“Communication” and “community” share the same latin root which connotes togetherness and fellowship. The communication we share with one another as a church helps unite us in worship, spirit and purpose. The communication we share publicly as a church about our faith, mission and community life is a part of our ministry here in the Charlottesville area and the world. We share our beliefs about the generous and inclusive love of God, not just by writing our mission statement, but by sharing the way that belief is embodied in our community life together.
For the past four months, I have headed an effort by staff and the administration division to create a new website that was lean, efficient, elegant and simple for visitors to navigate. We looked at best practices by other churches and received several proposals from area web designers. Second, the new website needed to be integrated with our regular communications and newsletters. A community our size has a lot of important things going on at any given point in time, and communicating between divisions or even committees within the same division can be challenging, let alone trying to quickly let the entire community know something is happening in a timely manner. So the website essentially has two parts. The first part is static with important information about our community that members and visitors might need to access. The second part is dynamic and blog driven, giving staff a very easy and powerful way to create new content to support or promote ongoing and seasonal programs.
With so many different platforms to use, from websites to email and social media, and an intergenerational congregation with varying degrees of tech savvy, our communication also must be simple, effective and inclusive. We are upgrading current .pdf formatted newsletter to a much more dynamic weekly e-letter that is organized and easy to skim, but will allow anyone to access all of the detailed information and content staff and westminster members are creating. Of course staff will print versions of the newsletter and continue to mail them to homebound people, or to members who cannot access the internet regularly. And for those who enjoy reading deeper reflections that are occasionally published, we will gather these together for a quarterly “gleanings” print “magazine.”
For those of you who contribute to the newsletter regularly, you can continue to send your articles to Mickie and she will forward them to the appropriate staff person. And we’re all in this together so don’t hesitate to ask questions!
Gratefully serving in Christ,