Conference Launches New Website

11/8/2016

HARTFORD - The Connecticut Conference has launched a brand new website designed to be both easy for users to navigate, and easy for Conference staff to consistently update with new information and resources.

The website features a new Justice Ministries section that provides information on how churches can get involved in the Conference's main focus issues: environmental, economic and racial justice.  It also includes a newly revamped Resources section where church lay and clergy leaders can find resources related to their specific ministries.

"Especially exciting is the brand new Faith Formation resource section of the website," said Tiffany Vail, Associate Conference Minister for Communications. "A team of faith formation leaders spent a great deal of time over the summer bringing together a wonderful array of stories - video, audio and written - to help inspire others in their ministry."

The front page of the new website features links to news articles, blog posts, events, newsletters and devotionals, as well as news from the national setting of the UCC. The website is "responsive," meaning it will work as well on a phone or tablet as it does on a computer screen.

"The new website is designed to provide a a platform for a wider array of voices," Vail said. "While there are not many blog posts published currently, that is an area we plan to expand."

Local churches are also invited to share their content on the site. Events can be submitted by clicking the submission button on the Events Calendar, and Classified Ads can be submitted by churches looking to hire staff, or to sell or give away items that may be of interest to other churches. 

"I am grateful to Tiffany Vail and Drew Page who put countless hours into bringing this new communication vehicle to life," said Conference Minister The Rev. Kent J. Siladi. "We believe that the new site will help to communicate in fresh and new ways the mission and ministry of our Conference and churches and members.  I love the new look and we hope it will assist in deepening our connections with one another."

The website was built in the same system as the Massachusetts and Rhode Island conference websites, and the Silver Lake Conference Center website, providing cost savings for the conferences while making it easier to share content. 

For example, when the Conferences are working on something in collaboration - like Super Saturday - it takes just a couple of clicks to post that event on the calendars of all three Conference sites.  News stories and blog posts can also easily be shared.

"This shows how our Conferences can work together to broaden the resources made available to our churches while simultaneously relieving the staff of the need to duplicate one another's work," said Vail, who is directing communications for all three Conferences. 

Vail said more members of the Conference staff will now be able to update content in the new system, meaning fresher content will be more consistently added.

The new system, created by Brick River Technologies, has a lot of capabilities beyond the website itself.  For example, event registration can now be done within the same system, saving on the cost of using an outside program and maintaining information on Conference events all in one place.

And while much work has been done in the new site, more content will be added in the coming weeks.

"Websites are always a work in progress, and this one is no exception," Vail said. "We have more content to add.  In the meantime, I welcome feedback from people about the site and suggestions for future improvements."

Comments can be sent to tiffanyv@ctucc.org.