By Lindsay Peyton
You only have six tries to come up with the right combination of five letters. That’s Wordle. The simple game has taken the internet by storm. It seems like everyone, everywhere is playing – even during this year’s Texas Annual Conference.
Each day of the Conference, a new puzzle was posted. Participants were invited to play by scanning a QR. Then, scores were shared on the TAC Facebook page.
Creating a Wordle puzzle specifically for Annual Conference attendees was the brainchild of Shannon W. Martin, the Conference’s director of communications. She wanted to add a dose of daily fun to the three-day event.
Martin explained that her friend Todd Rossnagel, director of communications at the Louisiana Annual Conference, shared the idea with her.
The Wordle was released each morning through slides on the screen each morning with laity and clergy posting their wordle’s on social media.
Martin is a major fan of Wordle. When Rossnagel told her about the experience in their Annual Conference, her ears perked up. “I love word games, and I’m a little obsessed with Wordle,” she admitted with a laugh. “I’m so grateful that the communicators in our jurisdiction love to share project ideas.”
Martin pitched the idea of creating a Wordle for Annual Conference to Rev. Kip Gilts, Assistant to the Bishop. He immediately agreed.
“Kip and I thought this would be an entertaining way to come together as our TAC family,” Martin said. “And we knew it would be an easy conversation starter. The Annual Conference is such a great time of fellowship. We wanted to do what we could to encourage that feeling of togetherness.”
She explained that while the game is owned by the New York Times, there are online spin-offs that make it easy to create custom puzzles. This made it possible for the UMC designers to focus the game on holy words – so conference goers could start each day with a spiritual lift and a smile.
“There’s a lot of time devoted to important business and debating our concerns during the Annual Conference,” Martin said. “Playing Wordle was meant to be a little break during the day. We hope that it offered some amusement to our attendees – and it might be something churches can take home to try on their own, just like Louisiana.”