From start to finish — in fact from before the start until after the finish — www.anglican.ca will be the next best thing to actually being at the Anglican Church of Canada’s 38th General Synod in Winnipeg in June.
Observers who are selective about the use of the General Synod web site should be able to get all of the drama, all of the color, all of the worship and all of the important debates and decisions with none of the tedium or the gruelling dawn-to-night schedule that General Synod members will have to endure.
For those who want it all though, the gavel-to-gavel webcast coverage that will be available at http://anglican.ca/gs2007 will be the closest experience possible to actual attendance in the plenary hall at downtown Winnipeg’s Marlborough Hotel.
Webcast coverage will also include a number of other major events that will take place outside the hotel, including a joint day with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the election and installation of a new Primate. Both the opening and closing services will be webcast.
In a way, the coverage and analysis of General Synod has already begun. The Convening Circular — that huge and complicated document that includes every scrap of paper that General Synod members are expected to read, digest, understand and make a decision on, has already been posted in downloadable form onwww.anglican.ca.
The Convening Circular also includes the agenda, so that you can start planning when to “tune in” now.
And since the start of the year, an interactive web-based feature entitled In Plenary, which includes feature articles and the opportunity to comment on them, or to comment on other people’s comments, has provided an advance taste of the debate around major issues that can be expected at General Synod.
For those with an interest or zeal that requires less than 15 hours a day of being glued to a computer monitor (there must be some) the web site will also feature a variety of innovative ways to keep tabs on highlights as they develop or to gain insights through expert analysis.
Anglican Video will be producing a highlight and commentary program for the web, featuring Tim Morgan of the diocese of Rupert’s Land, a member of the Communications and Information Resources Committee and the Anglican Journal Board of Directors.
There will also be video highlights, audio highlights and blogs.
A team of journalists and communications specialists will be producing and disseminating regular news releases which will be posted to the web.
The web will also be watching the evolution of the gathering, with regular updates on resolutions and memorials. Each morning, the orders of the day will be posted and, in the dead of night, daily highlights which will be produced by the Rev. Canon Bryan Bjerring.
The Anglican Journal, with a staff augmented for the occasion, will be producing a daily newspaper which will be distributed to General Synod participants and posted to its Web site,www.anglicanjournal.com. Journal staff will also be posting major stories as they break, and as quickly as possible after the General Synod has ended, will be producing a special edition of the regular newspaper which will be mailed to all subscribers.
The web initiative is being coordinated by www.anglican.ca manager Brian Bukowski; the videography is produced by Anglican Video under Senior Producer Lisa Barry.
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