August 10, 2023

Continuous Communication

As church leaders we are continuously thinking about communication, whether it’s the clergy pondering their sermon’s effectiveness, the wardens wondering how best to share financial news with the congregation, or the ad-hoc communication team wrestling with the complexities of a hybrid service. We have all said with some variation that The Episcopal Church is a well-kept secret. Many in our wider communities are unclear who and where we are, many life-changing programs offered from the Church Center (815 Second Ave, New York City) and other Episcopal organizations go unheard, and some dioceses are constantly struggling with proving relevance with congregations unaware of the myriad of benefits that the staff provides.

Perhaps a comprehensive communication plan threaded through our ministry context is needed where communication initiatives become a priority rather than a passing thought or a discreet effort by one individual. The pandemic of course highlighted the benefits of a strong communication strategy. While some have improved as a result there are many others who reverted to previous habits that do not serve our ministries well.

As a work in progress, within our congregation we have modeled this comprehensive strategy in that all communication is handled by one committee with a team leader. This includes our website, social media (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram), church newsletter, Zoom services, audio and video within the church, external communication to the diocese and community, weekly email and robo-calls to the congregation, Wi-Fi, and documenting church events through pictures. The committee reports monthly to the Vestry sharing successes and challenges. The team is comprised of all volunteers with funding from the church budget and donors within the congregation. The team is also used as a resource for other initiatives such as Stewardship planning.

We need to continuously ask ourselves who are we not reaching, who is not being heard or seen and who is being left out as we live into our primary mission of seeking souls for Christ.