Ward web sites

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prattbr
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Ward web sites

Postby prattbr » Sat Sep 27, 2008 6:14 pm

Our ward leadership has decided to use a Yahoo group to publish the ward bulletin announcements. The reason is the cost of printing the bulletin. They are printing a half page, double sided bulletin that does not include the announcements and many are not given out from the pulpit. I understand the use of non-church resources for official church business is not allowed. Am I correct?

I am trying not to offend but I feel we are going down the wrong path. The persons who created the Yahoo groups have very good intentions. Any suggestions how I can bring this up without offending all?

Thanks

RossEvans
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Postby RossEvans » Sat Sep 27, 2008 6:46 pm

BRP wrote:Our ward leadership has decided to use a Yahoo group to publish the ward bulletin announcements. The reason is the cost of printing the bulletin. They are printing a half page, double sided bulletin that does not include the announcements and many are not given out from the pulpit. I understand the use of non-church resources for official church business is not allowed. Am I correct?

I am trying not to offend but I feel we are going down the wrong path. The persons who created the Yahoo groups have very good intentions. Any suggestions how I can bring this up without offending all?

Thanks


I am not sure about the policy question you raise. You may well be right, but the reasoning is somewhat narrower. I think the answer lies in interpreting this First Presidency policy.

As an alternative, did anyone consider just posting the announcements as an attachment on the LUWS?

kennethjorgensen
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Postby kennethjorgensen » Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:05 pm

BRP wrote:Our ward leadership has decided to use a Yahoo group to publish the ward bulletin announcements. The reason is the cost of printing the bulletin. They are printing a half page, double sided bulletin that does not include the announcements and many are not given out from the pulpit. I understand the use of non-church resources for official church business is not allowed. Am I correct?

I am trying not to offend but I feel we are going down the wrong path. The persons who created the Yahoo groups have very good intentions. Any suggestions how I can bring this up without offending all?

Thanks


Your wording "the use of non-church resources for official church business is not allowed" is not one I have heard (others correct me if I am wrong). If that was true then the use of email, MS Word, MS Excel, MS Powerpoint, www.returnandreport.org would all be against church policy and yet they are not.

What you might be thinking about was the church policy about stopping units having ward websites which is somewhat of a different thing. It is certainly an area which is not cut and dry and one where we have to use our own judgement and be careful and considerate of the effect our decision and actions will have on other people.

A way to bring it up without offending would be to follow the golden rule of praising the idea, look for the benefits and then gently ask about the specific concerns you have.
Some things you might want to ask them or yourself could be:

Will this Yahoo group be public to all or closed so you have to join first to see the bulletins?

If it is public how are they dealing with privacy issues?

By having an electronic copy what are they planning to do for those members who dont have the internet or who rarely use it?

Do they know how many non-internet people there are?

I see you are in the USA, any reason they dont use the LUWS system?

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chrissv
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Postby chrissv » Sat Sep 27, 2008 8:26 pm

We don't have a bulletin - haven't had since I've been in the ward (about 4 years).

We used to have a littany of announcements at the beginning of Sacrament meeting. The Bishop recently attended a Stake training meeting where the Stake President wanted to minimize non-essential announcements during Sacrament Meeting (it's called Sacrament Meeting, not Announcement Meeting he said).

So only essential announcements are made from the pulpit (like reminding about General Conference). All other announcements are written up by the Executive Secretary (me) on a piece of paper, and 4 copies are made for the RS Pres, Priesthood leader, YW, and Primary to be read during the 3rd hour.

It has made a difference in the spirit of Sacrament meeting, and I don't think anybody missed out on any of the announcements.

Most of the announcements are calendar-related, and people can always consult the on-line calendar for the web.

prattbr
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Thanks for input

Postby prattbr » Sun Sep 28, 2008 1:36 am

Thanks for the replies. I have looked into using the LUWS system and feel it could perform the same function but has much better security. If we could get members to use it more I think they would like the features.

I am also concerned about members who do not have access to the web. I like the idea of having the priesthood and auxiliaries read announcements instead of doing it in sacrament.

I will talk with the leaders and see how we can improve our use of the church provided resources. I may actually put together a demo of the LUWS system.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sun Sep 28, 2008 6:09 am

BRP wrote:Our ward leadership has decided to use a Yahoo group to publish the ward bulletin announcements. The reason is the cost of printing the bulletin. They are printing a half page, double sided bulletin that does not include the announcements and many are not given out from the pulpit.


Aside from the good advice given on the use of Internet resources, I'm curious about the premise that the cost is too high. Under current Church copier policies, the ward is responsible only for paper and toner/drum. Calculations vary, but if you are doing a double-sided half sheet, the paper should cost you well under a half a cent and the toner should be in the 2-4 cent range per bulletin. So if you have about 100 families attending sacrament meeting, we are talking $3-5 a week, times 48 weeks/year should be on the order of $200 a year.

I know budgets can be tight, but is $200 for an effective communications medium something that your ward can't fit in its budget? I know some wards buy pre-printed covers, and print a double-sided full sheet, so the costs would be significantly higher, but it sounds like your ward was already being quite frugal.

kennethjorgensen
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Postby kennethjorgensen » Sun Sep 28, 2008 1:37 pm

BRP wrote:Thanks for the replies. I have looked into using the LUWS system and feel it could perform the same function but has much better security. If we could get members to use it more I think they would like the features.

I am also concerned about members who do not have access to the web. I like the idea of having the priesthood and auxiliaries read announcements instead of doing it in sacrament.

I will talk with the leaders and see how we can improve our use of the church provided resources. I may actually put together a demo of the LUWS system.


If for some reason they are not sure the members will actually use LUWS (which I doubt if their alternative is Yahoo Groups) there is yet another option is that the bulletin is still produced in paper format for those members without internet and then EMAILED to the rest as a PDF file.

Getting the bulletin in PDF file is easily achieved as there are several free PDF printer drivers available so you can print to a PDF file from any Windows application. I have used PDF995 for years and think it is great for so many different things, so simple and yet so effective.

This way (emailing PDF bulletin) you are actually pushing the bulletin into their email inbox.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Sep 29, 2008 3:30 am

dkjorgi wrote:Getting the bulletin in PDF file is easily achieved as there are several free PDF printer drivers available so you can print to a PDF file from any Windows application. I have used PDF995 for years and think it is great for so many different things, so simple and yet so effective.


If the ward's computer is running Desktop 5.5, then there's already one installed. I think it's CutePDF.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:44 am

The Local Unit Web Sites (LUWS) is the Church approved and suggested form of distributing announcements electronically to a list of individuals. The news and events section of the LUWS can be effectively used to communicate to ward members. It has the necessary privacy and security provisions built in. While other methods have been discussed on these forums, they may not be officially endorsed by the Church.

Tom

lajackson
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Postby lajackson » Mon Sep 29, 2008 3:20 pm

tomw wrote:The Local Unit Web Sites (LUWS) is the Church approved and suggested form of distributing announcements electronically to a list of individuals. The news and events section of the LUWS can be effectively used to communicate to ward members.


Is there any hope that anytime soon an Admin can fix or stop e-mail bounces without deactivating the member account? Since I hesitate to deactivate the account, I just don't use the e-mail function.


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