Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tuning up your parish's web presence before Christmas Eve

The launch in mid-October of Vital Practices has yielded plenty of usable ideas. Case in point: a brief consideration of how parish web sites can welcome visitors on Christmas Eve with greater hospitality and more usable information.


  • ... Review your web page, voice mail, banners and signage through the eyes of someone visiting your parish for the first time.
  • ... Take a page from NPR’s digital media developers and go to a coffee shop, laptop in tow, and buy coffee for a stranger who is willing to poke around your website. Does their impression of your parish match up to your own sense of what the parish is?
  • ... Select your parish’s top stories from the past year and feature these on the homepage. These provide wonderful insight for potential visitors into the nature and values of the community they will be visiting on Christmas.
  • ... List your Christmas service times and include photos from last year’s service. If you don’t have any, make sure to ask someone to photograph this year’s event and save these photos for next year’s outreach.
  • ... Include the service times for the major feast days that take place from Christmas through Epiphany. These are great opportunities for folks to return.
  • ... Commit to a longer term review of your parish’s hospitality, perhaps by following some of Kathy Copas’ insights in this article.
Read the rest here.

H/T to Torey Lightcap writing on The Lead at the Episcopal Cafe.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Why I don't go to church

Central Christian Church of Las Vegas, Nevada put this video out on YouTube.

This effort does a good job addressing probably the top 7 or 8 reasons most often heard from people who are spiritual, and perhaps leaning towards church attendance but who don’t go. The ones who are positively disposed to the idea, but perhaps haven't made that first step.

It does not address the resistance of those who have been spiritually abused. Neither does it deal with those who have questions or serious obstacles to belief itself. But you can't do everything at once, even in this medium.

Maybe that can be the topic of the next video or two?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

This is why Jesus quotes the BCP!

That's because Jesus was an Episcopalian.

Well, okay, maybe he wasn't...but maybe we secretly suspected!

Here is a sixteen-part video series introducing the Episcopal Church. It is based on the book by the Rev. Christopher Yaw. Here is what he says about the videos.
The point of this audaciously anachronistic title is not to claim Jesus as our own (how very un-Episcopalian that would be!), but to inspire us to see how Jesus is found in the many and varied expressions of faith that two thousand years of Christendom has birthed.

One such expression is the Anglican tradition in America, better known as The Episcopal Church. We are known more for substance than self-promotion - evenhandedness than extremism. Too often we are not easily noticed, found, or understood, which is why I wrote this provocative sounding book and companion website.

Today is an exciting time to be an Episcopalian. We have a renewed commitment to feeding the hungry and clothing the naked - standing up for equal rights and radical hospitality - worshiping in the beauty of holiness and making disciples who take Christ into the world.

Despite the polarizing forces at work in this age of transition, we are solidly emerging as a distinctive and dynamic alternative for many Christians. My hope is that these 16 video teachings can help newcomers and inquirers get a better sense of how The Episcopal Church endeavors to do Jesus' work in the world, to the praise and glory of His name.

Here are the rest of the videos and here is the book, Jesus Was an Episcopalian and You Can Be One Too.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Put the "mass" back in Christmas

Another nice, locally-made video from the folks at King of Peace Episcopal Church, King Island, Georgia.