Distance Meeting Options

The Great Plains Conference has a large land area, and it can take hours to drive from one portion of the conference to another. It’s important, then, that to be as efficient as possible and to be good stewards that we make use of distance-meeting or distance-learning technology. Following are some options for meeting technologies currently employed by Great Plains United Methodists and how you can initiate their use.



Best for: Two-person meetings up to large groups. This option works really well for groups of any size who will be gathering via separate computers and not in groups of people.

How it works: Zoom is a web-based software that allows people to see each other while meeting over any distance. It features an option to record the meeting for those who cannot attend. And it provides a call-in option for people without video capability but who need to participate in the conversation.

Scheduling: Contact Todd Seifert at tseifert@greatplainsumc.org. You must provide the following information in the email:

  • The date of the meeting.
  • The start time.
  • The anticipated ending time.
  • Email addresses of all who you want to invite to the meeting, so their instructions can be sent directly to them.

Omission of any of these details will prevent the scheduling of your meeting, so please make sure all four pieces of information are included.


Skype for Business/Conference Video Locations

Best for: Meetings that will include one or more clusters of people gathering in one or more locations.

How it works: The conference provides 13 regional video conference sites with capacities ranging from 10 participants up to 40 participants. This format is good for education/instruction/preaching sessions as well as small meetings where it is important to see facial expressions and other non-verbal communication. It is also excellent for two-way communication where discussion and feedback are important elements of the meeting. View this map to see where regional sites are located.

Scheduling: Contact Todd Seifert, communications director, at tseifert@greatplainsumc.org. You must provide the following information in your email:

  • Date of your meeting.
  • Start time of your meeting. Keep in mind that in most cases, meetings will be restricted to operating hours and days of each office or church that serves as a video location to prevent overtime requirements for staff members.
  • Anticipated ending time.
  • Which of the regional video sites you want to be activated for the meeting.
  • Once the meeting is scheduled, you will receive information about when to join via email that you can share with your attendees.


Telephone Conference Calls

Using traditional telephone conference call technology, the number of connections is unlimited and several meetings can be conducted simultaneously.

Best for: Groups as small as three but as large as 15, with the organizer setting a precise model for conversation, such as each person identifying themselves before speaking, and other ground rules. To schedule a telephone conference call, contact Todd Seifert, communications director, at tseifert@greatplainsumc.org. Information needed to set up your call:

  • Date of the call.
  • Starting time for the call.
  • Anticipated ending time for the call.
  • Email addresses for all participants so their instructions can be sent directly to them.


Webcast or Livestream

Webcasts are similar to broadcasts, but usually to an invited audience delivered over the Internet. Webcasts are useful for the presentation of educational material and presentations to large target audiences. Interaction occurs through email and social media. Webcasts can be watched from a home computer or as a group activity in a large setting where a large screen projects the webcast for a group.

Current programs using the live streaming technology include “Wesleyan Live” and various training events, as well as the annual conference session. Traditionally it has also provided conference leadership the ability to distribute important information and dialogue on conference polity and programs. Webcasts can be originated from any location with sufficient Internet upload speeds. They can also be produced with one or multi-camera production values. Webcasts can be recorded for future review, editing and distribution.

Webcasts must be approved by the communications department. Please be aware of budget ramifications due to fees incurred with each webcast. Some costs are absorbed by the communications department budget, but some must be paid by the department, committee or team that requests the webcast.


Video Conference Locations

Great Plains Conference video-conferencing facilities including contact person, address and room capacity.

Ainsworth UMC (40)    
Mary Jo Davis,
310 N Woodward
Ainsworth, Neb.  

Alliance UMC (30)    
Rev. Tom Lucas
704 Box Butte
Alliance, Neb.

Chanute First UMC (20)    
Ronda Phillips
202 S Lincoln
Chanute, Kan.  

Dodge City District Office (8)    
Patti Craghead
2016 First Ave., Ste. 605
Dodge City, Kan.  

Hays District Office (8)    
DeeDee Peteete
1011 West 27th St., Ste. F1
Hays, Kan.  

Kansas City District Office (15)    
Stephanie Hubers
12900 Metcalf Ave., Ste. 200
Overland Park, Kan.

Kearney First UMC (40)    
Lori O’Brien
4500 Linden Dr.
Kearney, Neb.

Lincoln Conference Office (40)    
Diane Dunkerson
3333 Landmark Cir.
Lincoln, Neb. 

Norfolk First UMC (40)    
Pam Hansen, copy Tammy Brabec
406 W. Phillip
Norfolk, Neb. 

Ogallala UMC (40)    
Renee Meyer, copy Rev. Chuck Rager
421 N Spruce
Ogallala, Neb.  

Papillion St. Paul’s UMC (30)
Debra Silva, copy Nancy Tomlinson
324 S Jackson
Papillion, Neb.(Omaha area)  

Salina Trinity UMC (30)    
Shari Murray, copy to revnjlt@gmail.com
901 E Neal Ave.
Salina, Kan.  

Topeka Conference Office (20)    
JoEllen McGranahan
4201 SW 15th St.
Topeka, Kan.

Wichita Conference Office (20)
Ann Manske, primary reservationist
316-684-0266 or 800-745-2350
9440 E Boston St.
Wichita, Kan.