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Surfing into the 21st century: seven lessons learned from building a church website.(NEWS): An article from: Presbyterian Record

Surfing into the 21st century: seven lessons learned from building a church website.(NEWS): An article from: Presbyterian Record

This digital document is an article from Presbyterian Record, published by Presbyterian Record on January 1, 2009. The length of the article is 671 words. The page length shown above is based on a typical 300-word page. The article is delivered in HTML format and is available immediately after purchase. You can view it with any web browser.

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Title: Surfing into the 21st century: seven lessons learned from building a church website.(NEWS)
Author: Keith Randall
Publication: Presbyterian Record (Magazine/Journal)
Date: January 1, 2009
Publisher: Presbyterian Record
Volume: 133 Issue: 1 Page: 14(1)

Distributed by Gale, a part of Cengage Learning

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The Seven Deadly Sins Made By Church Websites

The Seven Deadly Sins Made By Church Websites

The Seven Deadly Sins Made By Church Websites

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The Seven Deadly Sins Made By Church Websites

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Posted: Jul 13, 2009



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The Seven Deadly Sins Made By Church Websites

By: Alistair Kent

About the Author

Alistair Kent
Founder of

(ArticlesBase SC #1033417)

Article Source: – The Seven Deadly Sins Made By Church Websites

Having seen thousands of church websites from many denominations and throughout many countries, I’ve seen the good, the bad and the downright ugly! As a result I thought I’d draw up a list of the most common church website mistakes.

It’s obviously been done by an amateur. Most churches will try and find a member of the congregation to produce a website for them. Normally to cut costs. No problem with that, but if you are serious about attracting visitors and communicating effectively with your members then you might have to pay someone to do a professional job. If your design looks shabby and amateur, then that is what people are going to perceive about your church if they haven’t experienced it in person. It doesn’t relate to the unchurched. Your church website should first and foremost be written with the unchurched person in mind. Now that may shake the foundations of most church websites, but we must understand that although we obviously want to relate to church members, the church is not an exclusive community. So many church websites are full of Christian jargon resulting in unbelievers being confused and alienated. And whilst we’re talking about wording, make sure that your content is well written, with no spelling mistakes or bad grammar. Write your copy in conversational terms and use lots of words like ‘you’, ‘your’, ‘I’ and ‘our’ to make it personable and engaging. It’s not easy to navigate. If your page links are hard to find, not grouped together carefully or not consistent on every page, people will quickly become frustrated and it won’t take them long to browse away from your site. So often church web designers pay more attention to graphics, animations and other ‘eye-candy’ that the site becomes overloaded with various elements competing for attention. Your church website may look fantastic with lots of eye-candy, but it can easily become like a merry-go-round – brief excitement, appeal and attractiveness, but actually doesn’t get you anywhere and leaves you in a spin! People will browse your site for a purpose, so you need clear signposts for them as they navigate your church website. The type size is too small. This is one of the greatest mistakes across all types of website, and unsurprisingly makes our list of church website mistakes as well. Anything between 12 – 14 pixels should be about right, depending on the typeface you use. You might want to try adding a little line spacing also, to make it easier on the eye. Rather than cramming in loads of words and reducing the font size, make your text shorter. The information is out of date. Latest church news from last month (or dare I even say last year) is old news and portrays your church as being ‘behind the times’ and ‘irrelevant’ (two main objections that unbelievers already have with church without us making a further rod for our backs). You simply have to put the time in to keep your church website up to date. Designate someone to supply and update the news section or discipline yourself to write short blogs every few days which will keep the site constantly fresh and alive. The church building is more prominent than the people. The church isn’t your building, the people are. Yes, pictures of your facilities are a good reference point and are relevant for people to get a ‘feel’ of your facilities, but don’t plaster them all over the home page. Rather, have pictures of people – ideally your own people. Get someone handy with a camera to take loads of shots of different people in different situations (natural, not posed) and select the best ones to go on your site. (Remember to get permission from everyone before you upload them.) Religious music starts playing or stereotypical images appear. Don’t impose your taste of Christian music on your website visitors – even if you think it is ‘anointed’. Research shows that most people find music played automatically as annoying. Have it available by all means (if it’s relevant, of good quality and legal!), but not set to play when the page loads. On the graphics front, if your church website has a ‘rotating cross’, a ‘dove flapping its wings’ or any other similar images/effects, then your site is very out of date. What may have worked 10 or 15 years ago certainly doesn’t work now.

For more information on how you can create a great church website that avoids all the seven deadly sins listed above, then visit

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Alistair Kent
About the Author:

Alistair Kent
Founder of


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Book Review: a Seven Day Journey With Thomas Merton by Esther De Waal

Book Review: a Seven Day Journey With Thomas Merton by Esther De Waal

Helpful meditation-retreat for going into the heart with God:

Today, again, I asked myself during centering prayer, to let my heart be open to God. This is the Christocentric God of the Trinity about which I speak. The book, “A Seven Day Journey with Thomas Merton” by Esther de Waal is an excellent exercise for home retreat that helps one come to opening the heart to God. The book does so in words, and it has photographs by Thomas Merton.

Irregardless, through the words or by looking at the photographs, one can find a way of looking at the world in the everyday and finding God. Set out as a seven day journey, take the book kindly and give it attention during the day, setting aside the time to go into the retreat. In the notes on Thomas Merton, the writer says, “The message of love, the primacy of love, this is the most basic definition of monastic life as Merton discovered it…”

Thomas Merton was a man who lived a life of love, learning so much about it and Esther de Waal, a Benedictine, is a good person to help us along the way with this love that Thomas Merton knew.

She asks questions in the days of the retreat. In day one, she asks, “Who am I before God at this point in my life?” She goes on in an intimate way, teaching us to become intimate with God: “…I am overawed to think of the person that I am, that unique person, so lovingly created by God in all the fullness and riches of my own individuality, a person made to be His daughter, His son.” Is this too close for some readers (what I think is these are starting points for considerations). So, as to being too close, I think not; the book is personal. If the reader has a starting point of relationship with God, and is not afraid to explore both the sensitive and open areas of relationships, he or she will find these more meaningful statements as time goes on. This is a book to be used more than once, is what becomes apparent.

Another thing this book helps with is the way of contemplation. As she quotes Thomas Merton, using his poetry throughout the book, we have a guide to help us in our spiritual exercise and quest. On “Day Three–The Solitary Within: The True Self” Merton is quoted: “What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves?” From Psalm 139 she quotes a response for this retreat exercise. “For it was you who created my being/knit me together in my mother’s womb/I thank you for the wonder of my being,/for the wonders of all your creation.”

“Day Four–Encounter With Christ” is the fourth day, and the central day of the retreat. Remember,this book is a retreat for seven days read a chapter at a time, day by day. The great gift Merton offers readers is a sharing of his experience in contemplation, his spiritual journey, and mostly his coming to know God. The book is kept under the section of books for “Spirituality/Prayer” and those interested will find that they too are with “..the Christ of God who in the spirit of his love lives in the people of God…” This is a book that is open to the reader, and open to people who are seekers of God who desire to pray. This is a prayerful book, need I say.

How religious is this book? I ask the question so that you as a reader will know that this is a book that is approachable. It “answers” the statement by John Cassian, in his “Conferences” which I am now reading about the relationship with God that a seeker may look for in his life. Even the advanced who are spiritually inclined will find this an approachable book by this measure of Cassian’s: “…We ought to know where we should fix our mind’s attention and to what goal we should always recall our soul’s gaze.” That can be an advanced question for many of us, and this book is helpful in meeting the statement’s intent for one’s life. This is a book that has life moving possibilities, one step at a time.

I would be missing a significant aspect of this book if I did not mention the photographs by Thomas Merton. One can say that one has seen his photographs, if one reads this book. Something worthwhile for an educated person in the 21st century. If you are a reader of the journal “Weavings” you may come to Thomas Merton’s photographs better prepared for seeing the contemplative in everyday things. The Journal is a quarterly series of articles from Upper Room publications on such topics. “A Seven Day Journey with Thomas Merton” does a comprehensive job of helping one to see. Thomas Merton sees things in his world, and one must look at the photographs and then make the connection with the common things of ones world and life. That for me is a good entry point of understanding these photographs in a book that is a retreat.

A commentary on Thomas Merton by a woman who is well prepared and able to make such commentary, essentially this book is her interpretation of Merton’s writings set as a retreat for people at home or use in a retreat setting away from home. With a foreword by Henri Nouwen, and photographs by Thomas Merton (including a most intriguing one of him next to a cross — large, large one) on the cover, the title by Esther de Waal is published by Servant Publications of Ann Arbor, Michigan. I listened to a webcast some years ago, from Trinity Church in New York if memory is correct, when a woman editor with Publisher’s Weekly said that one of the things that competed with Church life was good reading — in other words books. This is one of those books that can compete with a retreat time away from home, and for me that was the value of it. I could have the book at home, use it for study and prayer on a seven day course and come closer to God in my relationship with Him by the book. This book is a good thing in the world.

–Peter Menkin, Mill Valley, CA USA

Peter Menkin, an aspiring poet, lives in Mill Valley, CA USA (north of San Francisco).

My blog:

Seven Music Related Jobs In UK Business

Seven Music Related Jobs In UK Business

The music scene is alive and well – thriving even – in the UK. While there are thousands of artists dreaming of their big break, the music industry offers far more to the job hunter than the life of a performer. All those bands and singers and musicians need a support framework, after all. If you’re a music lover looking for music related jobs in UK companies, there’s no lack of positions open to you. Here are just ten music related jobs in UK production, broadcasting and media that are in demand.

Music Publicist

Someone has to get the word out about new music. A music publicist works with the media to be sure that artists are getting publicity to boost sales of their music and their value to a recording label.

Label Manager

A label manager works for a recording company and facilitates the releases of new music by artists recording for a particular label. In this music related job in UK recording, you’ll be working as a liaison between the various departments of the recording company to make sure that all the details are covered for a smooth release of CDs and digital singles.

Management Assistant

No matter what the industry, there’s always a need for management assistants to deal with daily administrative duties from filing invoices to setting up interviews and hotel rooms for touring artists to updating the company website. It may not sound like the most exciting music related job in UK industry, but it’s a great entry level job that will get your foot in the door. In many companies, management assistants easily move into other positions because of their experience in the music business.

Digital Research Analyst

Music companies have always employed market analysts to follow the latest trends in music and help position the company’s artists and assets to best ride the wave to success. The digital revolution rings in new changes nearly every day, and the market analyst position is giving way to a digital analyst who keeps a finger on the pulse of the market, analyzes new technology and emerging trends and forecasts the implications for the company’s products. The position requires experience and skill both in the music industry and in management.

Online Editorial Manager

In today’s digital age, an Internet presence is a total necessity for any music company. In addition to publicists, managers and PR people, there are music related jobs in UK media companies that focus on web production. From producing copy for artist profiles and stories to creating new media presentations for streaming and downloading, there are jobs for music professionals with web and digital experience.

Junior Events Producer

Live events are the heart of the music industry. From creating a schedule to ensuring that all the guests arrive on time to deciding on the invitation list so that all the right media are including, the events producer plays a key role. Junior events producers work under an events producer helping to manage aspects of the planning and execution of live events.


Internships at recording studios, radio stations and event venues are an excellent way to get to know the music industry and make valuable contacts. While the pay for an internship may be low, interns often have the chance to work on exciting projects as they learn. And in at least one recent survey, over 90% of companies who use interns say that they often hire on an intern full time when the internship period has ended.

There are many more music related jobs in UK companies, ranging from clerical work to throwing parties. If you’re looking for music related jobs in the UK, you’ll find many specialty web sites specifically for jobs in the entertainment and music business.

Rita Henry is a contributing editor for Jobs In Music, the leading job and resource site for the Music Industry. Interested in receiving only the hottest Music job listings weekly for free? To learn more visit Jobs In Music.

The Seven Last Sayings Of Jesus

The Seven Last Sayings Of Jesus

The seven last sayings of Jesus are:
Luke 23:34 – “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Luke 23:43 – “Truly, truly I say to you, this day you shall be with me in paradise.”
John 19:26-27 – “Woman, behold your son… behold your Mother.”
Matthew 27:46 – “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
John 19:28 – “I thirst.”
John 19:30 – “It is finished.”
Luke 23:46 – “Father, into your hands I commend your spirit.”
Not one of these 7 sayings was uttered lightly.
The first saying is “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” How does God forgive? The irony of this statement is that Jesus says “forgive them” for, in reality, doing what will ultimately make forgiveness possible. This one deed of the crucifixion both makes forgiveness possible and more necessary than it had ever been before. The essence of sin is a refusal to love God as much as He has loved us because it’s too demanding, the sacrifice is too great. Sin is refusing that kind of love that keeps giving until there’s nothing left to give. Jesus said that nobody takes His life; He freely lays it down of His own accord. His life was not taken, it was given. Our sin is the only thing we can really give to Christ.
The second saying is “Truly, truly I say to you, this day you shall be with me in paradise.” Some non-Catholic Christians claim that the story of the good thief proves the doctrine of salvation by faith alone, the doctrine that claims that if we just believe in Jesus and His salvation then we will go to heaven no matter what we do on earth. They point to the thief on the cross who had faith but no good works. This is a serious misinterpretation of what happens on the other cross. Was the thief saved by faith alone apart from good works? Look more closely at what the good thief did. First, he rebuked a sinner, someone who was railing against Jesus. Second, he accepted responsibility for his own sin. Third, in the midst of all these people in agony, he turns to Jesus and in front of all these accusers says “Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom”. He confessed Jesus Christ as a king when everyone else abandoned him. This thief had both faith and good works, by which we are saved through grace.
The third saying is “Woman, behold your son… behold your Mother.” Why does Jesus address Mary as “woman” here instead of mom, mother, or even Mary? He is acknowledging Mary as the woman of Genesis 3:15, the protoevangelium. In Genesis 3:15, God reveals His plan that the head of Satan and his seed shall be crushed by a woman and her seed. Eve’s disobedience lost her the title of mother of all the living at the foot of a tree; Mary now through her obedience gains the title of supernatural mother of all the living at the foot of another tree, the cross. Satan was crushed, not just through the woman’s seed, but through the woman. Through a woman came sin, so also through a woman came salvation – Mary, the “woman” who will crush the head of Satan, the “woman” who is crowned queen of heaven and earth in Revelation 12.
The fourth saying is “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” Why did Jesus say this? He said this because in His flesh that’s how it felt, but in reality that’s not all that was going on. In His flesh He felt the pain, the betrayals, and the denials of His best friend. In His humanity He felt abandonment, because that’s the only way human beings can come close to the Trinity’s love because that’s what self-donation has to feel, it has to go through passion. The answer to the question Jesus asks is found in Psalm 22 which He is quoting from. Psalm 22 is a psalm of lament and deliverance, of victory, of triumph through suffering.
The fifth saying is “I thirst” which goes along with the sixth saying “It is finished.” John says this fulfills Scripture as a bowl of sour wine was raised to his mouth. What is the it Jesus is referring to when He says “It is finished?” The Passover meal had four cups; in the Gospel account you see how the Last Supper was a Passover meal but they only drank three cups. After the third cup (the cup of blessing), Jesus says He won’t taste the fruit of the vine again until His kingdom comes. Instead of drinking the fourth cup, they went to the Garden of Gethsemane. In the Garden, Jesus prays for God to take this cup away from Him. The fourth cup is the link between the Passover and the crucifixion, the Last Supper and Calvary, the Eucharist and Jesus’ death on the cross, Jesus fulfilling the true Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. What does this mean? It means that the Last Supper and the crucifixion was one big event, one big Passover. In other words, the Last Supper was a sacrifice just like the Mass today is called a sacrifice. The Eucharist and Calvary are one and the same sacrifice. It is clear that there is a connection between the Passover, the Last Supper, and the cross. With the Passover in the old covenant, you had to eat the Passover lamb. For us to participate in the new covenant, we also have to eat the Lamb and that is exactly what we do in the Holy Eucharist along with the cup of blessing (the third cup), the cup consecrated by Jesus that enables us to drink the fourth cup. The it Jesus is referring to is the Passover of the New Covenant. The fourth cup is the moment when the Passover is complete.
The last saying is “Father, into your hands I commend your spirit.” Jesus lays down His life to the Father as a total gift for the salvation of all of us. No one took His life from Him, but He laid it down for us.

This lesson on the seven last sayings of Jesus is derived from a talk by Dr. Scott Hahn. You can have great Catholic CD’s like this one mailed to your home every month with a subscription to the Catholic CD of the Month Club. Our site also includes summaries, study guides, discussion questions, and more for each talk every month. Sign up for a monthly subscription and get a free gift – “The Lamb’s Supper” by Scott Hahn!