November 28, 2011

Helping out the Calendar Master

Every congregation needs a calendar master.

This person oversees all the events in the church and coordinates with outside groups. The calendar master knows which group will leave the building spotless and which ones will leave half-full coffee cups on the counters.

It’s a heady, heavy job. Fortunately, a colleague discovered a free calendaring program that can help share the load.

The website allows users to create and customize a calendar that can be integrated with a church or diocesan website. What’s really cool though is that it allows other people to submit calendar items – with final approval by the calendar master.

What I love about this is that the director of youth ministries can go on the web-based calendar and submit all of the upcoming retreats, complete with cost, contact information and other details. It waits in a virtual queue while the calendar master receives an e-mail about the pending event. Then the calendar master reviews and approves the event – at which point, it becomes public. (The check-and-balance here is that calendar master can also dismiss the event if it’s inappropriate or someone trying to spam the church site). 

This simple tool spreads the work. And hopefully it empowers others to check the calendar before scheduling events. 

For deanery or diocesan communicators, this is a great tool for topical calendars. For instance, we’re promoting it for Advent and Christmas events and inviting churches to submit their own calendar items. Normally we’re deluged with e-mails and calls, asking us to post various pageants and Lessons and Carols dates; this way, churches can put all the details they want, and our job shrinks to giving the final OK. 

All in all, I think the calendar master would approve.