2016 Annual Report

Church Leaders

We provide tools, resources, training and services to equip and support church leaders.

Utilizing Research Findings

United Methodist Communications worked with the Barna Group to find out why young adults go to church. Barna president David Kinnaman said the survey found spiritual growth and genuine community are the top motivators for attending church.


Local churches gained online presence through web ministry services

Sharing Knowledge

United Methodist Communications made a "Rethink Church" presentation at the Professional Seminar for Church Communications Offices in April. Staff also met with Reverend Father Lombardi, S.J., Director of the Holy See Press Office, who leads comprehensive communications for the Vatican and the Pope, to share best practices in church communications.


MyCom subscribers received tips, tools and techniques for communications

Preparing Deligates

United Methodist Communications helped delegates prepare for the 2016 General Conference by hosting a pre-General Conference briefing in Portland, Oregon, as well as helping to plan and staff briefings in the Philippines, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire and Russia.


Church leaders built communication skills through training.

Serving our Audiences

We released new research from United Methodist Communications showing that technology adoption rates by United Methodist pastors and leaders is as high or higher than average. Assessing attitudes and usage of emerging forms of digital communications helps inform our work.


Special Sunday envelopes facilitated additional giving.

Connecting General Conference

Supporting the technology and production needs of General Conference required 2-3 years of advance preparation. The technology team built a 200+ device business network within 72 hours, operated it for two weeks and dismantled it within 12-24 hours.


Hispanic/Latino church leaders received an e-newsletter tailored to their ministries.


Local churches received resources to support outreach activities.

Resourcing Local Churches

At The United Methodist Communications’ "Build Our Global Church" display at General Conference, you could learn to tweet, share on social media what you love about your church using the hashtag #TellUMComyourstory, or find resources to help with communications ministry.


Visits to UMCom.org shared resources and information.

Church Members

We tell the story of the people of
The United Methodist Church
at work in the world.


UMC.org visitors viewed meaningful content on 17 million pages.

Keeping Members Informed

Helping the global church stay on top of what’s happening at General Conference was an all-hands-on-deck event that involved production, technology, news reporting, media relations, photography, social media, messaging, InfoServ, live streaming, development of a mobile app and more.


Interpreter subscribers had access to 217 inspirational articles.

Unifying in Prayer

United Methodist Communications joined in partnership with the Council of Bishops, the Upper Room, United Methodist Women, and United Methodist Men to launch the "Praying Our Way Forward" initiative for the work of the Commission on a Way Forward and for the mission of The United Methodist Church to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.


Videos on 3 YouTube channels inspired and informed viewers.

Communicating During Disasters

After Typhoon Haiyan damaged communication infrastructure in the Philippines, a critical component to relief efforts, United Methodist Communications provided sources of electricity and technical assistance for ham radio operators. Pastor Jucar Tabunan (right) receives a Freeplay solar radio from April Mercado, special projects manager for ICT4D Church Initiatives.

Engaging Online in New Ways

From our first Facebook Live event, the General Conference celebration of Imagine No Malaria, to our first live poll that reached almost a half million people, this hot social media trend is helping us boost our reach and engagement and provide new opportunities for creative live content and interaction.

Walking With Wesley

Kathleen Barry and Joe Iovino brought history to life as they walked in the footsteps of John and Charles Wesley and chronicled their journey during the 2016 Wesley Pilgrimage.


Non-English articles informed French-, Hispanic- and Korean-speaking members.


Satisfied customers received answers from InfoServ.

Growing Communication Channels

In April 2016, United Methodist Communications launched a French-language portal at UMC.org, the official website of The United Methodist Church. The site provides resources, history, news and other information about the denomination to support the French-speaking church.


People follow social media channels managed by United Methodist Communications.


People were reached with captivating content on social media.

Nurturing Spiritual Development

A 30-minute monthly podcast hosted by Joe Iovino, Get Your Spirit in Shape, was launched in January. The podcast features conversations with leaders, authors and others who offer spiritual nutrition for everyday life.

Imagining No Malaria

United Methodist Communications helped produce a 12-minute multimedia celebration of Imagine No Malaria at the denomination’s quadrennial legislative gathering. The event, which marked the end of the global multi-year grass-roots initiative, featured a highlights video, dancers and a performance by “American Idol” participant Jeremy Rosado. Since 2010, the people of The United Methodist Church have successfully raised more than $70 million for Imagine No Malaria to address the impact of malaria in Africa through prevention, treatment, communication and education.

The World

We share messages of hope and invitation with the world.


National advertising impressions extended invitation.


Grants provided digital advertising for local churches.

Telling Our Story

Advertising in the airports, the MAX train, and other places around Portland, Oregon, helped to tell our story to local residents, as well as to welcome United Methodists from around the world to General Conference.


Lives were enriched by work completed during Rethink Church community event grants.

Supporting People in Need

When floods ravaged West Virginia and Louisiana, United Methodist Communications collaborated with those annual conferences to share advertising messages of hope, calls for donations, news coverage and on-site communication support.

Reaching Out to the World

September saw the launch of a new four-part advertising series via TV, billboards, digital platforms and mobile devices. The ads highlighted the church’s role in disaster response, education and hunger relief and finding the true meaning of Christmas by lending a hand to a neighbor in need.


Cups of hot cocoa offered a warm invitation to people in 9 cities.

The Balancing Act

Jennifer Rodia and the Rev. Gary Henderson appeared on the Balancing Act to talk about loneliness, especially during the holidays, and how church provides a deeper, more meaningful kind of community where you can explore your faith with others.


Visits to Find-A-Church’s 32,148 profiles offered local church connections.

Warming Hearts With Cocoa

As commuters, shoppers and eventgoers crowded the most trafficked areas of nine major U.S. cities during the holiday rush, street teams wearing state-of-the-art “jetpack” beverage dispensers handed out tasty cups of hot cocoa bearing the “Rethink Church” message, along with an invitation to visit a United Methodist church for Christmas. Mobile billboards and national advertising rounded out the campaign.


People wore branded T-shirts to build awareness of the denomination.

News Service

We bring you a global perspective on what's happening in the church.


Language translations of General Conference news provided information to diverse audiences.


UMNS Daily Digest subscribers received
in-depth news updates.

Reporting From East Congo

A series of eight stories and seven photo slideshows from news writer Kathy Gilbert and photographer Mike DuBose focused attention on the ministries and people of the flourishing East Congo Conference, the denomination’s newest episcopal area. Since much of the area has no roads, the duo traveled by whatever means necessary: sometimes by boat overnight, sometimes by car through stretches of volcanic rubble, sometimes by motorcycle deep into the forest.


United Methodist News Service stories kept readers informed.

Highlighting Churches in Cuba

Linda Bloom and Mike DuBose spent a week in November traveling throughout Cuba to meet with pastors, members and missionaries to report on how the Methodist Church in Cuba is thriving — and how it has an identity all its own.

The Team

We are truth seekers and storytellers who create avenues to bear witness to Christ.

Celebrating Achievements

Our work in 2016 garnered 27 awards from the United Methodist Association of Communicators, including 4 Best of Class awards, 14 first-place awards, 6 second-place awards and 3 third-place awards. Pictured above are those in attendance at the annual UMAC meeting.


Employees supported the denomination's diverse communication needs.

Caring for Neighbors

Our staff cares not only about the work we do worldwide, but also our local community. In 2016, employees generously gave of their time, talents and finances to support meaningful work taking place in organizations such as United Way of Metropolitan Nashville, Nashville Rescue Mission, Last Minute Toy Store, Bethlehem Centers of Nashville and Salvation Army Angel Tree.


Cumulative years of service have enhanced our knowledge, skills and expertise.

Welcoming New Team Members

Nine individuals joined United Methodist Communications in 2016, offering their talent and experience to the training, marketing, communications, finance, customer experience and content teams. The new employees are (pictured left to right) Jeremy Brown, Dan Hoag, Jane Massey, Tyrus Sturgis, Elle Turner, Madeline Dusenberry, Robert Pugh and Julie Dwyer.


Countries where United Methodist Communications staff worked.

United Methodist Church 2016 Annual Report

Journey Through 2016

Click on photos & milestones to learn how United Methodist Communications supports the work of the church around the world.

Start the journey here
United Methodist Church 2016 Annual Report

Click here to view the 2016 Annual Budget.