Web site development as a process for congregational study, education, and evangelism: www.ccwm-medford.org
Larry A. Titus, Hartford Seminary, United States
Hartford Seminary . Awarded
The Congregational Church of West Medford, Massachusetts (CCWM), after a series of congregational studies, constructed a web site to address several assessed needs. Two specific needs the web site targeted were evangelism and education for faith development. The process of constructing the web site enabled members of CCWM to learn more about the congregation through historical records, personal anecdotes, demographic studies, assessment of present strengths, and sharing of insights and visions for the future. The construction of a web site was approved by the Church Council, especially as a review of demographic studies of Medford showed Medford was a city where Internet use would be above average, and there was the potential for an increase in new families in the area with the expectation that people looking for a church would search the Internet.
The need for increased membership (or evangelism) was also addressed by the Church Council and the web site committee as the text and images on the web site could tell the story of CCWM, with attention to programs and opportunities for families.
The need for education for faith development within the membership was addressed by including links to the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ (MACUCC) and the United Church of Christ (UCC).
The web site would be a resource also for newer CCWM members who have joined from other faith backgrounds, especially former Roman Catholics, as well as any one who might have less knowledge of the faith and order of CCWM. Lastly, the web site would be a resource for longer term members who would like to learn more about the UCC and denominational responses to faith issues and human needs.
The inclusive process for developing the web site increased appreciation for the church, increased fellowship, increased the UCC and helped members know about the Congregational tradition at CCWM and the way the church organized and responded to needs of faith, fellowship and outreach.
Titus, L.A. Web site development as a process for congregational study, education, and evangelism: www.ccwm-medford.org. Ph.D. thesis, Hartford Seminary.
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