Greenwich in South-East London. He can be found on all good social media as @jamespoulter. 

Emmanuella Sijuwade

Emma is a social media marketing specialist and founder of the purpose driven social media agency socibelle.

With over 12 years' worth of knowledge, expertise and insight, Emma has a trackable recored of creating successful social campaigns for the likes of; The Church of England, The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thy Kingdom Come and more - bringing their stories to life through her creative, purposeful and dynamic approach.

Emma is super passionate about the user experience and helping Christian charities, churches and organisations build authentic communities and navigate the world of social media in the most effective way possible.

Revd Katie 'Kt' Tupling

Katie was an Anglican parish priest for 16 years before becoming part time Diocesan Disability Advisor for the Oxford Diocese, in March 2019. Katie is also part time Interim Chaplain at St Hugh's college Oxford.

Diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at the age of 2 ½, Katie is now the proud owner of purple crutches, a purple wheelchair, and a red scooter (it didn't come in purple!) Katie is also Co-founder of ‘Disability and Jesus’, a user led task group wrestling with theology, discipleship, and church practice through the lived experience of disability.

She co-authored the book ‘Pilgrims in the dark ‘ - the story of how Disability and Jesus came into being, and a Grove booklet ‘Worship and Disability, a Kingdom for all’ (both 2018) and more recently wrote 'Being Disabled Being Human' for the Grove Books Ethics series (2022). Katie's social media presence includes: working with UCB Radio and BBC local radio, profiles on Twitter and Facebook, a weekly ‘recorded as live’ Sunday service with Disability and Jesus, and a YouTube channel.

How do I join the conference?

Once you've registered for your free place you'll be emailed the link to access the conference. The link will take you to the online event app which you can access on your phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer via your internet browser.

The event app will give you access to the live stream of the conference, as well as loads of other resources and guidance. We'll send the link to you again by email nearer the conference, along with information on how to login and access the content and features.

Who is running this conference?

The Communications team, part of the wider Connexional Team of the Methodist Church, are hosting this conference. 

Will I be able to access the materials after the conference

We are planning on making all keynotes and resources available after the conference. Please register with us to ensure you receive this content after the conference. 

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