I am so excited to unveil to you all our brand new First Universalist Church website!
This project has truly been a labor of love for me, and I feel as if I have run the emotional gamut in creating it, experiencing exhilarating highs and frustrating lows, and learning even more about this incredibly vibrant, nuanced, and diverse group of people that make up this faith community along the way. Since I stepped into this communications position three months ago, ‘the website build’ has been the elephant in the room, this huge looming project that I knew had to be tackled…and so, three months, two weeks, 3 days, and 13 hours later (but who’s counting?)…here we are! After much research, and many, many hours of consultation, content uploading, coding, site design, and page creation: we have arrived! I hope this site will prove to be an effective (and fun) tool, as we have a number of new features that I am excited to share with you all. So, without further ado:
Upcoming Sermons: this section will provide a variety of information about the upcoming sermon for the week, including sermon title and minister, sermon theme description, musical guests, and additional resources (on occasion) such as books, movies, and readings.
The Blog: News and Updates: this feature (the one you are reading right now!) provides a direct avenue for ministers and staff to update the congregation on relevant information, news, and photos. Some entries, such as this one, include photo galleries of a particular event. And some entries, such as this one, provide useful information regarding church office hours. It is our hope to utilize this feature as a way to provide relevant, important information FAST–we will be updating this section on a frequent basis, so be sure to always check the blog for the very latest in news and information from First Universalist Church!
Upcoming Events: in this section, public events of particular interest and relevance are highlighted–providing location, time, and event information. Please note that this section is not the same as our church ‘space use calendar’–the master calendar that houses every single event/meeting/gathering/group that uses space at the church. Right now, Bree (the Office and Events Manager) and I are working on finding a piece of calendar software that will work well with the new site, in addition to providing scheduling features that will enable the Administrative Team to process reservations and events in a more effective and efficient manner. It is our hope that this new feature will be up and running on the site within the next few months! If you’d like to view the church space use calendar, please click here for a link to Calendar Wiz (the system we currently use) and be sure to ‘login’ the upper right corner in order to view all events. Username: visitor Password: firstu
Social Media: you will notice at the bottom of the homepage, there are small graphics linking to our official Facebook and Twitter pages, for your convenience. In addition, many of the features on this site (blog entries, sermon entries, etc.) have the capability for folks to tweet, post on Facebook, pin, etc.–as a way to more effectively link up and streamline our website to various social media outlets AND as a way for people to share pages, events, and blog entries within their own social media communities.
Weekly Church E-News: starting March 13th, we will be resuming weekly communications to the congregation in the form of a ‘Weekly Church E-News’ blast, but a new and improved version, with many exciting features! In addition to a staff news and updates section, message(s) from the minister(s), and upcoming events section, we will also be providing hyperlinks to the weekly Order of Service and Bulletin. Keep your eyes peeled for this e-blast, as we will be sending out our first one in the upcoming week.
One important thing that I would like to touch base on: this website, as you see it today, is phase one in what is sure to be an ongoing project for many months! There are still a number of pages and features that need to be added, and I ask for your patience and understanding on this, as we move forward. There is still much work to do: a number of glitches that need to be worked out, online forms that need to be created, uploads that need to be made, etc. However, I believe we have a pretty solid foundation to build upon. The framework has been laid, and I am excited to see the ways in which this site will grow and develop in the future!
I would like to thank the incredibly hard-working, kind, and dedicated staff at First Universalist for the wonderful help and support that I have received regarding this project over the past two months. There have been many days in which I stumbled around the office with a crazed look in my eye, after hours of staring into the cyber abyss, and the steady stream of love, support, and encouragement has meant the world to me during these times of website-zombification. Thank you as well to Chris, our website consultant/guru (who in addition to doing fantastic work, also had an incredible amount of patience with me and my thousands of questions!) And lastly, an extra special thank you goes out to Ruth MacKenzie and Diane Gavere–the best cheerleaders a girl could ask for–who were always there with kind words of encouragement during times of frustration. Thank you, Ruth and Diane: I couldn’t have gotten through this without you!
And thank YOU ALL for your patience and understanding during this project. Here is our new website. I hope you like it!