As I announced last week, Old First will soon have a new communications tool, the Online Social Hall.
In my posting last week, I featured its utility as an online photo directory. This week I’m going to tell you a bit about how it will help us communicate.
In some ways, the Online Social Hall will be similar to the electronic mailing lists we’ve all grown accustomed to. As now, we will have email addresses to send messages to the whole congregation, or to specific ministry teams and fellowship groups. (The actual email addresses will change with this new system, but the concept is the same.)
So what’s different?
First, with a password to the Online Social Hall, you’ll be able to search an archive of past messages to any of the church’s groups you belong to. Need to refer back to some recent conversation in the Worship SLG about the music program but can’t find the emails? You can search them online. Can’t find the date and time of the young adults’ brunch? Search the email archive.
Second, with a password to the Online Social Hall, our groups can share documents and files more easily. Each group will have its own file space. So, for example, Julie can post the schedule of choir anthems so choir members will stop asking her “When are we singing this?” (well, maybe that’s too much to expect!). And the Admin team can post files relating to contractors or maintenance projects for the team to have access to.
As part of this change, the Elders have also adopted a new electronic communications policy. The full document is a bit long, but you might want to familiarize yourself with it. In plain English, it says that we have a “be nice” communications policy. We ask you to use your best judgement and be sensible! Don’t say anything on the church’s electronic mailing list, Facebook page or Online Social Hall you wouldn’t say to a person’s face. And we will use our discretion in removing comments we find offensive, spammy, self-promotional, or mean-spirited.
So watch your email in early December for an invitation to the Online Social Hall. If you need a little help with the enrollment process, folks will be at Fellowship Hour the first three Sundays in December to get you signed up.