Letter to Conference Clergy and Local Churches/Crisis Situations
Dear Pastors and Leadership of Virginia Conference Churches,
Communications is at the very heart of what we do; it is how we carry out ministry. Communication is also integral in maintaining the connectional aspect of our denomination that links local churches to our global church.
To this end, I am writing to convey the importance of sharing with the conference office when you or your churches are mentioned in the local press, have been contacted by the press or have a potential crisis. As well, please remember to contact your district superintendent first in any crisis.
Afterwards, please contact our Virginia Conference Director of Communications Madeline Pillow (MadelinePillow@vaumc.org). For any type of media contact, Madeline can provide guidance in talking to the press, sharing your news and handling any crisis. It is especially important in a crisis situation that the conference be informed and have as much time as possible to prepare.
A crisis is defined as any situation that threatens the integrity or reputation of an organization, usually brought on by adverse or negative media attention. These situations can be any kind of legal dispute, accident, employee action or other perilous action that could be attributed to an organization or impact your ability to operate. It can also be a situation when the public perceives an organization did not react in the appropriate manner.
As a conference, it is important that we are aware that because of ever-changing technology, news can be rapidly disseminated broadly on social media and the Internet. Our sensitivity to this will ensure that our ministry and our work at making disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world is the message that we broadcast.
I thank you for your attention to this matter and for helping maintain the strength of our connection.
Peace and Blessings,
Bishop Sharma D. Lewis