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Internet Technology FOR CONGREGATIONS. John Rollins and Jan Paxton Diocese of Newark’s Diocesan Council Electronic Technology Committee. What is a Homepage?. A Banner - like the ones we carry in processions - that shows the character of your congregation

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Internet TechnologyFOR CONGREGATIONS

John Rollins and Jan Paxton

Diocese of Newark’s Diocesan Council

Electronic Technology Committee


What is a Homepage?

  • A Banner - like the ones we carry in processions - that shows the character of your congregation
  • An advertisement that has the potential to reach millions
  • A 20th century communication tool
  • An opportunity for the church to be in the world - so we can continue to go into all the world with the Good News of God in Christ

Why do we want one?

  • We belong to eternity,
  • stranded in time
  • but there is nothing that says that we need to be stranded in the 1600’s!
  • This is an evangelism tool of the present day that enables us to bring the church into the world in which people live and work

What can we do if we have one?

  • Make information/documents readily available for access by many people and congregations
  • Link people/congregations
  • Share resources

OK, so we want one. Now what do we do?

  • Make decisions:
  • What do you want to say to the world?
  • What do you want your page to look like?
  • Who will do the initial work of design and creation?
  • On which server will this page be housed?
  • Who will maintain the page?
it is the holy spirit who brings visitors to a church our job is to make sure the door is open
We close our doors when we

…don’t show people the way in

…don’t give them the information they need

…speak in “church code”

…don’t minister to their needs

…make them feel out of place


They are God’s guests

God is the host

It is not your church

It is God’s church

You are only the stewards

It is the Holy Spirit who brings visitors to a church. Our job is to make sure the door is open.
and how do we do that
Look for the things that make your church hospitable -

try to identify the characteristics of the people who have most recently joined your church

what about your most active members?

The most important question is not where or when, but why

You have about 15 seconds to capture attention with an answer to Why should I come to this church?

Now design a website that accomplishes this!

And how do we do that?
points of design
The first screenful should contain the answers to the most important questions…

and pointers showing that other answers are also available

If you use a picture, don’t let it fill the whole screen

First answer What kind of place is this?

Later provide answers to Where is this church and how do I get there? How do I contact them? When are the services….

Avoid pictures of identifiable children

Points of design:

More ideas for

content and design

  • Plan the top page to be short, quick to load and containing clearly labeled links to the other things on your site
  • Make a page with directions, consider linking to a map
  • Do a calendar page of regular services/events
  • Consider a page with your mission statement/history
  • Use smallish pictures
  • Provide links to other important or useful sites - diocesan pages, youth pages, camps, Forward Movement. ENS,...
other decisions to make
Who is going to create the site?

How are you going to maintain it (keep it current)

Who will make sure that photographs and graphics are of good quality?

Who will decide what content is on our site?

Will there be any quality control?

Someone’s e-mail contact information should be on the site - whose?

Other decisions to make:

Once it is created, what then?

  • You need to find a computer to house your page.
  • If your congregation has an e-mail address, you may be able to house your page on your provider’s server as part of your monthly fee.
  • Or....
If you use one of several services like Geocities or ( the American Bible Society), they will house your page at no charge, but they will add their format and advertising
  • You can register a domain name ($70 registration for 2 years, $35/year after that) and find a company to host your site. It is possible to do this for about $120 set-up fee, $30/month for 50 megabytes of storage space and $15/month for internet access/mail.

If you don’t like either of the other choices for where to house your page, there is room on the diocesan web site at

To have your congregation’s pages on that server, contact John Rollins at

Christ Church, Pompton – [email protected]


Other details...

  • Someone must maintain your pages, so find someone soon!
  • Dated information needs to be updated on a regular basis.
  • A busy page is not as effective as a simple one
  • Check links to other sites to make sure that they work.

What resources are out there?

  • Use PDF format to provide/get documents
  • Create/use FTP sites to download files
  • Use the ENS and Diocesan calendars to register your events
  • Get a sermon/idea from Worship that Works
  • Use the listserv of our diocese

The internet is all about connections, so look around and find new ways to use this ever-changing technology to do God’s work!


Useful Applications

  • PDF (Portable Document Format)
  • News from ENS or ACNS
  • Mailing labels for all
  • Find resource documents

How PDF works

  • A document is created in word-processing
  • It is “printed” by a virtual printer in electronic format - (.ps extension)
  • It is converted into PDF format (Distiller)
  • It is distributed by e-mail or the Internet
  • It is viewed by the PDF “reader”

Add news stories

  • Open your word processor
  • Open your Internet browser
  • Find the story you want to include
  • Select the words, use the “copy” function
  • Insert the words in the word processor
  • Format to your liking

Labels for all occasions

  • Create word-processor merge-file documents for address data
  • Use merge to combine template for standard size labels (e.g. Avery 5160) and address data
  • Save file
  • Upload file to Internet file server. Create link on web page
  • User downloads file, opens in word processor and prints

Documents from the Web

  • Episcopal-Lutheran Study Documents
    • <>
  • Constitution and Canons
    • <>
  • Outline of the Faith
    • <
  • and on and on

Resourses - your workshop disk

  • St. Swithin’s in the Swamp homepage template
  • Links to other sites of interest
  • A link to the Map Blaster site so you can add a map to your page
  • HTML Primer
  • a bunch of gif images

Techie information

  • Ask your consultant all of the techie questions!

Have fun doing this!