Meeting Bulletin Application
- 1 Overview
- 2 Experience
- 3 Planned Features
- 4 Related Sites and Information
Because sabbath-day Sacrament meetings for Church wards and branches are often coordinated and conducted using paper meeting bulletins that are created through significant and repeated manual effort and cost, until there is a viable digital option, this work will continue to be done regardless of how good the digital tools are and usually without integration to those tools.
Because the information on the bulletin is immediately relevant to the audience consuming it, is aggregated from many different sources, and is often the focal point of the organizational information being distributed by each ward or branch each week, this digital bulletin will become the "front door" experience that will allow members to find related information and systems. Where possible, the bulletin should integrate with existing Church resources, applications, and services.
This solution seeks to allow easy creation of Sacrament meeting bulletins or programs with more accurate and complete content, to make them available to Church members on their personal electronic devices of choice, such as tablets, phones, and computers, and to integrate Church digital resources with the paper bulletins.
In addition to Sacrament meetings, this system could be used for other formal meetings such as Priesthood, Relief Society, Church Education System meetings, Young Men or Women special programs, other auxiliary meetings, funerals, or weddings.
A member comes into a Meetinghouse building for a Sacrament meeting. They are greeted by a member and either handed a printed bulletin, open the Meeting Bulletin application on their tablet, or scan a code on a small plaque on the wall near the entrance with their phone. Through the clear and easy interface, they are able to view the themed image and scripture quote for the meeting, skim over the announcements and select one or two to place into their personal calendar, find contact information for ward or branch leaders, view the meeting program or agenda, and tap on hymns during the meeting bring up the music to participate in singing.
Ward auxiliary leaders can easily place announcements into next week's meeting bulletin, which will be approved by an authorized representative of the ward. Information from resources such as the service unit calendar, directory, maps, Church resources such as music, employment, and family services, or Church-wide, stake- or area-wide announcements can easily be integrated into the program whether used on paper or on a tablet. Paper bulletins contain a code that allows a phone to quickly link digitally to information on the page, including possible last-minute changes to the announcements or program.
Meeting creation / entry
- A schedule will show meetings in the system.
- Repeating meetings will be able to be made.
- Repeating meetings of like-kind use a repeating format that carries forward to future meetings. In other words, changes to the format or entries for Sacrament Meeting would be carried forward only to future Sacrament Meetings, not other types of meetings.
- Sections from one type of meetings could be placed in another type of meeting. For instance, a youth special program or CES seminary preview meeting could include the Sacrament meetings event announcements.
- Changes made to a meeting bulletin weeks or months in advance would not show on the bulletins until the meeting for that date, but would carry forward to meetings after that date, unless edited.
Access and workflow
- Various individuals can be assigned access to enter certain information. For instance, a ward music chairperson could enter music information for the meetings but not other program items.
- Anyone can submit items for inclusion in a program, but a specific individual, group, or set of individuals would have to approve them before they were added.
- The front page is the cover or first page seen for the bulletin.
- The unit name will be shown. For example "Oak Hills 2nd Ward" or "Washington 2nd Branch" and the stake or area.
- The Church name ("The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints") will be shown (Church policy prevents using the official logo)
- The meeting date and time will be shown
- A list of approved bulletin images will be linked from approved Church-use photographs and art, similar to how Local Unit Website art selection was done.
- New original image uploads will be allowed.
- New original image uploads can also be submitted to Helping in the Vineyard
- Images would be tagged with keywords to help find an appropriate match to specific meetings, for instance, a baptism.
Themes / Quotes
- Each meeting can have a theme or quote.
- Each meeting can have a scripture which can be automatically looked up from the online scriptures by reference, topical guide, or text search.
- The scripture would link to its source in the scriptures app or website, if tapped or clicked on.
- A schedule will be kept which allows early entry of meeting items for meetings well before they occur.
- Any changes will carry forward from the meeting date they are entered for to future meetings.
- A series of program items can be included, the format will repeat from week to week. These could include things such as "Conducting", "Presiding", "Opening Prayer", "Sacrament", or "Benediction". Although a convenience list might be included, these will always be fully editable to match local custom and language.
- For each program item, a name can be looked up from the local unit (ward or branch), stake or area, or entered manually.
- Hymns can be entered, and will automatically look up page numbers from titles or first words, or titles by hymn number as they are entered.
- Musical pieces not in the hymn book can be entered, including a reference.
- Hymn notes such as "Choir", "Special musical number", "Verses 1-3 Only", or "Choir sings verses one and two and congregation will join in the third verse."
- People can be referenced from the ward or branch for musical numbers.
- Selecting the music piece linked to a Hymn or Children's Songbook will display the music for the piece.
- Announcements will integrate with and link to Calendar items.
- Announcements will integrate with and link to Newsletter items.
- Newsletter items probably cannot be included in their entirety due to length, but the first part of the item could be included with a link to the item in Newsletter.
- Newsletter item summaries can be edited.
- Individual announcements can be hidden on any bulletin. In other words, not every calendar or newsletter item may be desirable to be included.
- Manually-entered announcements can be entered.
- Manually-entered announcements will have the option of being added to the Calendar or Newsletter.
- Users of the bulletin can select announcements for import into their device's calendar system, including a reminder time.
- A quick pick list can be used to select Church resources to embed into the bulletin announcements. These resources might include things such as announcements for family services, employment services, addiction recovery classes, or opportunities to serve promoted by the stake or area.
Unit Leadership Directory
- A miniature directory of unit leaders, along with links to their contact information, will be able to be configured from the leadership list from the Directory.
- A default list of leaders will be included, but will be able to be hidden or added to as chosen by the bulletin administrator.
- Non-leadership directory entries can be added to include things like "Full-time missionaries", "Beehive Clothing Office", or "Meetinghouse Reservations - John Doe" along with contact information.
- Directory member contact information would only be available to members of the local unit.
- Visitors who are not members of the ward or branch could only see limited leadership contact information. (e.g. Bishop, etc.)
- Any time a person is referenced in the bulletin, an active link to their contact information in the Directory would be possible.
- Each auxiliary can designate a contact for their announcements / calendar items. Any time an announcement is referenced, this contact would be linked for those who need more information.
- There is an option to choose layout. (two-page, trifold)
- There is an option to choose content block placement- where on the program a specific block will be shown.
- There is an option to choose typeface and size for the program- titles, body text, etc.
- The bulletin could be printed.
- The bulletin could be exported to PDF to email or download.
- The bulletin could be sent/shared via email that either links to the specific bulletin either in the app or website, or attaches a PDF.
- The bulletin by default should scale to fit on the front and back of a single sheet of paper, removing information as necessary to remain readable and useful.
- Content blocks could be prioritized to shrink or drop from the printed bulletin, if important announcements grow beyond its normal bounds for instance.
- Rich link or metadata information would not be printed on the bulletin.
- To link to the digital version from the printed bulletin to the digital bulletin a QR code would be used. See below.
- When printed, a small QR code will be placed on the back of the bulletin near the bottom stating "For a digital copy of this bulletin, scan this code with your phone."
- A building QR code plaque can be created and affixed near the chapel entrance. It would simply state "Bulletin" or "Programs", and would be tied to a specific building so that the proper local unit meeting time could be referenced to show the appropriate unit's Meeting Bulletin when scanned during the day before or during a meeting.
Related Sites and Information
The following sites and information are related to this topic.
Requests for this application
This is a list of requests for an application such as this.
- Ward Bulletin Online Application: LDS Tech Forums
- Ward Bulletin Builder: LDS Tech Forums
- Ward Weekly Bulletin: LDS Tech Forums
- Electronic Ward Bulletin: LDS Tech Forums
Templates and instructions that represent workarounds
Until this application is made available, here are manual templates and instructions for creating meeting bulletins.
- Bulletins in MS Word Format: LDS Tech Forums
- Free Ward Bulletin Templates: The Idea Door
- Ward Bulletin Template: Continually Creative
- TriFold Ward Bulletin: About.com
- YSA Ward Sacrament Program
- Ward Bulletin Template: BuildZion.com
- Sample LDS Bulletin or Program: Mormon Share
- Sacrament Meeting Program Template: Sugardoodle
- Sacrament Meeting Program ward template
- Sacrament Meeting Bulletin / Agenda: Mormonism Revealed
- How to Print a Mormon Sacrament Meeting Program: Mormon Life Hacker
- Bulletins in MS Word Format: LDS Tech Forums
- Sacrament Program Template: Mormon Share
... and many, many, more.