Mission

The mission of the Communications Committee is to foster communications within and outside of First Church. The committee promotes community, ideas, activities; helping people to know what First Church stands for and who we are. The committee addresses the communication needs of the congregation members and Church committees in meeting their needs through working on various communication initiatives (technology/delivery).

Among the major areas of support are the:

  • IT infrastructure
  • Computer support for the staff
  • Church Web Site & Face Book Page
  • The Unitarian
  • Social Media Communications
  • Communications Policies

The Committee is made up of volunteers who take on initiatives/projects from the Church throughout the year. WordPress training is provided to Church committee members during the year who are interested in learning how to add content to the Church Website. The committee also takes on targeted IT initiatives that help support communication activities within the Church, examples are the wireless access now available throughout the Church and the installation of a switch to give wired internet access to all rooms. New members are welcomed to sit in on our meetings and become part of the team. The Committee meets twice a year or more if needed.

Committee

Jim Sugarman (Chair)
Robin Hughes (Webmaster)
Mark Rosenstein
Ed Yee
Charlie Hill (Back-up Webmaster)
Lauren Crocker (liaison with Fellowship One)
Richard Curzi (ex-officio).

Contacts

Ed Yee – eyee@uubelmont.org

Recent Activities and Accomplishments

  • Major update to the website, applying the UUA’s recommended Word Press template, making the site more informational and attractive to newcomers.
  • WordPress Training, so committees can update their own pages.
  • Use of Constant Contact as the Newsletter (eUnitarian), mailing, and survey tool
  • Audio recording of Sanctuary Sermon and posting them to the website.
    Facebook page creation and postings.
  • Brought in an outside party to use as a “Geek Squad”. They help the staff, update the network infrastructure, and document and configure best practices for security, backups, software installations, etc.
  • Configured 8 wireless access points all over the church. There is now excellent wireless signal everywhere in the building with 2 wireless networks.
  • Installed a 50-port switch to enable wired internet access in all rooms.
  • Created an account with Square Up to be able to accept purchases via credit card. Configured an Android Tablet to use for credit card purchases.
  • Replaced Phone PBX.

Planned Projects

  • Continue to keep the website current.
  • Expand the use of on-line credit card to accommodate reoccurring donations, pledge payments, event fees, and take credit cards at events like the rummage sale and auctions.
  • Implement Google for Non-Profits for file sharing, internal web sites, calendars, and conference/video calls
  • Expand use of social media and other communications to help publicize church events.
  • Work with the Membership Committee on using social media to attract members.

A Short History

In its first year, 2008-09, the Communications Committee conducted a congregational needs assessment via personal interviews of major standing and initiative committees within the church, and individual questionnaires offered to all active church members & friends. The results from the interviews and questionnaires were collated during summer 2009, and in early October 2009, the Website Refresh Project was launched, resulting in a completely overhauled website being launched in early 2010. In addition, the Communications Committee oversaw the launch in February 2010 of the electronic newsletter, e-Unitarian, to the entire congregation, followed shortly after with the option of members & friends to “opt-out” of the print version, consistent with Green Congregations initiatives nationwide. During the latter part of the ’09-’10 church year, a new sub-group was constituted, with a mission to assess the many new media available & in use for Social Networking; with expectations to support all groups in establishment of UU-friendly standards of use, and supporting the creation and build-out of the FCB Facebook site to enhance our church’s appeal to youth and young adults. The launch of the new website employs a mechanism to allow each committee to manage and update its own content and calendar, with the Committee providing support. In the past year, 2013-2014, the Committee worked closely with the IT Committee assuring systems integration, and the feasibility of the development of a member password-protected intranet to allow maintenance of church photo directory, meeting minutes, and explored general communication needs of the church Program Council committees and congregation.  The e-Unitarian being sent out electronically has replaced the paper Unitarian that was mailed out, saving on postage and paper.   Eva Patalas of the ComCom committee supported the testing and release of the Church Survey in the spring, results are being analyzed. In the coming year, 2014-2015, the Committee will review the look and feel of the Website and Newsletter.  More activities will be developed as the year progresses.  The Committee is also in search of volunteers interested in leading and working on Church Communication projects, come share your ideas.

Social Networking resources UUA:

Do’s & Don’ts of Facebook UUA New Media articles Safe Congregations Material Top Picks for Safe Congregations

Church History Committee

A new initiative committee has been approved by Parish Board in spring 2016 to take on the role of maintaining church history.  Lauraine Dalton, Lanier Smythe, and Martha Spaulding volunteered to be a team of church historians, working with Jim Landfried who unofficially was the sole historian for the last 11 years.  The congregation owes Jim great appreciation, and now can look forward to the committee’s excellence in documenting major events and in archiving historical materials. Contact: info@uubelmont.org.