• Pass the Plate. Or not. ✓
    Vital Posts
    Links Updated 01/02/2014 Update 01/26/2012  - Theresa Mathes, ECF Program Director for Capital Campaigns and Diocesan Solutions, came across the following chart of online services.  More and more churchgoers want to make their financial…
  • No More Parking Lot Conversations ✓
    Vestry Papers
    Highly functioning, fruitful vestries are built on transparency and respect.
  • Critical Communication
    Vital Posts
    Parishioners and visitors staying in touch with our church community and each other is a critical component of a welcoming and vibrant ministry. In the past and also very much today the primary means of communication within our church is by word-of…
  • Words Create Worlds
    Vital Posts
    On Christmas morning a few weeks ago, we turned from the infant in the cradle to give our worship to the mighty God who came among us as that baby. We read these words: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was G…
  • Communications is Key in a Capital Campaign
    Vital Posts
    In my corporate work, I used to facilitate a workshop called the M.A.G.I.C .of Customer Relations, which emphasized communications and relationships as two of the keys to delivering exceptional customer service. Early in the program we pondered a q…
  • December 2016 Editor’s Letter
    Vital Posts
    What does it mean to communicate in a way that models Christ? How do we share good news with our friends, neighbors and strangers? In this issue of Vestry Papers, we invite you to consider how the sharing of stories can take on many different…
  • Your Church Needs a Welcome Video
    Vestry Papers
    Church welcome videos are an excellent way to invite newcomers in and share the joys of the parish community. Too often we are held back by budgetary concerns and the lack of time, but there is an answer! In Your Church Needs a Welcome Video, Christ…
  • Using Instagram Effectively for Church
    Vestry Papers
    Why do we often find visuals more compelling than words? Using Instagram Effectively for Church explains how a narrative of images can be a positive and affirming space of interaction, communication and sharing for the church.
  • A Ministry of Invitation
    Vestry Papers
    For many in the Episcopal Church, evangelism continues to be an uncomfortable word. A Ministry of Invitation reimagines evangelism in the context of an invitation to share stories, resources and Good News.
  • Developing Your Communications Plan
    Webinars
    Too often, congregations, dioceses and other Episcopal organizations jump straight into communications tactics (What should we put on our website? What kinds of articles should we put in our newsletter?) before thinking through their communications s…
  • November 2016 Editor’s Letter: Tools for Evangelism
    Vital Posts
    Evangelism. Sharing our stories. Being comfortable talking about Jesus and the role faith plays in our lives. Making this easier – and also more difficult – is the array of resources available to almost all of us. At our disposal are tools to m…
  • Making God’s Love Visible
    Vestry Papers
    Many of us are familiar with using member testimonials as part of our annual, capital, or other campaigns. In “Making God’s Love Visible,” Robyn Banks shares the videos at the heart of Calvary Episcopal Church, Memphis’ 2016 annual campaign …
  • Social Media Campaigns
    Vestry Papers
    In the first of a two-part series, “Social Media Campaigns” by Charis Bhagianathan shares how Episcopal congregations and dioceses are using Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to educate and engage both parishioners and those in the wider community…
  • #EvenTalk: Connect via Twitter
    Vestry Papers
    #EvenTalk offers an opportunity to bring people into deeper relationship using social media.
  • Inspired by the Mustard Seed
    Vestry Papers
    St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Amenia Union, New York was a parish of 16 when priest Elizabeth Fisher accepted their call 10 years ago. “Inspired by the Mustard Seed” shares the story of a tiny church with a mission to do great things who, by us…
  • What Does That Announcement Say, Anyway?
    Vital Posts
    One of the best trainings I’ve had for parish ministry was the year I spent as assistant copy editor for my high school yearbook. My job was to write short, snappy, sometimes witty, often engaging captions and stories. Doing so became a fairly s…
  • Why We Give
    Vestry Papers
    Congregational leaders willing to try something different were the catalyst for a new approach to St. Paul’s 2015 annual giving campaign. Working with all church committees and groups, this team wove all of their blessings into a compelling narrati…
  • Old-School Church Directory, 2.0
    Vital Posts
    I have always loved looking through the church directories. As a kid, I would flip through them between commercials or get distracted by the photos whenever I was looking up a phone number. Seeing each picture both as an individual unit (whether fa…
  • UnCivil Wars
    Vital Posts
    The insults are fast and furious, quick as fingers can type. Disdain drips from comments. There’s unfriending and dismissal, with malcontents and earnest disagreement getting mixed into a giant slurry of an uncivil war. This political season …
  • Telling the Difficult Stories
    Vital Posts
    Editor's note: Our summer 'reruns' continue... For today's offering we're bringing back a post by Jeremy Sierra inviting us to find the time to practice telling our own difficult stories. Summer, with longer days and more relaxed schedules, might be …
  • Where Is the Invitation Here?
    Vestry Papers
    With our final article we shift our focus to the practical: How might we equip ourselves to best respond to the changes we face? Perhaps, as Br. James Koester, SSJE, models in “Where is the Invitation Here?” we need to engage in listening, to as…
  • Storytelling as Evangelism
    Webinars
  • The Key to Strategic Implementation? Communication
    Vital Posts
    “Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.”(Acts 2: 14) It must have been breathtaking t…
  • Marketing the "E" in Episcopal Schools (Lessons for Churches...)
    Vital Posts
    Most schools take great care in how they articulate their educational philosophy and program. Yet many overlook the same when it comes to Episcopal identity. In our experience here at NAES, schools that are clear and forthright about their Episcopa…
  • Not Frozen, Introverted
    Vital Posts
    “Episcopalians: we’re not God’s frozen people. We’re God’s introverted people.” This was said by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, perhaps one of the minority of extroverted Episcopalians, but it nonetheless rang true. I don’t k…
  • From Scratch: Explaining Episcopal
    Vital Posts
    A few times a month for most of the last eight years, I have led a Bible Study at Century Regional Detention Facility, Los Angeles County’s main jail for women. It’s an environment where just about nobody knows what an Episcopalian is. I pass t…
  • Open Source
    Vital Posts
    Steve Jobs and Apple have much to teach the church: both things we should embrace and tenets we should push away. As I nursed a hacking cough this weekend, I finally caught the movie, Steve Jobs. Like many, I have long been a fan of Apple’s co…
  • When Something Goes Wrong
    Vital Posts
    “No comment” is not the answer to poor planning. In a decade as a diocesan communicator, I was the point person on several occasions when something went wrong and the media wanted information. I also spent eight years as the one asking the …
  • Allowing the Spirit to Do It's Work
    Vital Posts
    When you write, you can’t control how others interpret your words. Not completely, anyway. I was reminded of this after I wrote some reflections for Forward Day by Day. These are daily meditations on the lectionary that go out to Episcopalians al…
  • Phone Church
    Vital Posts
    Two weeks ago, in advance of winter storm Jonas, the forecasters in the mid-Atlantic began their steady drumbeat of winter weather analysis mixed with heart-stopping projections.  Meteorologically, they knew something was going to happen but, w…
  • The Data Shows: Invite and They Will Come
    Vital Posts
    Last December, the Acts 8 Movement released a video which could be customized and shared via social media to proclaim the gospel and invite people to worship. After it came out, I posted a tutorial about how to do just that, providing video for…
  • Roots
    Vital Posts
    “Where are you from?” The answer to this deceptively easy question often depends on the cultural context. When I lived in an Appalachian community, this question really was asking, “Where did you go to high school?” In the community I li…
  • The Wise Guys are Almost There
    Vital Posts
    Tomorrow the Church celebrates Epiphany, the arrival of the Wise Men in Bethlehem to greet and celebrate the birth of Jesus. In a suburb of Columbus, Ohio, the wise men have taken the circuitous route. Throughout the twelve days of Christmas…
  • Christmas: Sharing the Good News with a Video
    Tools
    Want a 1 minute video sharing the message of Christmas that you can personalize for your church to add service times? A gift from your friends at the Acts 8 Movement.
  • Social Media as a Pastoral Tool
    Vital Posts
    Even from a hospital bed, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry is a pastor. Over the weekend, Bishop Curry suffered a subdural hematoma, a small collection of blood between his brain and his skull. He is scheduled for surgery today and is expected to …
  • Strong Administrator = Strong Church
    Vestry Papers
    Do you ever think of your parish administrator as a primary part of your community’s root system?
  • Word Clouds: What Would Your Church's Say?
    Vital Posts
    What do you talk about? Who (or what) takes up the most space in your conversations? It would be hard to measure the content of our actual conversations but a popular Facebook app is providing some interesting insights. You have probably seen t…
  • When Having Difficult Conversations, Empathy Helps
    Vital Posts
    About a week ago, I posted a video on my Facebook page about race and what white people can do to combat racism. A friend of mine found some aspects of the video a little upsetting, particularly the idea of being grouped together with other white p…
  • The “Both/And” of Church and Tech
    Vital Posts
    The Episcopal Church just celebrated “Social Media Sunday” -- a time to post and tweet images and messages about church across various social media platforms. As it turned out, our congregation (along with the sister congregation that worships …
  • Milestone Celebrations
    Vital Posts
    When the timpani rumbled with the first chords of the opening hymn, it was obvious this would be an extraordinary worship experience. The sweeping harp, the proclaiming brass, the richness of the strings, caught up the congregation in the powerful wo…
  • Communication, Communication
    Vital Posts
    Want some advice on how to grow your church?  Hire a communications director. Yes, you heard that right. A communications director. Not an additional pastor, not an education director or another musician. But a professional communicator t…
  • Ignore These Details and You Might Lose Your Church's Website
    Vital Posts
    All websites need a domain name and a web host. These are easy to acquire, but sometimes churches have a hard time keeping track of them – and end up losing them, with dire results. They could find themselves locked out of their own website, or t…
  • “Aiming to,” or Serving?
    Vital Posts
    The words leapt out at me, challenging my understanding of what was happening at Boston University. Were they actually doing what the headline promised (providing authentic Asian cuisine to students) or where they planning to as suggested by the ph…
  • Tell Me A Story
    Vital Posts
    Capital campaign planning includes both thought and study about a church’s 'To-Do' list. As people gather data, the project list may soon dominate the conversation. Yes, it is important to build the new wheelchair ramp with the required 1:12 ramp…
  • Manny the Mystery Dog
    Vital Posts
    About a week ago, my wife, Denise, and I adopted a dog. He looks a bit like a cross between a tiny sheep and an Ewok (he’s probably a Shih Tzu), and he brings with him a lot of questions: Like, how do I put his leash on him when he is jumping up …
  • Vital Practices Digest: 5 Resources for Communications
    Vital Posts
    Communications is Ministry For the September Vital Practices Digest, we share five resources to support the ministry of communications in your congregation. Our fifth resource is to help congregations strengthen their practice of year-round s…
  • Matthew Nickoloff: Take It and Tweet It
    Vital Posts
    If St. Augustine were alive today, you could follow him on Twitter @BishopofHippo. It wasn’t quite St. Augustine’s famous “take it and read it” conversion moment in his “Confessions.” But hearing the Rev. Keith Anderson discuss so…
  • Make Time for Marketing
    Vital Posts
    "How many hours a day do you write?" a marketing and social media expert asked me. "Four hours," I replied. "Then you should spend two hours a day on marketing," she said, mainly in social media and email campaigns where costs are quite…
  • Social Media: Who are We Promoting?
    Vital Posts
    I've been thinking and writing recently about social media. Two posts ago, I mentioned that when I go places to speak, I am asked – and it is assumed – that we have social media guidelines in place at Southside Abbey. Well, we don't. What we do…
  • Social Media in Times of Crisis
    Vital Posts
    It happened two weeks ago today, at the time I send this for publication, and I still can't believe it. An armed gunman opened fire on United States military recruiting offices in our town of Chattanooga. I think a lot about my identity as a pr…
  • 7 Steps to Prepare for Hate Attacks
    Vital Posts
    It is time for congregations to develop protocols for responding to hate initiatives on their doorsteps. As the intolerant lose any self-discipline in lashing out at others, we can expect a fresh round of cross-burnings, gay-bashing graffiti,…
  • Social Media & Face-to-Face: What Works for Us
    Vital Posts
    I have been booked several times now to speak about social media in the Church. Friends and family who know me well find great humor in this, as do I. Asking me to speak at a conference on social media is a bit like asking a videotape to parse Lati…
  • Digital Evangelism at General Convention
    Vital Posts
    One of the hot topics at the General Convention is the use of social media in communication and evangelism. Discussion around a resolution to support digital evangelism (B009) resulted in a significant number of tweets on Twitter (#YesB009 and #B009)…
  • Preparing for General Convention: Things for Communicators to Consider
    Vital Posts
    The Episcopal Church’s General Convention is just around the corner. There are hundreds of resolutions to be considered. A new presiding bishop will be elected in addition to the usual election of General Convention presiding officers, at large e…
  • Clearing the Air
    Vital Posts
    A few days ago I had received a somewhat awkward phone call. I volunteer with an organization that advocates for policies and practices to curb climate change, and a colleague from the subcommittee I serve on sent an email out about a new initiativ…
  • Stress and How We Retain Information
    Vital Posts
    I was at a parish that had devoted a great deal of time on communications related to a capital campaign. They sent out letters and emails. Announcements were given and small groups met to discuss the plans. Multiple bulletin boards displayed archit…
  • Wallpaper the Church with Photos!
    Vital Posts
    In this digital age most of us take a lot of pictures. I'm amazed by how fast I can accumulate 1000 pictures on my phone. Most of the time I show them off on the phone itself, passing around particularly good images and inviting friends to scroll t…
  • "Why Didn't It Work?"
    Vital Posts
    The associate pastor of a 225-member Presbyterian church in rural Virginia sent me an important question. She described an extensive evangelism project they had undertaken -- at considerable expense and effort -- and asked "why it didn't quit…
  • Big Data and Small Data
    Vital Posts
    Like communicators everywhere, Episcopal communicators need data to evaluate their effectiveness. But what kind of data: big or small? It’s relatively easy to get numbers: How many people visit the website, how many followers we have on Twi…
  • Social Media Evangelist
    Vital Posts
    We’re Facebook friends. And even at that, I would call us Facebook acquaintances. I don’t know her well, except we greeted each other in the school halls and during field trips. Our kids were in the same grades at the same school before we move…
  • Time Line Story Telling
    Vital Posts
    Creating a time line is a fun, interactive way to engage a congregation in telling stories that help people learn about each other and what they have in common. This is not an exercise to compile an accurate account of your church’s history – i…
  • The More We Share...
    Vital Posts
    I generally listen more than I speak. Not out of any noble impulse, but often out of fear of saying something stupid or of talking about myself too much. I have been known to sit silently while people speak for hours. But here is something I've learn…
  • Low and High Context: Bridging the Gap
    Vital Posts
    It’s morning in the office, and my instinct is to head straight to my desk, fire up the computer, scroll through email, and wrap my brain around the day’s agenda. But others think I'm rude. They like to start with friendly chatter, checking…
  • Tearing Down the Church, One Tweet at a Time
    Vital Posts
    Can Twitter reflect the health of our Church? It may not be a far-fetched idea. NPR ran a story a few days ago about research that indicates a strong correlation between the number of angry tweets and the incidence of heart disease in a communi…
  • December 2014 Editor’s Letter: Sharing Our Stories
    Vital Posts
    Go, Tell It On The Mountain, Over the hills and everywhere; Go, Tell It On The Mountain That Jesus Christ is born. In Advent we prepare, we wait, and we share the ancient stories. In this issue of Vestry Papers we invite you to thin…
  • First Impressions
    Vestry Papers
    More often people are encountering churches for the first time through a website or social media. How can we create a virtual space that feels welcoming to the stranger?
  • Putting out Signals
    Vestry Papers
    We send out many signals, both intentionally and unintentionally. How can we become more in tune with these signals and creating those that resonate with our neighbors?
  • Let Your Light Shine
    Vestry Papers
    Ways to share our own church’s stories first with each other and then, with our wider circle of friends, family, and acquaintances.
  • November 2014 Editor's Letter: Sharing Our Stories
    Vital Posts
    I love a good story. It’s not uncommon for my husband to turn his head and see tears in my eyes. And a smile on my face. He knows I am reading something that has touched my heart. Stories move us. When I ask workshop participants whether …
  • Weaving Story Into All We Do
    Vestry Papers
    Impressed by the warmth, friendliness, and joy found throughout the Grace-St. Luke’s website, I invited Lucy Owens to share their approach with our readers. In “Weaving Story Into All We Do,” Lucy describes a congregation that recognizes sharin…
  • Newcomer Profiles
    Vestry Papers
    How to capture and share the stories and experiences of newcomers developed by Church of the Redeemer and a back-up plan in case the story falls through.
  • Collecting Our Stories
    Vestry Papers
    Is there an epic event or something more intangible that defines your congregation? In Dan Handschy’s “Telling Our Story,” he shares the story of how his congregation began to collect their stories as a way to discover how to respond to a newc…
  • Why Share Stories?
    Vestry Papers
    “Why Share Stories?” by Julie Lytle offers a theological framework for storytelling. She reminds us that as Christians, the stories of God’s presence are both the “ground from which religion emerges and the means by with the Christian faith c…
  • Bag of Marbles
    Vital Posts
    I keep getting in trouble with my snarky rejoinders to the endless blogs and advice columns exhorting me to keep my church website up to date. Some people dismiss careless website management as inexcusable sloppiness. Others patiently explain …
  • Losing Ourselves in a Story
    Vital Posts
    On Sunday, I spent an hour walking around Prospect Park in Brooklyn listening to the new Serial podcast, from This American Life. It’s a gripping story about a murder that will be told over many episodes. As I walked around the park I was totall…
  • Facebook Evangelism: Don't Just "Like"... "Share"!
    Your Turn
    With the enormous popularity of Facebook, we have a great opportunity for "Facebook evangelism." This is possible by using the "Share " option built into Facebook's operating system.
  • Stuck in the Middle – And Glad for It
    Vital Posts
    Do your commissions have enough middle managers? I’ve talked many times about commissions and how they can be vehicles for sharing and expanding leadership in a church. But if the composition isn’t right, then they will most likely flound…
  • Pointless Conversation?
    Vital Posts
  • Summer Sprucing
    Vital Posts
    Spring cleaning is a pipe dream for most congregations. It’s too busy, with Easter and end-of-the-year celebrations. Summers tend to be a little slower and thus a better time for “spring cleaning.” Here’s one place that almost always …
  • Looking at Our Language
    Vital Posts
    I love the language of the Episcopal Church, the words that have been honed by the church over generations. At the same time, every now and then I try to read a blog by an Episcopalian and I feel like I’ve got to wade through the jargon to get at…
  • We’re All In This Together … In Southern Maryland
    Vital Posts
    Together with our local congregations, we’re creating a website or, more broadly, some kind of web-based platform to better market The Episcopal Church in southern Maryland. The goal is to create a site which would speak more compellingly to youn…
  • #SocialMediaSunday #SpreadingtheWord #GreatJob
    Vital Posts
    What began as an idea from a couple of volunteers caught fire, and Social Media Sunday was a grand success. Laura Catalano, a volunteer webmaster from Missouri, wrote about the idea here. What transpired yesterday, the official “Social Medi…
  • Sharing Our Stories
    Tools
    What's holding us back from sharing our faith stories? And, more importantly, what can each of us do to change this?
  • Making Space to Share Our Stories
    Vital Posts
    What’s holding us back from sharing our faith stories? As editor of ECF Vital Practices, I think about this a lot. I have the privilege of hearing – and sharing - amazing stories of how faith communities are responding to God’s call throu…
  • Mom & Pop Religion
    Vital Posts
    A few weeks ago, my computer died. The next day, driving to the Geek Squad, I realized there was a small, locally-owned computer outfit nearby. “I’ll pop in there,” I thought, “and see what they can do.” More than one week later and…
  • That's So.... Awkward
    Vital Posts
    Last Monday, I walked into a yoga studio for the first time in seven years. I had done yoga in undergrad, but after leaving college, classes were either too expensive or too out of the way, and, honestly, I just never got around to going back. But …
  • Defining your Meeting
    Vital Posts
    My daughter served as a page for the Kentucky State Senate recently. She thought the day was interesting, and she learned a lot. But she also informed me: “Did you know they spend all day in meetings? I don’t think I want a job like that.” …
  • Fifty Days
    Vital Posts
    Easter Monday can be a drag. I feel like the bunny in this picture. Our daughter inadvertently left her rabbit on the couch near a window while we went to church. When we returned, she found flat rabbit instead of chocolate bunny. For m…
  • If At First You Don't Succeed
    Vital Posts
    NPR didn’t come calling. But one of the feature stories of yesterday’s “Morning Edition” newscast was about Lent Madness – and by extension, The Episcopal Church. That’s the kind of publicity that no marketing budget can afford. …
  • Websites and Hairstyles
    Vital Posts
    Website designs are like hairstyles. They come and go out of fashion quickly—and it’s readily apparent when they’re dated.    Just consider all those Throwback Thursday pictures you’re seeing on Facebook. No one needs to tell you that t…
  • Church Leadership Conference: ECF Presentations
    Tools
    ECF offered a number of workshops the 2014 Church Leadership Conference: Unlocking the New Church. Copies of some of the presentations are offered below.
  • Hackable
    Vital Posts
    "12345" is not a good password. Apparently neither is the word "password."    Such are the good lessons shared by Nina Nicholason in a blog, Geeks for God: Evangelism in the Electronic Era. She shares a list of the worst passwords of 2013. So…
  • Sacramental Social Media
    Vital Posts
    What is Twitter for? What can Facebook do? Can social media change the world? There’s not really one answer to these questions, but not too long ago, theologian Richard Beck wrote an entry on his blog about that addressed them. He writes this…
  • Above the Fold
    Vital Posts
    The first time I had a story above the fold, I called my parents, carefully snipped out the article for my scrapbook, and did a little, early-20s celebrating. Above the fold meant something. It’s what people would see when they opened thei…
  • Praying Facebook
    Vital Posts
    Years ago, someone started a Facebook page for our congregation. At the time, I didn’t know much about social media – I didn’t even have my own Facebook account – so I just followed their lead and we learned by trial and error. In time I le…
  • Take a Deep Breath
    Vital Posts
    Sometimes you have to count to 100. Or even 1,000. We all know the rule about emailing when we’re mad. Take a deep breath. Pound out the email with all of your frustrations. Then delete the draft, count to 10 (or 100 or more), and rewrite t…
  • The Newsletter Rant
    Vital Posts
    To print or not to print is beside the point, at least for today. More importantly is the type of content contained in the newsletter. Church newsletters should never be seen as a private conversation among parishioners. Instead they should be …
  • One Body, Many Passions
    Vital Posts
    This weekend I came across a Twitter conservation about the importance (or unimportance) of following the rubrics (you know, the italics in the Book of Common Prayer which give instructions about liturgy and liturgical life of the church). This, in t…
  • Advent Resources
    Tools
    Links to free Advent resources, calendars and devotions, reflections; St. Nicholas Day; and preparing for Christmas visitors at your church.
  • Criticism
    Vital Posts
    My pencil poised above the words. Capital letter here. No semi-colon. Needs parallel structure. I settled into edit mode. “Mom,” my daughter beseeched. “I just want you to read it. Tell me what you think.” I couldn’t tur…
  • How To: Using Social Media When Phones and E-Mail Fail
    Vital Posts
    When Yvonne Cassidy set up the social media program for Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen in New York City, she envisioned using it as a tool for fundraising, for increasing the ministry’s volunteers and supporters, and for getting the word out about th…
  • Just Do It
    Vital Posts
    Normally by now, I’ve figured out what I want to write. Often I mull over the subject for this blog as I’m falling asleep the night before. If I’m lucky, it’s half-written in my mind before I reach the computer the next morning. …
  • Communications for Parish Leaders
    Vital Posts
    Leaders need to be able to effectively communicate. There is a myriad of topics, resources, and tools available on communications, but for this digest we offer articles and resources focused on effective communication. What are the steps that y…
  • Miss Manners
    Vital Posts
    A questionable email has sunk many a ship. Or at least set adrift relationships, events, and momentum. Like many technology tools, email can be a wonderful help. But used without care, it can create problems. I’m sure you’ve receive…
  • Writing our Stories
    Vital Posts
    You’re not surprised that I consider writing a vital spiritual practice. It’s not the only one, of course. It doesn’t take the place of prayer and worship, of engaging the scriptures and taking part in the sacraments of the church. …
  • Prime Real Estate
    Vital Posts
    Who—or what—occupies your prime real estate in the church newsletter? Does a missive from the rector always run on the front page? Or do you have a pencil drawing of the church façade, circa 1955? Either way, you’re squandering o…
  • Back to Church Sunday 2.0
    Vital Posts
    There’s a movement. At least among some denominations, there is a coordinated, collaborative effort to invite people to church. They’ve established a designated day, set up a website, and offered some helpful resources. They even ha…
  • Create A Video That Inspires Like “The Celtic Service”
    Vital Posts
    Do you have an inspirational story or program that you would like to share with your community? Sarah Bartenstein, Director of Communications, at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, VA gave me the story behind their most recent video, whi…
  • New Tools For Summer
    Vital Posts
    Now that we're in the middle of summer, many congregations are enjoying a more relaxed atmosphere with combined services and programs on break until Labor Day. This month, we're sharing tools and resources to try out this summer, with an e…
  • Second Eyes
    Vital Posts
    Misteaks happen. Typpos abound. A listserv that I follow was on fire this week with embarrassing typos. I’ll cop to my own first: In a headline, I gave the presiding bishop the plague (as in bubonic) instead of a special plaque. Someone sha…
  • Tips for Instagram Photos and Videos for Churches
    Vital Posts
    With Instagram you have the opportunity tell a beautiful or fun story with a photo or video. Here are my Instagram tips for your church: 1. Learn the Basics Mashable has a good tutorial on getting started with Instagram photos and the Insta…
  • Authenticity?
    Vital Posts
    Last week I met with people active in social media in the Episcopal Church. A term that sometimes comes up in conversations about social media is authenticity. While I feel it’s a word that is in danger of becoming overused jargon, I also thi…
  • Join the Church Social Media Conversation
    Vital Posts
    Are you looking for a place to ask questions about best practices for using social media for your church? There are several places were church social media experts, veterans, and rookies gather online to share advice, discuss the latest tech news, …
  • Positive and Prophetic
    Vital Posts
    There’s much on the Internet to love. There are amazing essays and art and photography, and the stories of many people doing good work. There’s also plenty out there that is thoughtless and awful. As an occasionally grumpy tweeter, I someti…
  • Photo Release Form
    Your Turn
    When you post photos, especially of children, it's important to have permission. Sample photo release form - in English and Spanish
  • Telling Our Stories
    Vital Posts
    My heart breaks a bit every time I hear that a communications position is cut in our church. Sharing our faith through stories is an ancient - and proven - evangelism tool. How can people not value the role of telling our stories not only to oursel…
  • Word Gets Around
    Vital Posts
    This week’s readings present two very similar scenes—Jesus comes upon a burial procession. The deceased is the only son of a widow, leaving her among the most vulnerable in her society. Like Elijah, Jesus calls upon God to revive the son, and r…
  • Communicating Inside and Outside
    Vital Posts
    I was in Washington DC this weekend visiting a friend who is a chaplain at a psychiatric hospital. It was Pentecost, and he preached about being understood and understanding each other, as the disciples were able to with the help of the Holy Spirit. …
  • What's the Plan?
    Vital Posts
    Do you have the tools you need? In the May and June issues of Vestry Papers, our theme is Leadership In a Time of Crisis. We have seen that when a natural disaster strikes, scandal occurs, or community conflict erupts, vital and healthy congreg…
  • 10 Icebreaker Questions to Ask on Your FB Page
    Your Turn
    Great tip for starting a conversation on Facebook.
  • Facebook Tip: Scheduling and Previewing Posts
    Vital Posts
    I am starting to set a regular weekly schedule of posts for my church. I hope this will help me speed up the process of creating posts, and also allow our followers to know what to expect. Our congregation seems to be most active on Facebook on wee…
  • In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash!
    Vital Posts
    How Trust is Often Undermined PART 1: Email Etiquette I saw this sign hanging prominently in a tattoo parlor: “In God we trust, all others pay CASH.” At the time, I thought it was funny. But after reflecting on it, I realize that the sign w…
  • Crisis Communications: Managing In
    Vestry Papers
    “Crisis Communications: Managing In” by Linda Hanick and Nathan Brockman offers congregations practical recommendations for managing the sometimes overlooked aspect of crisis communications: how and when you communicate within your own organizati…
  • Communications Toolkit: Evangelism
    Vital Posts
    Communication is evangelism – and I’d like to introduce you to The Public Affairs Toolkit: a collection of resources offered by the Episcopal Church’s office of communication to help church communicators and leaders evangelize the Good News a…
  • Making Your Own How-to Videos
    Vital Posts
    What could be better than a how-to video that describes how to screencast? Maybe Graeter’s ice cream, but then that’s hard to share in social media. I’ve talked about screencasting before. Essentially it’s a way to track your screen s…
  • Social Media: Differences in Experience
    Vital Posts
    This past week I attended the Episcopal Communicators conference, where I connected with talented people doing good work and received lots of good advice in the workshops. The plenary speaker, Justin Wise, spoke about the ubiquity of social media: …
  • Making Pictures Work Double-Time
    Vital Posts
    If a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s the value of one with five or six hyperlinks? In my opinion, it’s pretty high. I found a cool new tool to easily transform your photos into interactive, dynamic content for the web. I had…
  • Mostly Dead Is Still Alive!
    Vital Posts
    The setting of this week’s Gospel reading sounds like many of the meetings I’ve attended lately: A small band of deeply committed, faithful disciples trying to figure out what to do when things seem to be falling apart. Too often their numbers …
  • Tell-a-vision
    Vital Posts
    The title, said quickly, sounds suspiciously like one of America's favorite past times: television. At a workshop at the annual Episcopal Communicators conference this week, the presenter talked about his early days in broadcast news. How do I crea…
  • Using New Media to Tell a Story
    Vital Posts
    This past week I helped some of my colleagues at Trinity Wall Street create videos for the Stations of the Cross using Vine (you can see them on Trinity’s twitter feed @trinitywallst). Vine is a fairly new video service that allows you to create …
  • A Facebook Movement
    Vital Posts
    We’ve probably all seen the changes in our Facebook feeds. The image of a pink equal sign on a red block popping up as colleagues and friends, high school chums and family members, change their profile picture to the equal sign logo. The Hu…
  • Quick Tips for Better Video
    Your Turn
    Looking for resources and tips to help you create better videos? Take a look at this tip sheet.
  • Print vs. Digital: Which? When?
    Your Turn
    How do you know when to choose new media and when to choose old? As a rule, you try to choose the right tool for your budget, and the right tool for the job.
  • Media Training
    Your Turn
    If you or the leader of your organization is going to speak to the media, it's a good idea to first do some media training and preparation.
  • Writing Tips
    Vital Posts
    Every now and then I read lists of writing advice from famous authors and editors that are constantly popping up on the Internet. Some pieces of advice are more helpful than others, and all of it should be taken with a grain of salt. To that I add …
  • Laundry Love
    Vital Posts
    No, this isn’t a blog about meeting Mr. or Ms. Right at your local Laundromat. It is about God’s love and how people in a growing number of locations are sharing that love by doing someone else’s laundry. …
  • Tech Tools We Use Everyday
    Vital Posts
    Recently, I've had several conversations with heads of Episcopal organizations in which they discussed their efforts to work more efficiently through technology. Because of these conversations, I thought I would create a short list of the tech tool…
  • Making Friends with the Church Directory
    Vital Posts
    Few things strike more fear into the hearts of church administrators than the call for a new church directory. Scheduling folks for pictures, re-scheduling them, then calling and hounding is only part of the task. Then there’s the proofread…
  • Are Nice People REALLY Killing Our Churches?
    Vital Posts
    Are nice people really killing churches? The Episcopal Café is calling attention to this blog post by Todd Rhoades which suggests that church leaders, while being good at treating others with grace and love are not as good at treating each other w…
  • Would You Give Up Your Phone for Lent?
    Vital Posts
    Being the beginning of Lent, I’m reading a lot of blog and Facebook posts about Lent. What it's all about, what people are giving up, and of course, Lent Madness. Pastor Keith Anderson’s post “Give Up Your Telephone for Lent”, speaks to…
  • Generous Listening
    Vital Posts
    As President Obama is inaugurated into his second term and we face “fiscal cliffs” and “debt ceilings,” as the church continues its period of uncertain transition, we’ve got plenty to argue about. In this current political climate its eas…
  • Telling Stories
    Vital Posts
    I recently read this article by Steve Almond in the New York Times magazine. In it, Almond stressed the importance of narration and storytelling. “On a grand scale,” he writes, “we’ve traded perspective for immediacy, depth for speed, emoti…
  • Open and Honest Conversations
    Vital Posts
    Recent postings on Episcopal Cafe remind us of the value of establishing open and honest lines of communication within a congregation and certainly between the vestry and clergy. In each post, the author – a priest or a lay leader – shares what…
  • Which 12 Days?
    Vital Posts
    Growing up it appeared to be common knowledge that the 12 days of Christmas was the period from Christmas to Epiphany. In my suburban community, almost everyone was Christian and it seemed that all of the children – at least during their elementa…
  • Christmas Messages
    Vital Posts
    We all know that Christmas and Easter are the times when our churches will be more crowded than other times of the year. How are you using social media to share your congregation’s message of welcome during Advent and Christmas? I’ve recent…
  • Would Christmas Disappear? (Ad)
    Your Turn
    Video is a great way to catch people's attention, especially on social media. Here's a simple - yet effective - Christmas ad that you could produce with a phone camera, scissors, and colored paper.
  • What ARE you saying?
    Vital Posts
    Often, the message we send is not the same as the message received. I was reminded of this recently when I came across this statement in a church bulletin: “[Name of church] is an Accessible [sic] Church. For assistance, please ring the doorb…
  • Chocolate and Discernment
    Vital Posts
    I am blogging from the annual meeting of the Colonial Chocolate Society in Williamsburg this week. As much as some of us believe that chocolate should be another sacrament that is not why I am here.This is one of the fun events I attend as the over…
  • Saving One Tree
    Vital Posts
    One tree makes 8,333 sheets of paper. So says Yahoo! Answers. So I’m estimating that our nearly paperless diocesan convention earlier this month saved, drum roll, please, … one tree. And maybe a thick branch too. At 2-cents a …
  • 404 Error, Page Not Found???
    Vital Posts
    A few years ago, I was putting the Advent schedule on the parish website and had the impetus to make some other improvements to the site, but I managed to crash most of the pages of our website and a 404 error was generated when you tried to view i…
  • Social Media’s Power to Share Good News
    Vital Posts
    The Diocese of the Rio Grande invited me here to do a workshop on social media at their just concluded 60th convention. I showed up prepared to do that and a sermon about the power of social media broke out. I started with a prayer for church c…
  • Unity Post-Election
    Vital Posts
    I braced for impact. Less than eight hours after Barack Obama won a second term as president, my father and father-in-law were in the same room. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that one of my daughter’s science terms this week is combu…
  • (All) Saints on Facebook
    Vital Posts
    Allison popped up in my newsfeed again. Each time is a jolt, a reminder of an irregular mole that consumed a dynamic woman. Her death on Christmas Day left a young boy motherless and a husband bereft. For a while, I struggled with how peopl…
  • God texted...eventually
    Vital Posts
    Last Tuesday I invited readers to join me in testing out a new online tool from the American Bible Society. Called DayPack, this free tool makes it easy for churches to schedule a week’s worth of daily Biblical passages to be sent by text message…
  • Don't Kill Your 1%
    Vital Posts
    Cutting the office budget - and especially the print newsletter - is an easy target. It seemed every year I served as the administrator at a parish, I would be put to task to advocate that my office budget was already running as leanly as could…
  • Texts from God
    Vital Posts
    Will you try this experiment with me? A few weeks ago, the American Bible Society launched DayPack, a free tool that makes it easy for churches to schedule and send a week’s worth of Biblical passages by text. According to the DayPack websi…
  • Small Things Matter
    Vital Posts
    Small things matter. This is something that I am occasionally reminded of during the busy times of the year. Many church staff and vestry members are busy in the fall as new programs start up, and it can be easy to forget how important it is to spe…
  • Unapologetically Episcopalian
    Vital Posts
    From the sad and true files… Overheard: Well, our ____________ doesn’t want us to use the word “Episcopal” in our name….      What I find puzzling is hearing this said in the context of a conversation about branding. Which begs the…
  • Screencast
    Vital Posts
    We rolled out a new online registration system for diocesan convention. The confusion and questions started almost immediately. We want to offer good customer service, to be helpful and responsive to parishioners. But we also wanted to find…
  • Is your calendar a circus?
    Vital Posts
    Managing calendars shouldn't be akin to running a three-ring circus.  But at both the parish and diocesan level, keeping track of myriad events can sometimes require the skills of juggler, trapeze artist and flamethrower. All too often, at…
  • Doodle your way to Simpler Scheduling
    Vital Posts
    It’s Friday afternoon, well after reminders were sent and bulletins were printed, and you get the dreaded email: “I can’t serve this Sunday.” And no substitute has been arranged either. Similarly, your Budget Committee is meeting with the B…
  • Say What You Mean: Avoiding Jargon
    Vital Posts
    I have a lot of friends who are priests, pastors, seminarians, and self-proclaimed church nerds. I love these people, though if you get them together at a conference (or even at dinner) they can slip into speaking in church code. As Miguel Escobar …
  • ECF Vital Practices is now mobile
    Vital Posts
    It’s the beginning of September. You’re in a vestry meeting brainstorming new ways to welcome visitors. You remember reading an ECF Vital practices blog post about Back to Church Sunday. You wish you had a copy to share… If you have a sma…
  • Are You Talking to Me?
    Vital Posts
    “Who are you talking to?” For many of us, it is a question we’ve both been asked and asked of others. I remember my parents asking me this question when I was a child on the phone with friends; as an adult I’ve asked my own family this same…
  • E-mail Overload
    Vital Posts
    Too much communication can be a bad thing. This probably sounds incongruous with my regular litany of all things communication. And don’t get me wrong: I fervently believe that effective and strategic communication is critical to the vitali…
  • Survey says
    Vital Posts
    Richard Dawson would be proud. The late, cheek-kissing game host probably wished he had a nickel for every time he pronounced, “Survey says” on one of my all-time-favorite shows, Family Feud. (OK, come to think of it, I bet he did have a …
  • Giving Feedback
    Vital Posts
    I couldn’t believe my ears. I had my mouth full of not-that-great mini chocolate bundt cake when my friend asked me – in front of the baker – what I thought. Earlier in the day I had been thinking about the problems that often arise whe…
  • Remembering
    Vital Posts
    You remembered. That’s what I thought when a co-worker brought up the flowers. It was my tenth anniversary working for the diocese, and my sweet husband remembered. This anniversary isn’t mentioned in Hallmark. There’s no indication for…
  • Editor's Letter - August 2012
    Vital Posts
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1) Words: We use them to tell our story – God’s story – again and again. This month ECF Vital Practices continues its theme of “Communications: Tr…
  • Lights. Camera. Action.
    Vestry Papers
    What if you’re a small congregation with limited resources? Does video make sense for you?
  • Newsletter Makeover
    Vestry Papers
    We’re all familiar with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, where every curious critter has its own take on logic and language. It’s not a lot different from the current environment for communications.
  • When Less is Enough
    Vestry Papers
    Having fewer resources doesn't have to mean lower quality. Grace Episcopal keeps its communications strong by successfully re-tooling from full time to part time staff.
  • Press Release Template
    Tools
    When submitting news or stories from your congregation to the media, follow industry standards by organizing your information using a press release template.
  • Great Expectations
    Vital Posts
    I’ve been doing church work for a while now. Wednesday marks a decade doing communications for the diocese. And I’ve been married to a priest for almost 15 years. So you’d think I would learn. Just because I’m excited about a pr…
  • Virtual Tour your Church
    Vital Posts
    Forget the yellow-page ad. With 80 percent of church shoppers turning to the Internet first, spending limited marketing dollars on an outdated tool doesn’t make sense. Our diocese has been looking at ways for the Internet to help conn…
  • Criticism and Confidence
    Vital Posts
    Many of you have probably read the recent articles in the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times about General Convention and about the future of the Episcopal Church. While I think these articles are flawed and problematic, they have generated…
  • Facebook is a Mission Field
    Vital Posts
    One hundred billion connections are made on Facebook. Every day. Granted, 99 billion of these connections are cute things kids say (mine, of course, are hilarious and witty), snarky digs at Obama or Romney, or updates about how many mil…
  • Lessons from General Convention Tweeters
    Vital Posts
    Editor's note: Follow or add to the Twitter conversation about the 2015 General Convention by using #GC78. If you were unable to attend General Convention, perhaps you followed the developments on Twitter, as I did. Though I am not typically o…
  • Communication as Helium
    Vital Posts
    Communication is ministry. General Convention said so. In a resolution passed by both the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops, General Convention put into the record that communications is an essential ministry. Resolution A024 say…
  • General Convention in 140 Characters (or less)
    Vital Posts
    General Convention is certainly no Arab Spring, but the role of Twitter could be revolutionary for the august gathering.  Already hundreds (thousands) of Twitter users are posting quick commentary via tweets. At this point, still a day before t…
  • Editor's Letter: July 2012
    Vital Posts
    While the ‘where and how’ of communications has changed dramatically since Vestry Papers’ 2008 issue Parish Communications, the ‘who, what, when, and why’ has not. During the summer, we’ll look at ways congregations are successfully mer…
  • Reporting General Convention
    Vital Posts
    Part of the job of a communicator is to hold a funnel to the fire hose. This is especially true over the next two weeks, as the 77th General Convention of The Episcopal Church commences in Indianapolis. Deputies and bishops will meet in c…
  • Using Video
    Vestry Papers
    Do you need a video for your capital campaign? Maybe you've had your heart strings pulled by glowing shots and the stirring soundtrack of your alma mater's video or the local hospital's. But is something that flashy appropriate for a church instituti…
  • Find a Church
    Vestry Papers
    Online listings offer churches the opportunity to tell their story 24/7, with capacity to include far more than name, address, contact information, and worship times. Learn about what's available and how to get maximum (free) exposure for your congre…
  • The Promised Land?
    Vestry Papers
    Is the Internet the 'Promised Land' for congregational communication? Sharon Richy Turner explores how churches are using Internet based resources to share the Good News.
  • Communication Tune-Up
    Vestry Papers
    Do your congregation’s communication tools need sharpening? Maybe you’d like to get on track for fall and the new program year? Here are suggestions from the Media in Ministry class at Bloy House, the Episcopal Theological School at Claremont, Ca…
  • Using Video to Tell Your Story
    Tools
    Video is one of the best ways to share your story. This resource from the ECF Consortium of Consultants shows how congregations are creating and using video.
  • Building the Continuum: Scenarios for the Future of Episcopal Faith Formation
    Tools
    A practical guide on how Christian Formation in the Episcopal Church will be impacted by technology over the next ten years.
  • Mnemonics and Telling Stories
    Vital Posts
    I learned the notes on the treble clef by remembering, “Every good boy does fine.” I can recall the colors of a rainbow by summoning, Roy G. Biv. And when Pluto was still a planet, I relied on the phrase, “My Very Energetic Mother Just Served…
  • Brand: Burn, Baby, Burn
    Vital Posts
    Farmers understand branding. There’s a long history of branding cattle as a way to distinguish one herd from another. The brand of a well-respected rancher is sought after and considered more valuable. From this agrarian perspective, brandi…
  • Brand Speak for Dummies - Including Me
    Vital Posts
    Let’s look at the jump, said my fellowship supervisor.  I glanced around, bewildered. The other fellows calmly opened their newspapers so they could read the conclusion of the story that began on page 1.  I didn’t go to a j-school – a u…
  • I Read About Your Church…
    Vital Posts
    A lifetime of happiness Couple married 70 years to renew vows at festival (A captioned photo of an elegant looking older couple accompanies this headline and subhead.) The headline, photo, and subhead drew me in. I was familiar with the Dan…
  • The Future in Four Parts
    Vital Posts
    Will the Episcopal Church thrive because of social networking sites, or will we wither away because these now serve as an effective alternative to Church? Will our congregations, schools, and camps and conference centers be a refuge to those who ha…
  • A Lutheran Perspective on Social Media in the Discernment/Call Process
    Vital Posts
    Lutheran Pastor Keith Anderson recently posted this blog advocating that all clergy maintain a personal blog or website. He says: Tip: if you don’t already have personal blog or website, start one. Share some sermons, video, your ideas, reflec…
  • Tips for Creative Collaboration
    Vital Posts
    I’ve spent quite a bit of time editing people’s writing: In my MFA program, while working on a ‘zine for Episcopal young adults, and now in my job at Trinity Wall Street. It’s not always easy. A person’s writing is his or her creation, an…
  • Making Social Media Easy
    Vital Posts
    You’ve probably heard that a church needs a social media strategy, but the thought might be overwhelming. Some of us (myself included) spend time, maybe too much time, reading various blogs. I have a Twitter account and use it often, and check Fa…
  • I'm New Here
    Vital Posts
    Nearly seven years ago I walked into a small Episcopal congregation and discovered what would eventually become my new spiritual home. For the sake of a good story, I’d like to say that it was love at first sight, but the truth is that I was at fir…
  • Worth the wait
    Vital Posts
    Having bad news appear on the front page of a local newspaper is easy. Getting the attention of a reporter – and editor – for good news is the challenge. When our bishop closed a local church in 2008, the handful of members took the…
  • Getting the Word Out
    Vital Posts
    The build-it-and-they-will-come approach worked for Kevin Costner and baseball. But as a media strategy, it’s a strikeout. All too often, we have a great event or a unique fundraiser to which we’ve committed time, energy, and money. But w…
  • Technology: Tools for Churches
    Vital Posts
    My girlfriend and I have been watching Downton Abbey, which you may have heard about if you live in the Western hemisphere. In the last episode of season one, set in 1914, the Earl’s country house gets a telephone. Some of the staff wonders whom …
  • Same Story, New Techniques
    Vital Posts
    For a decade, I’ve been telling readers of our diocesan newspaper about summer camp. It’s an amazing, life-changing experience for most kids, but I couldn’t bring myself to use those same words for the tenth time to promote camp. I susp…
  • Facebook Blooper
    Vital Posts
    The Facebook post began with good intentions. “Pooped after the big retreat,” the priest posted. “Thanks to the bishop and all who helped make it happen.” The post might have elicited only a few snide comments from the pr…
  • 15-Minute Marketing: From Picture to Postcard
    Vital Posts
    Be funky. That’s the name of the website I discovered last week that offers a free and fun way to create quick marketing materials. First, find a picture that is compelling. In my situation, I wanted to promote summer camp, so I found a pic…
  • Emailing vs. Spamming
    Vital Posts
    When does email cross the line and become spam? Using email as part of your congregation’s communications strategy requires collecting email addresses. What’s our responsibility regarding stewardship of this resource? Last week, this questi…
  • Church Secretaries are Saints
    Vital Posts
    Over the sink in our office kitchen is one of my favorite cartoons by priest and Church Pension Group calendar-creator Jay Sidebotham. A church has added three new stained glass windows. One depicts the church secretary. The tagline: the real…
  • Holy Week Challenge
    Your Turn
    A quick and easy way to get churches to update their websites and engage with the diocese.
  • Lesson 1: What Makes a Good Facebook Post?
    Vital Posts
    A disclaimer from the start: No one has the all-encompassing, definitive answer to this question. Social media is organic, fueled by fickle and whimsy of its users. Sometimes video of a cat chasing a laser dot will go viral; other times, it’s Kon…
  • Witness
    Vital Posts
    Sometimes, it’s as if God is showing off. With toes tunneled into the soft, cool sand, I watch the kids ride one wave, then another, their heads thrown back in full laughter, their bodies rocking with the ebb and flow. The sun heats like I …
  • Foursquare 4 Church?
    Vital Posts
    I don’t get the appeal of Foursquare. I remember posts on Facebook telling me that ‘so and so’ had checked in somewhere or that they were the mayor of a place and not understanding why I should care. Thinking about it, I don’t recall any re…
  • Claiming Your Place
    Vital Posts
    Nancy Davidge is at the Episcopal Communicators conference this week. This morning she attended a workshop on Claiming Places; prompting us to rerun her Claiming Places blog: Last night Bill and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary …
  • Creating and Communicating Silence
    Vital Posts
    I have a good friend who occasionally likes to stare at me silently, just to see what I’ll say. The silence makes me slightly uncomfortable, so I’ll say something and then I’ll keep speaking, trying to talk through whatever is causing her to gi…
  • David & Goliath
    Vital Posts
    Only one hospital served the small community. In a river town in Appalachia with high unemployment and even higher numbers of uninsured folks, I’m sure it was sometimes hard for the hospital to make a balanced budget, much less a profit. …
  • The (Written) Word Made Flesh
    Vital Posts
    Sometimes telling the story can feel less important and more removed from the mission field. After all, a story about repairing a roof in Appalachia or cooking meals for the homeless isn’t dirty-hands, feet-on-the-ground ministry. Or is it? A…
  • Communication is mission: Connection
    Vital Posts
    Several years ago, knitting ministries were more novel than ubiquitous. I thought the ministry would make an interesting story, so I spent time with a few churches that had knitting groups and wrote a feature for the diocesan newspaper. The a…
  • The ministry of communications
    Vital Posts
    Sometimes I wish we could calculate our successes like McDonalds: 1 billion served in big, neon letters. But church work isn’t so easy to quantify. The challenge is especially apparent in the ministry of communications. How do we know if th…
  • Has Forward Movement Gone Mad for Lent Madness?
    Vital Posts
    For decades, Forward Movement has been most widely known for its flagship publication, Forward Day by Day. Hundreds of thousands of readers around the world find inspiration in the quarterly printed booklet. In the US, many Episcopalians learned ab…
  • Twitter Basics
    Vital Posts
    I've just finished speed-reading a book by Elizabeth Drescher, Tweet if you (Heart) Jesus. She argues that Twitter is a way to engage in conversation and build relationships. It doesn't have to be about what you had for lunch today. How it wo…
  • Making Announcements that Work
    Vital Posts
    Getting the word out about an upcoming health fair, women’s gathering, or youth trip is important. And sometimes, these announcements need more than a blurb in the Sunday morning bulletin. Nearly every church does announcements in some way …
  • Using Technology to Increase Participation
    Vital Posts
    As committee chair, I take pride in our diversity. The New York Intern Program’s communications committee “meets” on a monthly basis and includes A mother clanging pots and pans while preparing dinner for her young children Exhaust…
  • Editor’s Letter - February 2012
    Vital Posts
    Greetings. One of the joys of my role as editor of ECF Vital Practices is the discovery of resources to share through this website. Each day I comb through email messages, online publications, Facebook, as well as a variety of websites and prin…
  • Are we there yet?
    Vital Posts
    In a series about search engine optimization, we’ve been driving home the importance of preparing your website so that visitors can find you when they Google. The problem now is: they’ve found you but are you ready for guests? Most …
  • Google+ (Jesus+You)=Vital Practices
    Vestry Papers
    The Internet experienced another massive shift on June 28, 2011 when Vic Gundotra announced [i] the launch of Google+ a.k.a. G+, googleplus.
  • Digital Direction
    Vital Posts
    All of us at ECF Vital Practices tend toward the practical. When writing about communications technologies, we are focused on helping congregations use these new tools, whether it’s creating dynamic Facebook pages, improving e-newsletters, claiming…
  • A Secret Key to Keywords
    Vital Posts
    So we’re agreed: keywords are important. They elevate your website’s standing in rankings on search engines like Google and Yahoo. The exercise of listing keywords helps you hone in on content, and the combination of keywords and search e…
  • Unlocking Keywords
    Vital Posts
    In Google, keywords are key. Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing use different methods of determining which websites get top billing when a user enters a search. But despite the varying methods, they all rely heavily on keywords. …
  • Adventures in Technology in a Mom and Pop Store
    Vital Posts
    My parents have a small vintage furniture and collectibles shop in San Antonio, TX. As I’ve written in a prior post, it’s a family affair: I remember my mom starting this business when I was in the fifth grade and then my father jumping in to hel…
  • Google: Your Way to the Top
    Vital Posts
    Search engine optimization sounds vaguely mechanical and very hard. So I tuned out when folks first started talking to me about it. This is, as you can imagine, not the best way to address a problem. I decided to start learning more abo…
  • Administrator as Minister
    Vital Posts
    While I was working at an Episcopal Church in Houston, I’d often spend hours listening. I’d listen to the homeless men and women who came in the door, I’d listen to people who called up with messages for the priests, and I’d listen to paris…
  • Claim Your Place
    Vital Posts
    Last night Bill and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary with a quiet dinner. We chose a restaurant recommended by a friend, envisioning a cozy room with a table by the fireplace. Remembering that Bill has a few favorite dishes, I went onli…
  • Our Very Own Christmas Special
    Vital Posts
    Here's a guilty pleasure: Christmas specials.  I like them on TV (Rudoph the Red Nosed Reindeer and A Charlie Brown Christmas come to mind) and I especially like them as desserts. "I'll have five of Santa's Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies, tha…
  • Community and Security
    Vital Posts
    How much is too much? I’m grappling with this question as I re-evaluate our policies about security and the Internet. There are mean, scary people out there, and I want to do my part in protecting people of the diocese. At the same ti…
  • A Clever Social Media Tool
    Vital Posts
    I lie awake at night trying to dream up a way to “Groupon” church marketing and evangelism. Many of you are familiar with Groupon, the Internet company that uses the customer and social media to market their advertisers and to sell coupon…
  • Helping out the Calendar Master
    Vital Posts
    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 coff…
  • Preparing for Advent/Best Kept Secrets
    Vital Posts
    "I've got something for the girls of Savannah, and all of America, and all the world, and we're going to start it tonight!" Many women reading this may recognize this famous quote from Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA.…
  • QR: Business card
    Vital Posts
    When Laura handed me her business card, I could see the sparkle in her eye. Not only was it a tangible sign that she’d snagged a dream job, but she also wanted me to see the clever twist. On the back of the business card, she had a QR code.…
  • Beautiful Reminders
    Vital Posts
    "The love of God Is like a butterfly That reminds us That we are as Beautiful as flowers And in our darkest heart Is the love giving Nectar of life." I am part of a team working with the Brothers of the Society of Sa…
  • Exploring Gratitude – on Facebook!
    Vital Posts
    The best thing about my job as editor of ECF Vital Practices is being able to share good/interesting things happening in our church. I recently received a Facebook message from Stefani Schatz, a friend from my days at Episcopal Divinity School: …
  • e-Newsletters: Tips and trends (or How to get people to read your stuff)
    Vital Posts
    I’ve been using electronic newsletters for almost a decade, and, just like any tool of technology, they have changed dramatically over time. In the early days, the newsletters were little more than text sent to bulk e-mail accounts. Our mai…
  • Save the Shift Key
    Vital Posts
    In Church Circles, we LIKE the shift Key. (I Would use the Heart symbol but Emoticons are Another topic). We capitalize ALL kinds of words to make them seem More Important.  Church newsletters and bulletins are rife with over-capitalization: Ch…
  • Practicing Our Slogan
    Vital Posts
    “The Episcopal Church welcomes you!” That’s our deal, right? We’re welcoming. Or not so much. Now that I’m not serving in a parish, I have been visiting lots of Episcopal congregations. It’s been illuminating, both in good and in troublin…
  • Do All Dogs Go to Heaven?
    Vital Posts
    As if Noah had issued the call, animals of all sorts will descend in the next week upon Episcopal churches throughout the country. Many congregations celebrate the feast of St. Francis with a blessing of the animals. Dogs and cats, of course, a…
  • How Wired Do You Want to Be?
    Vital Posts
    I’ve discovered a great new blog from the Diocese of Olympia: Putting the “I-T” in Spirit. Written by Kerry Allman, internet strategist at Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, this blog serves as a resource and as a forum for people using web and so…
  • Episcopal Communicators Manual
    Tools
    A comprehensive guide from the Diocese of Texas on church communications.
  • Thanks, Netflix: A Lesson in Communication and Change
    Vital Posts
    We should send a thank you letter to Netflix.  After all, the company is providing a great example of what happens when there’s no communication plan. To catch you up: Basically Netflix, a mail-order DVD rental company, made huge change…
  • If You (Re-)build it, Will They Come?
    Vital Posts
    When I began to redesign our diocesan website, I had a few clear goals in mind: Improve navigation. Increase user satisfaction. Update the look and feel. I’ve shared this journey with you on Vital Practices because I think it’s helpful to s…
  • Creating a Press Kit for your Congregation
    Vital Posts
    When was the last time your congregation made the local news? Did the story capture the heart and soul of your ministry? Did it alert the wider community to the vibrant church in their midst? In 2008, Carol Barnwell, Director of Communications for…
  • What's in a Name
    Vital Posts
    Some stories we hold close, keeping them in our mental keepsake drawer. Others we keep in the wings, waiting for the perfect moment: meeting of the daughter’s first boyfriend, revenge when she’s acting like petulant teen. This story h…
  • Program Year Start Up Checklist
    Vital Posts
    This time of year, I feel like my old elementary school principal. It was his job to get old Boardman School whipped into shape for the school year. It was an old, old building but when the kids arrived on the first day of school it smelled new. Ne…
  • Social Media and the Episcopal Church
    Tools
    Included in Social Media and The Episcopal Church are: six Best Practices; “How To” tips for each practice; and separate sections on church websites and dealing with negative social media.
  • The Value of Advice
    Vital Posts
    In The Episcopal Church (and maybe all churches), we have lots of listening sessions. These are times for the stakeholders to come together and talk to the leadership about their wants and desires. The leadership, in turn, is supposed to listen wit…
  • Redesigning your Website
    Vital Posts
    Sometimes it’s hard to let go of what I want.   As the creator and keeper of the diocesan website, I want the cool, flashy stuff to be out front. In the communications survey that I talked about earlier this week, I also asked responders t…
  • To Print or Not to Print
    Vital Posts
    To print or not to print.  That is the question facing many dioceses and congregations as they consider how to cut costs but maintain connection with members. Print costs money – paper, copying, and postage. And the Internet is free (es…
  • Handling Blowback: When Social Media Gets Mean
    Vital Posts
    So you've posted a link to your sermon on Facebook and now the comments section reads like the bathroom graffiti in a college bar. What do you do? First, relax. This kind of blowback has been going on since Luther posted his 95 Theses on the doors …
  • The Next Meeting Tango...
    Vital Posts
    You're at the end of a long meeting. Significant issues have been discussed, weighed, and finally decided. Then the next-meeting tango begins. Out come the Blackberries, iPhones, Droids, and the seriously un-flashy, but always reliable paper calend…
  • Drum Roll Please ... a Look at Great Facebook Users
    Vital Posts
    I’ve been a Facebook lurker. I promised in Monday’s blog to show some examples of good Episcopal Facebook pages, so I spent a few hours surfing. The good news is I found a lot of Episcopal churches across the country on Facebook. The …
  • Making Room
    Vital Posts
    Why are we so uncomfortable with people who disagree with us? How and when do we learn to ‘shut out’ voices whose opinions are different than our own? And, why are we so sure that we are ‘right?’ These questions are on my mind as I’ve…
  • Archbishop LIKES Facebook
    Vital Posts
    Facebook -- or at least social media -- just received the Anglican equivalent of the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. Last week, the Archbishop of Canterbury encouraged the flock to use new means of communication and social media to spread…
  • The Results Are In
    Vital Posts
    ECF Vital Practices launched in October 2010 and since that time we've been surveying our readers regularly to find out how we can improve this new, online resource. My colleague Anne Ditzler wrote about initial findings here. In this post, I want to…
  • Summer Church?
    Vital Posts
    Tomorrow is the summer solstice: The longest day of the year for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, far from the equator. Living in a part of the world where the length of the day is directly impacted by the sun’s journey around the eart…
  • Why I Won't Sell a Website to your Church
    Vital Posts
    If you're like most churches, then spending $2,000 for a new website can seem like a lot of money ... and it is. But as you know, more and more consumers are researching online the products they buy offline before they ever head to a store. …
  • Mass: A Conversation
    Vital Posts
    The parishioner just couldn’t accept the word “mass.” In a long, terse letter to the rector, he decried the use of the term Mass. It’s a worship service, he said. We’re not Roman Catholic. We shouldn’t be using their terminology. "S…
  • To (Name) Tag or Not to Tag?
    Vital Posts
    Name tags are for the church that plans to welcome new people. If your church is already the perfect size, then there’s no need to read further. Close the doors and issue passwords to members. But if you believe that living out your f…
  • Our ‘Father’ or????
    Vital Posts
    Elizabeth Kaeton has a proposal for the Church for Fathers Day: “I think we should use the day to begin a movement to give up 'Father' as an honorific title for male clergy.” Growing up in the Episcopal Church in New England in the 50s, 60s…
  • The Church Website Through the Ages
    Vital Posts
    It all started back on October 23, 1995. That’s the first record of a conversation in which a member of the congregation asked the minister during the coffee hour “Do you think we need a homepage on the World Wide Web for our parish?” Th…
  • Listening Across Difference
    Vital Posts
    I’m always surprised. I’m referring to the discussion that takes place at my monthly book club meeting. Each month our group of 12 selects and reads a book, then meets to discuss it. And, each time, I am surprised both by the different ways…
  • Domain over your Domain
    Vital Posts
    A domain name is pretty much like a tattoo. Once you get one, you better plan on keeping it for life.  Otherwise, prepare yourself for some pain. I speak from experience. Several years ago, I received an email asking why the diocesan yout…
  • Gotta Share
    Vital Posts
    Over the weekend, Bill and I finally watched ‘The Kings Speech.’ In the opening moments, I was reminded of how the advent of radio changed not only the relationship between Great Britain’s royal family and their subjects but also the speed wi…
  • Your Facebook Profile: Targeted Updates
    Vital Posts
    Are you Facebook friends with other members of your congregation? Do members of your congregation "like" your status updates? According to the following Episcopal News Service story, more and more congregational leaders are using Facebook as a w…
  • Editor's Letter: Caring for Each Other
    Vital Posts
    Our congregational life is a common life, complete with the joys and challenges that come from being in relationship. As congregational leaders, our role involves managing the sometimes ‘sticky wickets’ of relationship that hamper our work of b…
  • Tone Matters
    Vestry Papers
    In “Tone Matters,” Scott Gunn looks at how poor communications can cause hurt feelings and offers steps you can take to minimize misunderstandings and create an environment of truthfulness and love.
  • The Power of Words
    Vital Posts
    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. “ (John 1:1) As a writer and editor, I spend most of my day thinking about words: Their power and how they make us feel. Words can…
  • Losing Your Pew, Gaining ground
    Vital Posts
    Prepare to lose your regular pew this Sunday. Churches are full-to-the-brim on Easter Sunday, with twice-a-year, Christmas-and-Easter guests and first-time visitors feeling inspired to make more of the day than egg hunts and candy-swapping. …
  • Does God Love Facebook?
    Vital Posts
    I say ‘yes.’ And so does Jennifer McNally. Her Episcopal Café post, “More Facebook for Lent!,”  offers a well-reasoned and theologically sound alternative to ‘I’m giving up Facebook for Lent.’ Jennifer writes: In the l…
  • Saintly Smackdown
    Vital Posts
    How are you doing in your brackets so far? As much as I appreciate basketball (I did grow up in Kentucky after all), I’m not talking about college hoops here. I'm wondering how folks are doing with the slightly more spiritual bracket of Len…
  • Online News as Evangelism
    Vital Posts
    Many congregational growth success stories point to becoming more relevant to the neighborhood where your church is located. So many of our struggling congregations are "legacy" parishes where most Sunday worshippers have some historical connection t…
  • Ashes to Go
    Vital Posts
    Priests in Chicago took to the streets yesterday. For the second year, congregations in the Diocese of Chicago took to the streets on Ash Wednesday, bring the rite of imposition of ashes to the streets, coffee houses, and transit stations. T…
  • Beyond the Elevator Speech
    Vital Posts
    The phone call got off to an awkward start. A barely audible, frustrated sigh on the other end of the line suggested I hadn’t really answered her question. But hadn’t I? After a long pause, the priest who’d called to find out what I was doing…
  • Academy Awards and Church Announcements: Time to Cue the Orchestra
    Vital Posts
    How many of you have sat through announcements in church, wishing you could treat them like acceptance speeches at the Oscars? When they get too long – or boring, you could cue the orchestra (or organ) music, and the teen daughter of a cele…
  • Trialability
    Vital Posts
    Podcasts, YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook. We hear continually how churches need to embrace the new social media to help share our good news. Yet so few of us do it, or it takes forever to get it going. What’s going on? Trialability. …
  • The Egg of Fame
    Vital Posts
    Did you catch Lady Gaga’s Red Carpet arrival at this year’s Grammy Awards? If not, you’re probably one of the few Americans who haven’t been talking about her most unique entrance. All Monday, commentators on television, radio and blogs ali…
  • Time to Flip out
    Vital Posts
    Attention, congregations: It’s infomercial time. Want an inexpensive but highly productive way to share the ministry of your church? Check out the Flip (or another handheld camera). The Flip is a plug-and-play video camera with inst…
  • Website tools: Analytics
    Vital Posts
    Question of the day: Is your website used mostly by parishioners or visitors?  I asked the same question recently about our diocesan website to a group of leaders. Their guess: mostly parishioners. They were wrong.
  • Becoming Unapologetically Episcopalian
    Vital Posts
    In May of last year a new page called Unapologetically Episcopalian popped up on my Facebook wall feed. With its bold name and tilting Episcopal shield, the page immediately drew my attention. When I headed to the page I found this mission statement:…
  • There IS an App for That
    Vital Posts
    Our diocese just added a mobile phone app. It’s not fancy – but it allows folks to have at their fingertips the key parts of our website: a news blog, upcoming events, directories of clergy and lay leaders, and a church finder with maps. …
  • Super Bowl Sunday
    Vital Posts
    It’s not in the lectionary or listed in Holy Women, Holy Men but Super Bowl Sunday is certainly high among the cultural holidays celebrated in this country. I have a certain amnesia about the game itself. I watch it every year and for the life of…
  • Meeting without Meeting
    Vital Posts
    If you're involved in diocesan work (or on staff, like me), then you spend a lot of time in your car, driving to meetings. My diocese is about five hours long and three hours wide -- and we're one of the lucky ones. I know some of the western d…
  • Guidelines for Respect and Mutual Invitation
    Your Turn
    Eric Law has developed Guidelines for Respect and Mutual Invitation that are great tools for leadership groups.
  • No More Parking Lot Conversations
    Vital Posts
    I have the privilege of working with congregations and their leaders as a bishop’s staff member involved in congregational development. One of the persistent behaviors I witness among vestry members is their reluctance to speak up about lingering c…
  • Thanks for Sharing
    Vital Posts
    In High School my friends and I would sometimes say “Thanks for sharing!” in a tone that only high schoolers can truly pull off: sarcastic and sing-songy at the same time. Directed at a friend, it became both a loving tease and dismissal, as sh…
  • Resolution #3: Online Makeover
    Vital Posts
    Last week I received a phone call from a newly-minted vestry member in Tennessee. He called because he’s going to propose an online makeover at his first vestry meeting in two weeks, and wondered if ECF Vital Practices had any resources to help. We…
  • Balancing the Good News scale
    Vital Posts
    Please take the pencil sketch of your church off the front of your newsletter.  As a communicator for a diocese, I read nearly every newsletter (print and electronic) each month. More than eight years into this ministry, I’ve found that con…
  • Top Episcopal News Stories for 2010
    Vital Posts
    At the end of each year you see many Top 10 lists and I have room here for my own choice of seven stories that affected the life of our Episcopal Church in the past year. 1. Haiti relief galvanizes the church. Haiti is the largest diocese in th…
  • Resolution #1: Take Good Photos
    Vital Posts
    We all know it’s coming. Soon and very soon we’ll be asked to refresh the parish homepage, craft a new ministries brochure, or create a parish calendar as the fundraiser for the youth mission trip. As you may recall, this proved difficul…
  • Happy 2011
    Vital Posts
    In the United States, the start of a new calendar year signals time for reflection and renewal and setting goals. Out with the old! In with the new! Honoring the New Year’s tradition of evaluation and goal setting, ECF Vital Practices invited…
  • Planned Giving: Promoting Planned Gifts
    Tools
    Use these letters and brochures to promote your planned giving program - either customize to your needs, or use them "as is" to get started right away.
  • A Religion Born in a Barn
    Vital Posts
    In the 1980s, the Minnesota Ad Campaign of Episcopal Church made quite a splash with a series of funny print advertisements, some of which contained pretty good zingers. A few I remember: “Will it take six strong men to get you back into churc…
  • Website Considerations
    Vestry Papers
    A checklist of what should be on a parish website.
  • Make an ask this New Year's Eve
    Vital Posts
    Since there are only ten more days until Christmas Eve, it’s likely that many people and parishes are feeling the pressure. There are choir rehearsals to attend, Christmas Eve services to plan, new visitors to welcome and a children’s Christmas…
  • Creating a parish press kit
    Vestry Papers
    One of the best tools for parish communicators is a good press kit.
  • What's in your toolbox?
    Vestry Papers
    We use a variety of media at St. Stephen's Richmond
  • Get a ground-level perspective
    Vestry Papers
    Is your church inclusive and welcoming?
  • Your website: A communications hub
    Vestry Papers
    You do have a parish communication strategy, don't you?
  • In the Beginning was the Word
    Vestry Papers
    In the beginning was the Word. To me, although there is opinion to the contrary, tat makes communications the oldest profession in the world.
  • Jesus' Birthday Party (Become one in a million!)
    Vital Posts
    I make it a daily practice to keep up with what is happening in the world. In the social media world, Advent is proving to be a ‘content rich time’ with YouTube videos, blogs, articles, and events relating to both Advent and Christmas. On Faceb…
  • Campus Ministry Talking Points
    Your Turn
    A document highlighting the importance and impact of intentional ministry to students on college and university campuses.
  • New ways of reaching youth
    Vestry Papers
    As we shape and direct the mission of our parishes, young people should be at the front of our agendas.
  • Prepare the Way...For Visitors
    Vital Posts
    Click here for a Spanish translation of this article. Last weekend, over dinner, a friend bemoaned how hard it was to find a good place to go for a Christmas Eve service with her parents. Neither an Episcopalian nor a regular churchgoer, she is …
  • Behaving Badly (and Publicly)
    Vital Posts
    Sometimes people behave badly - and the media (willing participant or not) gives them a platform to advertise the bad behavior. In a recent situation, a former parishioner and church employee was interviewed by a local newspaper. She misled the…
  • New Year's Resolutions
    Vital Posts
    The Church year has just begun with Advent I so now is a great time to make some resolutions that will make parish ministry more manageable in the year to come. Here goes: 1. Making a list and checking it twice. Buckle down and get all the data…
  • Advent Parish Checklist
    Your Turn
    Parish "to-do's" before the holidays and year-end.
  • Listen to Your Mother
    Vital Posts
    She said they were the best conversations she’d ever had with her three kids. And the best birthday present ever, in all her 70 years. Little did I know when I suggested to my brothers that we tell stories for mom’s birthday last November, …
  • And the Gold Goes to ...
    Vital Posts
    E-mail addresses are gold. By Olympic award standards, the bronze medal goes to snail mail addresses. Cell phone numbers snag the silver. But e-mail addresses rise to the top of the podium. Managing the database for a congregation…
  • myDiocese
    Vital Posts
    As the new owner of an iPhone, I recently found myself searching for apps that pertained to the Episcopal Church. I found a few including a version of the Book of Common Prayer and an app for St. Paul’s Cathedral in San Diego, CA. Yet the most comp…
  • Guidlines for posting to Facebook
    Your Turn
    After a few "free-for-all" threads on the Episcopal Church's Facebook page, some basic posting guidlines were established and suggested to the "fans" of the page.
  • The Email Creation Story
    Vestry Papers
    In the beginning when the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, a wind from the Internet swept over the land and the Internet said
  • Sharing Our Church Through Stories
    Vestry Papers
    As we stepped outside the StoryBooth that chilly Saturday in March, my husband and I knew we had experienced something sacramental.
  • Media, Art and Community
    Vestry Papers
    As members of the community entered the worship space, they saw the image of an eye projected on the wall and heard a voice say, “I see."
  • Tweet if you love Jesus
    Vestry Papers
    Does your church have a Facebook page? Does your rector “tweet”? If not, you are missing an effective, free opportunity for evangelism and church growth, not to mention a vibrant new tool for strengthening your church community.
  • Facebook Stewardship
    Vital Posts
    If your parish has an active Facebook page, it is likely the idea of fundraising through Facebook has come up. A vestry member, for instance, pleased by the number of “likes” their parish page has received, imagines a day when a wall post yiel…
  • Slogging through with joy
    Vital Posts
    Have you ever launched a website? Whew! This was my first…. All told, it’s taken over a year of effort. I worked on everything from the initial concept to launch, adding more people to the team as we went. Some days brought big decisions as…
  • General Convention 2015
    Webinars
    The DFMS Office of Public Affairs and ECF are partnering to offer this webinar for Episcopal communicators. The 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church will be held June 25 - July 3, in Salt Lake City, UT (Diocese of Utah). As the person res…
  • Message Sent / Message Received
    Webinars
    A common challenge for any congregation, large or small, is communications. How can we effectively and efficiently share information with our congregations? Where do we start? In "Message Sent/Message Received" you' will see how linking communication…
  • Communicating Stewardship Year-Round
    Webinars
    Your congregation made a commitment to a year round stewardship and gratitude program: Your next step is to develop a communications plan that is fun, engaging, and deeply spiritual - and also practical. In this workshop, you'll learn ways to build a…
  • Communications for Episcopal Leaders
    Webinars
    While the topic of parish communications covers a broad range of issues, this web conference focuses on the need for leaders to communicate effectively. Geared toward lay and clergy leaders of Episcopal congregations, this web conference will explore…
  • Communications for Episcopal Leaders
    Webinars
    While the topic of parish communications covers a broad range of issues, this web conference focuses on the need for leaders to communicate effectively. Geared toward lay and clergy leaders of Episcopal congregations, this web conference will explore…
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