Your Turn To Brag. Come On, Really.

Reform Judaism magazine is planning an upcoming article on how Reform congregations are integrating cutting-edge technology in the service of community. We know if you’re reading this blog, and you’re a staff member, lay leader or active member of a congregation you’ve likely got something good going on. Tell us about it! NOW! Leave a comment (see “comments” link above) or email us at [email protected] and tell us your story, including links. We’ll pass along stories to the folks at the URJ, and/or you can copy them on your email at [email protected]

We have found that many congregations think what they’re doing isn’t so special — until they start to tell others about it, and eyes light up. It doesn’t even have to be fancy techie stuff. When Temple Israel Center really started sharing their web stats (a report to the board to show value, a report to staff to show their writing is really being read, and a report to members to illustrate how many people find the web site content valuable), it changed the conversation about the use of the web site in their congregation. And once they shared the practice with others via the Darim Online Learning Network, many other congregations adopted the valuable practice.

Are you doing anything with social networking? Online video or podcasting? Distance learning for adult education? Blogging? Have you restructured your e-newsletter recently? What products or services have you found most helpful? What’s been key to moving your work forward (adding staff, recruting volunteers, getting a budget, etc.)?

Consider it my Hanukkah present. Take 3 minutes and tell me your story.

Alban Institute Focuses on Internet in Congregations

The Alban Institute is an organization dedicated to helping congregations be more effective and successful. They work with lay and professional leadership on a variety of short and long term planning projects, and are very highly regarded.

The latest issue of Alban’s Magazine is titled “The New Connectivity: How Internet Innovations Are Changing the Way We Do Church”. The issue is full of highly relevant articles, from blogging and listservs and Facebook, to navigating this changing landscape in general.

Andrea Useem, a contributing writer to Religion Writer, Slate Magazine, The Washington Post and USA Today, serves up the main dish of the magazine, examining how technology is changing the landscape and business of congregational life, including an example of how a Darim congregation used a discussion board to bring together members who were wrestling with similar life issues.

If your congregation is a member of the Alban Institute, you’ve probably recently received your copy in the mail. If not, you can buy an issue on their web site for $7.00. Read it yourself, then pass it on to other decision makers in your organization. You’ll get your money’s worth, and I’ll bet it will catalyze conversations and development of a shared vision that will benefit everyone.