Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Memphis Conference Mobile App

The Memphis Conference Mobile App provides direct links to materials frequently accessed on the conference website by phone and other devices.  The app offers a special section for the coming Annual Conference session.  An optional push notification feature enables important messages to be instantly sent to all who want to receive them.  For more info, please see the Mobile App Quick Reference on the conference website.  Or better yet, download the app from your app store and try it out!

Choose your store or scan the QR code to download the app:


   https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/memphis-conference-umc/id1224849245?ls=1&mt=8

Friday, April 7, 2017

Website Grants from UMCom

UMCom is offering a Website Development Grant to local UM churches.

Definitely worth a couple of clicks to find out about 1 year free webhosting, domain registration, WordPress training and support.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Website Options

Thanks to Sue Engle, pastor of Trinity UMC in Paducah, for asking about this solution!

Note: Please see Web Ministry on the Memphis Conference website for more info.

UM Communications offers an excellent set of website hosting solutions at www.umcchurches.org  These are Wordpress based websites, and include some United Methodist plugins developed by UMCom, along with other selected plugins.  Full support is also provided.

Oklahoma Conference UMC Communications Office has prepared this guide for setting up a free church site at  www.wordpress.com

Google provides free websites with Google Sites, available with either your Memphis Conference Google Business Apps (free to all churches, clergy, organizations and others in our conference), and also available through personal Gmail accounts.

Memphis Conference provides each church a web page through the conference web site, and these can be used as interim web sites.  For example, here is the page for Trinity UMC in Paducah,   Each church maintains their own information on these directory pages through their Local Church Dashboard.

A variety of other website solutions are in use across the conference, and it would be great if everyone would post a comment about about the ones they use.  We also have several website developers around the conference, who provide excellent designs and services.  Hopefully, they also would post information.

Please share your church website ideas, suggestions and experiences!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Find a Church Updates

Both the conference and denominational "Find-a-Church" programs make information available to those seeking current information about your church.

The conference "Find-a-Church" page for each church is located on the conference website at www.Memphis-umc.org and provides an information page for each church in the conference.  The information on that page is populated from entries in the "Church Info" tab of the Local Church Dashboard.  The titles of empty fields are suppressed, so that only fields with entries are displayed. Church location information is used to generate a map for users to automatically get directions. Church photos, contact information, schedule, website, and other information may be added.

Just as important is the denominational "Find-a-Church" page www.umc.org which is used by visitors and those moving into new communities to help them choose a church in the area.  To update, navigate to your church page and then click the "Update Church Information" button at the bottom of the page.  There are several sections, and many churches use this service as their church website.  The entries are checked manually before updates are posted, and then a notification is sent when the update has been approved. Tutorials are furnished to make sure every church gets the most from this service.






"What it Means to be United Methodist" Free online course



"What it Means to be United Methodist."
https://www.umctraining.org/course/228

Free, ongoing, self-paced online course from UM Communications. Certificate of Completion and .5 ALLLM CEU awarded. Facilitated by Bill Lawson

Course Description

This online course is designed for new United Methodists and anyone wanting to know more about the denomination. Are you a lifelong or long-term Methodist? You may be surprised at what you can learn about our denomination. The course includes 4 modules that contain many interactive features. Each module takes about 1 hour to complete. You can move through the modules at your own pace.

What will I learn?

This course is divided into 4 parts. In the course, you’ll explore the following areas of interest:

Modern Methodism
What We Believe
Our Roots
Church Structure

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

MissionInsite

MissionInsite is a full-featured, online demographics program provided by Memphis Conference to every clergy and layperson.  Custom reports can be created for studying any area within our conference, defined by standard or user drawn bounds.  Numerous reports can be generated according to any combination of factors.  Custom drawn areas can be saved for future use. The program is well documented with text and video help files.  The district boundaries have been updated to reflect the new lines.  All the reports are included with everyone's access.  There is also the option to purchase mailing lists for households matching selected combinations of criteria in the selected area.

Registration information is on our conference website at http://www.memphis-umc.net/missioninsite 












Monday, April 3, 2017

MS Office 365 for Nonprofits

Microsoft Office 365 for Nonprofits is a very easy to aquire solution for churches.

The "Business Essentials" is Free for 300 users and includes Exchange email, calendar and other services in addition to online Word and Excel.  File storage, online meetings, and a secure Intranet web site are among the other features of the free version.

The "Nonprofit Business Premium" package costs only $2 per user per month, and includes all the essentials plus all the 2016 installations of the entire MS Office suite except for Access, and license for each user to install Office on up to five PCs or Macs, and also on up to five tablets and on up to five phones.  All the programs are automatically kept updated. (MS Access is also available for an additional monthly fee).

It is extremely easy for a church organization to get approved for MS Office 365 for Nonprofits.  Just go to the "Office 365 Nonprofit Plans and Pricing" page and sign up for the free trial.  After completing the hassle-free application, you will immediately receive the login and other info necessary to start your trial time, which can easily be extended if necessary.  There are no restrictions during the trial, so you can go ahead and begin using the program as you will after your approval.

Microsoft really does want churches to use Office 365 for Nonprofits, and it shows every step of the way from the time you first land on the information page, to their enterprise class support, to their exceptional pricing and user friendliness. Try it, and post a comment here about your experience!