Backstage at General Conference

Every morning at the General Conference there is a new issue of the Daily Christian Advocate waiting for attendees. This publication is produced daily during the General Conference sessions, and contains news and features as well as the verbatim transcript of the conference proceedings and calendar items. Because the conference doesn't end until evening each day, the DCA staff must work into the night to make sure each issue is finished and printed by morning. I am part of that staff.

There’s no doing it halfway at General Conference. Each person who comes to the conference to work comes with the mindset that he or she will strive toward excellence. Everyone who helps with the work that goes into day-to-day creation of The Daily Christian Advocate gives it their all. It’s not OK for things to be just OK. Good enough is not good enough. It has to be right, as close to perfect as we can possibly make it. This is not a part of the job description. It is not something that someone is breathing down your neck to encourage. We are compelled by a force from within, that cannot be fully explained or understood, to do the best job possible for the sake of the Church.

From the outside, the function of The Daily Christian Advocate appears to be to just serve as the news source for the conference. It’s true, we do provide an account of the proceedings and work of the Conference to help those in attendance follow the flow of events, as well as helpful tools to help them navigate their visit to the host city. However, I also think of our job as being the preservers of history. We provide a record of what was said that will become a part of the Church’s story. Yet, working on the DCA is not just about being an observer. Sometimes watching and recording that history is hard and emotional, but we put our feelings aside for the sake of the work. This is not to say that we are detached workers. We engage with what is happening on the conference stage, while also being a part of the backstage story.


Today's blog post was written by Selena Cunningham. Selena was an editor at The United Methodist Publishing House and a member of The Daily Christian Advocate staff. Tune in next week to learn more about working on the DCA.

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