Saturday, April 2, 2011


I had a wonderful afternoon with Bob William's class on communication (web, blogs, email blasts, etc.) today at Bloy House. I talked with the class about consistency in presentation and information. Some things we talked about:

  • Does your parish distribute your newsletter electronically? Paper only? Electronic and paper?

  • Why provide a weekly email blast with information about upcoming events?

  • Is there "payback" in terms of attendance or participation with what we're doing electronically?

  • Making sure events and the dates/times of the events in the bulletin, email blast and webpage are consistent and accurate (how often we slip on one or more!)

  • What is the purpose of a blog? What kind of information should a blog contain, and how should it be displayed?

  • Facebook as a tool for sharing information (or not!) and sharing what parishes are doing on the diocesan Facebook page.

  • What NOT to post on Facebook, and how to delete comments that some may leave that are rude.

We went through and looked at the features offered on Constant Contact, the vehicle the Diocese uses to deliver the weekly email blast. It was fun to see how an email blast is developed and used, and the stats that Constant Contact provides. I used to work on the email blast at St. Clement's, as well as the old website. Speaking of websites, we went on various websites in differing denominations talking about what just the home page says about that church as it comes up and into our view. Each spoke volumes about the community of faith it represented (or not, depending on the website). So much fun!

This was a wonderful class, with great questions and even better ideas. I learned a lot from this group. I think that's what teaching really is about: learning as we share what we learn with others. These students are talking about keeping in touch and sharing ideas/information/best practices. I'm grateful that I was invited to be part of this group this day, sharing what I know.

I wonder what it would be like if we ALL shared what we knew, what works well and what doesn't, freely with one another. I'm going to have to wander onto the websites of these students in a few months to see what they have done.


  1. It was really great to have you on campus today. I like the variety of ways technology helps us stay in touch with large numbers of people. We do a number of the things you listed at St. Andrew's, but we have a sizable percentage of the parish who are not computer literate and don't (and won't) do *anything* electronically. I think sometimes it can be hard to make sure those people get the same information that those of us who are online get.

  2. Woops- Tonwen is Rae

  3. It is so important to be "with the times." As time goes by, more and more of our congregants will be more familiar with electronic communication than any other kind, and to be accessible to them, we must meet them where they are (at their computers!) It is wonderful that you are addressing this. And we old folks are able to learn new tricks, and stay up with the times. It takes NOTHING away from our traditional ways; only enhances them, making them more attractive for all.