The new website has just launched. This blog post will give you a quick preview of some of its major offerings and features.
First, some technical details. This site is responsive, meaning that it will automatically adapt itself so that it can be viewed on computers, tablets, and smart phones. You can use it with any of these devices to keep up with church activities, even on the go. If you have delayed familiarizing yourself with computers, the internet, tablets, or smart phones, now might be a great time to do so! The benefits will trickle over into other areas of your life besides the church.
Let’s quickly review the major features of the new site.
1. Location information. The site contains a Google maps entry of the church. This includes a detailed street map which can be viewed at different zoom levels showing different degrees of detail. Smart phones can use this feature to provide directions to the church for new attendees, including precise verbal instructions that tell drivers when to turn and on what street when travelling the church.
2. A comprehensive Events section lists all major events for the year, including special ceremonies and events for holidays such as Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, Easter, and Christmas. All regular worship ceremonies are also included, as are all recurring practices and meetings for groups such as the Choir, Crazy Quilters, Youth Groups, Out to Lunch Bunch, and ConneXion. Annual events such as the Neighborhood BBQ and Fall Rally are also included. The website is now a comprehensive calendar of all major events. Additionally, critical news about upcoming events will be posted to the blog of the site.
3. The site has an I’m New section which includes a message from Pastor Dan, the Location, Worship information, and Membership information. This is a great way to introduce the church to people who have not physically attended yet, and it is an excellent supplement to a personal verbal introduction to the church.
4. The Get Involved section of the site lists all Programs that the church offers, including ConneXion, the Youth Ministry, United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men, Music, the Silver Sages, the Fifth Thursday Group, the Crazy Quilters, the Prayer Chains, and the Out to Lunch Bunch. It is now possible to see a comprehensive summary of all church Programs in one place–and then of course to find out when the members of these programs meet next using the Events section.
5. The What We Do section of the site lists all charitable outreach activities of the church.
6. A Church Blog is now being utilized to provide time-critical announcements, summaries of noteworthy activities, notes from Pastor Dan, news about Youth Activities, and some website and computer tutorials. Our monthly newsletter The Messenger will also be posted to the blog and can be accessed there.
7. A Sermons section has also been created. Each sermon given by Pastor Dan will be posted to this area of the website, so that its text can be reviewed at your leisure at a later time. These Sermons will be categorized by the book of the Bible they draw upon, and the moral topic they discuss, serving as a useful moral and spiritual resource which can easily be accessed for inspiration on a particular topic.
8. The Contact section of the site now lists all church staff and has an e-mail contact form.
A Bloggging 101 Blog Post has been created to teach you a bit more about using the site, especially the Blog, Events, and Sermons sections. Though hardly comprehensive, this post will at least help you get started if you are confused or overwhelmed by computers and websites.
We worked hard on the new site, trying to provide something simple yet powerful which would truly be of practical use to the congregation. We hope you enjoy it.