Church websites are an interesting thing. Some churches don’t see the need for them. Others put a great deal of effort (and sometimes money) into their site. Take for example, Church of the Resurrection in Wheaton, Il or St. Peter’s Tallahassee, FL. I’m not going to say that having a website is a magical key to parish growth- it, like any tool, has to be used wisely. But, I think they help. I know that when we moved to Wisconsin, the way we looked for a church was by searching “anglican” in Google maps for this area. We then looked at the websites and made a choice about visiting based on that.
One of the tasks I was given as part of my field assignment was the redesign on Holy Apostle’s website. It’s given me an appreciation for the development of website content and how a church’s website helps to determine the “brand”, so to speak, of a particular parish. This is the website I have built: Holy Apostles Anglican Church
I will be adding more content as it is developed. Any comments? Ideas? Criticisms?
I attended three breakout sessions while at Anglican 1000.
First, I sat in on a presentation by ChurchPlant Media on 10 Myths of Church Websites. This was very interesting and let to much thought on my part about the website of the Parish I serve at. Our’s is not a very advanced site, being coded in what appears to be a simple form of HTML4 (I think) and having very static content. ChurchPlant Media has a very nice product, but small parishes might not be able to afford it. Check them out: http://www.churchplantmedia.com/
Second, I sat in on a Social Media discussion. We talked about how to set up Facebook ads and social media campaigns. Very much an important part of church planting. The presenter suggested using social media not just for outreach but also for communication with one’s congregation. A good idea, I think, but somewhat difficult for older congregations.
My third breakout was on Jurisdictional Church Planting. The presenter was a member of the ACNA’s Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic’s Church Planting Committee. He presented some interesting ideas and models for church planting. One which I like, though I dont think he gave a specific name for it, involved planting multiple churches in a single area simultaneously or sequentially. He gave several reasons for this, including the fact that multiple churches in an area “raises the spiritual temperature” of the area. Further, he gave the example of two parishes planted by Falls Church, Virginia that were mere blocks from each other. Both had grown to be very large and had two very different pastors. They were not so different, however, that they were not complementary. Thus, the option for either parish exists for visitors. Thus, two plants in the same city could work and pray together, share resources, clergy, sponsor joint youth groups, acolyte and choir training, etc. At the same time, one could have an Evangelical bent and the other an Anglo-Catholic bent (though, I think the two are very compatible, but that is a story for another post). One plant could have a young priest, the other a more experienced one. This could be beneficial in several ways.
This is the first in a series of posts from Anglican 1000, the Anglican Church in North America Church Planting Conference. (Pictures will be posted after the fact.)
Last Night, we had the opening Eucharist and sermon by Archbishop Duncan. This morning, we had Morning Prayer and some time to mill around and discuss things with each other and the various venders that are present. The group I’m traveling with made a special stop this morning, eating breakfast at Chik-Fil-A before we got to Church of the Resurrection, the parish in Wheaton, IL where the conference is being held.
Observations thus far:
1- ACNA seems to be incredibly Evangelical/Charismatic.
2- ACNA still ordains women as priests (in some dioceses) and deacons (some dioceses).
3- There are a lot of young people, both clerical and lay here. They probably outnumber older persons. Furthermore, the gathering seems to be very diverse, both in terms of gender and national origin.