OC Inc. Presentation At General Synod


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United Church of Christ Office of Communication Inc. Board Chair Andrea Cano presented this overview of technology and media and its interaction with UCC congregations.

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OC Inc. Presentation At General Synod

  1. 1. Radical or Essential? Advantages of Communications Technologies in our Lives & Ministries<br />Andrea Cano<br />Chair<br />1<br />
  2. 2. Emerging technologies <br />are shaping our communication and information systems, and influencing our mission and ministries<br />.<br />2<br />
  3. 3. United Church of Christ, <br />OC Inc & Media Justice<br />In 1959, at the suggestion of Martin Luther King, UCC begins campaign to improve TV stations in the south to aid the civil rights movement.<br />Focuses on WLBT-TV in Jackson Mississippi because of the racism of the station.<br />Co-located with local white citizens council.<br />African-American political candidates cannot get air time.<br />African-Americans treated poorly on air.<br />Blocked out national news feed about the civil rights movement.<br />After 15 years of litigation, UCC successfully forces the FCC to cancel the license and establishes citizens’ “standing” to be heard at the FCC.<br />
  4. 4. Highlights of Church & Media History<br />• World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) formed in 1968, principles for…<br />• Media Action Research Center with the United Methodist and Church of the Brethren creates Television Awareness Training in 1977.<br />• U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops creates the Catholic Communication Campaign in 1979.<br />• ECUNET emerges in early 1980’s – Challenger on-line -prayer service<br />• ECUFILM’s issues The Power of Image, impact of television 1990.<br />
  5. 5. Highlights of Church & Media History<br />• NCCC Policy Statement on Violence in Electronic Media and Films 1993.<br />• NCCC Policy Statement on Global Communications for Justice 1993.<br />• NCCC Policy Statement on the Churches Role in Media Education and Communications Advocacy 1996.<br />• Center for Media, Religion, and Culture founded in 2006 in the School of Journalism and Communications, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.<br />
  6. 6. OC Inc’s Current activities<br />• Media & Technology Forums & Workshops<br />• Media Justice Public Policy, Washington D.C.<br />• So We Might See – OC Inc.’s interfaith media justice coalition. Campaigns include:<br />Spare Kids the Ads. <br />Violent media fast.<br />Bring Betty Broadband.<br />Screen Free Week<br />Members include: Catholics, Muslims, Presbyterians, Lutherans, National Council of Churches, Disciples. www.sowemightsee.org<br />•Media & Democracy Coalition, Odyssey Network, WACC , UCC Seminaries<br />
  7. 7. How the Internet can best serve US<br />Old Model: Centralized Network for TV, Radio, Cable, Hollywood…<br />
  8. 8. Open Interconnected Network: Current Voice, postal service, etc<br />
  9. 9. Interconnected Network with Centralized GatekeeperCivil Liberties Worst Nightmare<br />
  10. 10. Interconnected Network with some central controlText messaging, Internet of the Future?<br />
  11. 11. Schramm’s Model of Communications 1954<br />
  12. 12. Sources of UCC/Faith Online Content<br />
  13. 13. 13<br />OC Inc Pre-Synod Survey<br />. <br />EM EMU CW CWA SM SMC 0 1-3 4-10 5+ Tek 95% 99% 92% 99% 66% 99% Monthly use 80%<br />
  14. 14. OC Inc. Pre-Synod Survey<br />In 2011 the vast majority of our new members, plus most of our visitors, found us on-line <br />Social media is used for evangelism and community. Two Facebook pages and two Facebook groups as well as a Twitter account. Facebook Group - anyone related to the church can post whatever they think is interesting. This includes several former members who have moved and keep in touch. <br />Youth Choir Group - scheduling events, informal exchange Twitter - events, social justice issues<br />MP3 recorder to post sermons on website.<br />Arlington Heights, IL<br />
  15. 15. OC Inc. Pre-Synod Survey<br /> We have a weekly e-news blast, pdfs of our bimonthly newsletter. The e-news is very effective, except for some of our members who do not have e-mail. They feel very left out. There is also danger of members simply deleting the e-news, but most do seem to read it. The pdf is not very effective, because it is hard to read on smartphones. <br /> We hardly every use web address. The church is very concerned about moderating the page, so not much actually goes on it. Occasionally, events are posted, but I'm not sure anyone actually sees them. <br />Jackson Heights, NY <br />
  16. 16. OC Inc Pre-Synod Survey<br /> People were constantly wondering if we had a website. We tried to do it in house but we were not technical savvy to keep it up to date and/or make it look professional. We went to a professional best decision. We get so many compliments on it and we had a lot of new people coming and then joining because of it. <br /> We are also using Youtube creating videos that we share on Facebook and on our website. The name Arlington Congregational Church is all over the web. The more your name is out there the better chance people have of finding you. <br />Florida<br />
  17. 17. OC Inc Pre-Synod Survey<br /> Just purchased an HD video camera & started using it, we have a Technology Ministry group - we could use some advice. We use Facebook to communicate about church events, the pastor posts thoughts on Twitter. <br /> We're looking into "Patch" - a local bulletin board service to post ads about events and info about the church. We use AT&T. I don't know our monthly fee - it's a package deal with phone service. We looked into a cable system but would have had to pay to run cable to the building. <br />Stow, Ohio<br />
  18. 18. OC Inc Pre-Synod Survey<br /> We are having increasing trouble sending out emails to large groups or the whole congregation, even though we break them down into groups of 25 of less. We keep getting identified as a spammer because of they way we send. We know we need to got to Constant Contact or Convio or some such service, but our budget is in such deep deficit right now we don't feel that we can add one more expense. <br />Oak Lawn, IL<br />
  19. 19. OC Inc Pre-Synod Survey<br /> We stopped sending emails about every worship service because people were choosing to stay home if they did not like what was planned for that service! As pastor, I spend no small amount of time putting out fires that were started when a member vented their feelings about something via email. I use it primarily for working out details with members, never for expressing an opinion about something. I have disciplined myself the last few years to pick up the phone more often and have an actual conversation. <br />
  20. 20. OC Inc Pre-Synod Survey<br /> I came from another church which used email extensively to let people know about activities and concerns, and which had a website. I also regularly consult church websites when I am traveling. It's very frustrating to me that my current church makes almost no use at all of these ways of communication. And, no, I don't know what the hold-up is. Can't figure it out! <br /> My church uses email in a very limited way, primarily to let a "prayer list" know of concerns. Postcards are mailed out. All directories include street addresses and phone numbers only. <br />Yankton, South Dakota<br />
  21. 21. What are the ethical, theological, stewardship, public policy questions surrounding the use of communications technology in your congregation?<br />21<br />Radical or Essential<br />
  22. 22. Through media justice, we assure a more democratic society and social, political, and economic equity. <br />As people of faith we have been on this journey for some time.<br />22<br />
  23. 23. Internet is a necessity??? <br />Five states limit unemployment insurance applications to online. <br />Most visited web site in suburban Washington DC is the local public school web site. Grades, assignments, teacher communications are all on line.<br />Large employers like Wal-Mart, Target and Family Dollar take applications online. But application takes 40-50 minutes to complete, and many libraries impose a 30-minute limit on use and are often closed in the evening.<br />Libraries and community centers offering access are suffering budget cutbacks in tough economic times.<br />23<br />
  24. 24. Socio-economic factors and digital exclusion<br />More than two-thirds of whites have access, but less than half or Blacks and only 40 percent of Hispanics have broadband access at home.<br />Eighty-four percent of those with college degrees had broadband access at home, but only 28 percent of people with less than a high school diploma do. <br />Recent study of lower income people of color commissioned by the F.C.C. revealed that most people valued high speed Internet at home more than cable television.<br />Lack of access limits people’s ability to overcome other challenges.<br />24<br />
  25. 25. Freedom to Create<br />The process leading up to this is complex, but since 2005 there is no legal protection to create whatever you want and to communicate with whoever you want.<br />As Internet companies get bolder, they will begin to charge us to reach listeners and viewers, just like in the old media. Some media will be more equal than others.<br />“Net neutrality” policies are essential for the new future.<br />25<br />
  26. 26. So what can we do?<br />Educate ourselves and our congregations. The impact of communications tech and media is as invisible as the air we breathe unless we take time to notice.<br />Include a ministry of communications as integral to the mission of the church<br />Monitor and influence public policy at the FCC and Congress, and on the state and municipal levels<br />Speak out as prophetic and moral voices.<br />26<br />
  27. 27. Media Justice— How Can You Help??<br /><ul><li>Participate individually on-line.
  28. 28. Write letters, call legislators.
  29. 29. Leadership roles:
  30. 30. Include these issues in your communications.
  31. 31. Education and outreach in congregations.
  32. 32. Create materials—sermons, prayers.
  33. 33. Volunteer to organize others.
  34. 34. Meetings or workshops in your home community. </li></ul>27<br />
  35. 35. What do you think?<br />28<br />
  36. 36. Thank you for Joining us today!<br />Find out more:<br />www.uccmediajustice.org<br />www.sowemightsee.org<br />Sign up for our electronic updates.<br />Public Policy -Cheryl Leanza, cleanza@alhmail.com or 202-904-2168.<br />OC Inc – Andrea Cano, acano@ses.psr.edu<br /> 503 804 2785<br />29<br />