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Modern-Day Episcopal Address Will Be Multimedia Experience

United Methodist Communications
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 8, 2008

Contact: Diane Denton
(615) 742-5406 (office)
(615) 483-1765 (cell)

Modern-Day Episcopal Address Will Be Multimedia Experience

FORT WORTH: When Bishop Sharon Brown Christopher delivers the Episcopal Address at the United Methodist General Conference in Fort Worth on April 24, it will be a much different experience than when the first formal Episcopal Address was presented in 1812. It will, in fact, be the first of its kind.

This year's Episcopal Address will be a multimedia production incorporating video, photos, music, and stories of those whose lives have been transformed through Jesus Christ. As a part of the address, Holy Communion will be served to more than 4,000 people gathered at General Conference.The entire event will be made available live via streaming video at www.gc2008.umc.org.

"This will not be a lecture about the church," said Bishop Christopher, who leads the church's Illinois Episcopal Area. "Rather it is our hope as a Council of Bishops to create for the General Conference and for the whole UnitedMethodistChurch an experience of hope.That is our prayer; that is our goal."

Titled "The Future With Hope," Christopher says the 55-minute address is the Council of Bishops' prayer for The United Methodist Church and the world. "I have never been more hopeful for the church than I am now," Christopher told participants at the Pre-General Conference news briefing in January.

Christopher was elected by the Council of Bishops to prepare and deliver the address on behalf of the entire council.She is one of the denomination's longest-serving active bishops and the first woman to become president of the Council, which comprises 69 active bishops and 87 retired bishops from the U.S., Africa, Europe, and Asia.The bishops provide spiritual leadership for the 11-million member denomination.

About General Conference 2008
General Conference is the top policy-making body of The United Methodist Church which meets once every four years. The conference can revise church law, as well as adopt resolutions on current moral, social, public policy and economic issues. It also approves plans and budgets for church-wide programs for the next four years. The 2008 meeting will take place April 23-May 2 at the Fort WorthConvention Center.