(Design) A Deacon’s Musing

We are excited to share that A Deacon’s Musing blog, which has been hosted here now has its own new website and social media platform! As the blog enters it’s tenth year, we hope this next step honours the engagement that has been a gift to experience and points forward to further opportunities to muse, reflect and act!

Whether you are a for-profit, non-profit or charitable organisation, Maya Consulting takes its selective relationships with clients very seriously. We intend to nurture not just your brand and online presence, but offer ways to reflect your passion in all you do!

(Design) Little Britain United Church

We are excited to share some samples from our latest partnership with Little Britain United Church! We are working with them to provide design and maintenance of their WordPress presence. Some of the more nuanced tools used have been a robust event calendar and utilising table databases, such as sharing their historic cemetery! As well, we have been honoured to help nurture their social media presence on Facebook!

Whether you are a for-profit, non-profit or charitable organisation, Maya Consulting takes its selective relationships with clients very seriously. We intend to nurture not just your brand and online presence, but offer ways to reflect your passion in all you do!

(Design) #uccan WordPress Templates

It is with excitement that we share a recently completed and launched WordPress project. With collaboration with A+ Computers, the Conference of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario of The United Church of Canada and Halftone Pixel, we have created multiple templates branded specifically for The United Church of Canada UCC). The intention of this project is “that this resource will allow for both recognition of a United Church ministry and enough flexibility to reflect well the blessing of each specific context.” Please checkout the Mailchimp blast for more information about this exciting denominational and national opportunity for ministries of the UCC!

(Blog) A Deacon’s Musing|Online

This blog was originally published
July 23, 2015 by Winnipeg Presbytery


Image: Martin Fisch

Funny … this last blog until September is called ‘Online’ even though I will be going offline for a bit … irony 🙂

I have been musing about lots of things as I move toward a time of Sabbath and study, for which I am VERY enthusiastic about what lies ahead in August. Though there have been many threaded thoughts, some not necessarily yet wed to any tapestry, I keep returning to the fact that one of the larger projects upon which I have been working (for the last 18 months) will be launched nationally this coming August. In fact, it is being coordinated to go ‘live’ with the gathering of The United Church of Canada’s (UCC) 42nd General Council.

As Sisters and Brothers gather at our triannual gathering in Corner Brook, NFLD, a denominational WordPress project will become available nationally. For those for whom WordPress is new, think of WordPress as a mannequin and this project will provide templates – wardrobes – with which to dress the mannequin.

This is very exciting for me. Since I have been in the denomination (1997), there have been a multitude of things that have endeared and emboldened me about the UCC. It has been my experience that the UCC shines most brightly when it/we speak confidently when we are living justice, working cooperatively with ecumenical and interfaith friends, and making difficult choices that are not always popular. These are just a few of the institutional values, which I have found align most intimately with my faith.

What has been a challenge is seeing the digital milieu – such as social media, websites, or smartphone apps to name but a few – as a secondary way to share the Good News. And – when done well – often this has defaulted to a local ministry group or congregation in which the gift and skills are present to utilise these emergent and emerging media to share mission and vision.

What I hope this new initiative will allow – to borrow from the secular – is an opportunity to present our brand from Coast-Coast-Coast with an online website presence that is recognisable as UCC, yet flexible enough to add the flare (think boas and lots of bling), which reflects the particularity of any ministry that decides to use one of these wardrobes! In fact, if you are reading this blog, which I sure hope so since I am not sure about how the ‘tree-falling-in-forest-scenario’ works in the cyber-realm – you are seeing it on wardrobe (template) #3!

As I sign off, I thought – therefore – that I would offer three things for consideration. Why three? Well it’s a pretty solid Christian-go-to. I am not saying these three things are more important than one another or that those that are not listed are less so – they are offered as what feels important to name at this moment. Feel free, however, to continue the conversation here or through Facebook or twitter.

Bling Bling

Bling Bling
Image: stephen boisvert

  1. The Good News: It doesn’t matter whether or not social media or being online is important to us. It’s where a majority of the secular world gathers. And – in our Western democratic context – that means most people.
    Jesus sent the disciples out into the world to share (evangelise), not expecting people to come to him either on a mountain or in a synagogue. The Good News has lots to offer those who know nothing about church. In secular-lingo: our values align. If we’re not there, then, there’s not going to be a conversation;
    This digital milieu – which includes social media, apps and, websites – is a communication technology. Whether it’s papyrus, hieroglyphics about a character named sphinxie, a velum bound book, a newspaper or radio (to name only a few traditional modes), these examples have been how messages have been imparted.
  2. What is DIFFERENT now – however – is that these tools are also the ways from which relationships and community sprout. Whether you’re a restaurant, charitable NGO or NPO organisation or faith community, more often than naught you are checked out online before anyone ever decides to walk through a physical door. If your online house, wardrobe, or bulletin board (choose your metaphor) is outdated, poorly presented, and/or aesthetically under-whelming, no one’s coming over to debate, eat or prepare to march in a rally. How you look is perceived as who you are; and,
  3. If this media is where people find their life-partner, favourite salon, dentist, political party and possible faith community, it has to be interactive. Static and passive is not what happens online. You can build the brightest barn, shiniest-sparkling-disco-ball-club or most swanky fusion cuisine food truck, but if nothing is happening, then that reflects what’s going on in your brick-and-mortar location.
    Finally, I suggest it’s not just about posting content, it’s the nature of the content. And I also offer, it’s not just the nature of the content – it’s the interaction with it. If no one is sharing, liking, talking or commenting, you’re going to face an uphill battle.
    If your own people are not seeing this as a way to share the Good News – to discuss publicly why anyone should care – the other assumption that follows is that something may be happening, but no one really seems to care. To engage others, it’s good practice to make sure you are actually modelling engagement!

So … until September, be well and imagine ways to share your Call – both personally and/or congregationally – online. Whatever happens after August is any one’s guess … we know (regardless) that the Spirit keeps moving and Jesus’ ministry does and will find ways to inspire, challenge and change lives! After all, it’s the same Good News simply spoken with new tools …

Blog links:

 Image: Bling Bling
 Image: Online
 UCC: 42nd General Council
 UCC: Winnipeg Presbytery (Facebook)
 UCC: Winnipeg Presbytery (twitter)

 UCC: WordPress Project
 When Harry Met Sally: Sphinxy
 Wikipedia: Good News 
 Wikipedia: Trinity
 Wikipedia: WordPress

(Design) Canadian Culinary Federation: Winnipeg

Logo: CCFCCIt is an honour to highlight our newest relationship with the Winnipeg Branch of the Canadian Culinary Federation (CCFCC). After exploring their needs, their previous website presence and what their hopes were in respect to integrating the work they do in Winnipeg more intentionally with social media, we began a refresh in 4Q 2014. After renovating the branding of their social media platforms, we began to transfer their old site, domain and hosting to a new provider. During our conversations and listening to CCFCC’s passion to connect both with its member and the larger community of Winnipeg, we decided on a WordPress theme and layout that would allow them to embrace a dynamic site that will help them meet their goals for their May 2015 signature event and beyond!

Logo: CCFCCCCFCC’s presence includes a Dynamic Site and also utilises Facebook &  Twitter as its primary social media platforms. As our relationship evolves, we are also grateful for the trust to also provide the Federation with Maintenance of its website & to provide ongoing support in respect to the branding of its social media presence. This experience with CCFCC has been exciting for many reasons, one of which is the reminder that a web presence is more than a means by which people might garner information. Just as CCFCC supports chefs, suppliers and people working in the hospitality industry, we hope our care of their online activity allows them to do the work their Non-Profit organisation has done not only well since 1972, but to excel vibrantly!