If you ask folks at Union Congregational United Church of Christ in Somonauk, IL about how the Internet impacts the ministry of the congregation, many would likely say exactly that. On Sunday morning you’ll find very little evident computer technology and no Internet use during the worship service.
Yet the Internet provides a myriad of opportunities for folks in the congregation to be engaged in God’s ministry with each other, with the community and throughout the world. Over the past few years, we’ve found new ways to reach out to folks online through a number of resources:
- A church website that is continually updated with events, pictures, ministries, worship opportunities, sermons (text and podcasts) as well as links to United Church of Christ websites.
- A church blog that offers the even more frequent updates
- A church Facebook page that invites church members and friends to have online conversations about church life and to see even more frequent updates.
- A church myUCC group that is new and ready for new folks arriving at the United Church of Christ’s new online social network.
- A pastor’s blog that includes weekly Bible study thoughts as well as the usual “what’s on the pastor’s mind” blog entries.
- The pastor’s twitterfeed
- Sermon podcasts on the pastor’s blog as well as in iTunes
Each avenue of engagement provides an opportunity to reach folks in a manner many use now, and more will use in the future. Our small, rural congregation, where a little less than a hundred attend worship on a weekly basis, sees website traffic of 50-60 hits a week (per sitemeter) and has made connections with 40+ folks on Facebook. The sermon podcasts have about 40 subscribers (per Feedburner statistics) and the new myUCC group has . . . well . . . that one hasn’t grown much at all yet.
Internet ministry isn’t the only or even the primary way folks connect at Union Congregational United Church of Christ in Somonauk, but it is already a vital part of the life of the church and an avenue of connection that will continue to grow.
Internet ministry at Union Congregational United Church of Christ in Somonauk, Illinois: