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PNC moderator offers blog with video clips

In April before Annual Meeting, then incoming Pacific Northwest Conference moderator, the Rev. Brandon Duran, began blogging, inspired by the Annual Meeting promotional videos prepared by Margaret Irribarra and Kmbris Bond.

Brandon Duran
Brandon Duran

“I decided to do a video blog, because it would save time. If I wrote something, I might obsess on grammar and word choice, but with video I did not obsess as much,” he said. “It’s less time consuming to do three-minute clips in one or two takes, rather than writing and rewriting.”

He also believes it’s less daunting for some people to watch a two-minute video rather than an online post.

“It’s a great way to capture the life of the conference and such events as the Leadership Retreat in June, General Synod in July and the Conference Council in the fall,” said Brandon, who is director of children, youth and family ministries at Plymouth Church in Seattle.

One of the regular blog features includes interviews, which he began at Annual Meeting with interviews of Dave Shull of Spirit of Peace UCC, Jane Sorenson of Monroe UCC, Cory Maclay of Education Ministries, and Conference Minister Mike Denton. They can be found at

Duran intends to add vignettes of theological reflection on three questions: “1) What gives you hope? 2) What breaks your heart? And 3) What draws you to God?” “I chose familiar faces of folks people would meet at Annual Meeting,” he said.

He did not identify people in the initial round, as a way to give them a safe space for commenting. For future interviews, he plans to ask people for permission to put their names online.

I hope the blog link will provide a different form of communication in the conference where people can post and connect, such as posting minutes of committee meeting,” he said.

Duran said that uses will also be considered when a Communication Implementation Team is formed to move forward with the report prepared by consultant Kathleen Hosfeld. Duran, who came to the PNC in 2004 to serve the Seattle Taiwanese Church, grew up Mennonite-Brethren in Madera, Calif., graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies and earned an MDiv at Fuller Theological Seminary, has served as interim at Keystone UCC in Seattle before starting at Plymouth a year ago.

He became active in the conference early, because he believes in connection with the wider church. Brandon expects the board to review the conference vision adopted in the mid 1990s so the conference has a vision for local communities and churches connecting with each other and the conference.

“I would like to see more collaboration on projects, such as churches working together to offer OWL studies, sharing outreach or communication staff, and finding new ways to do church together,” he said.

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Copyright Pacific Northwest Conference News © Summer 2011





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