Critiquing the new web site

Seeker elements, variety of resources praised
February 29, 2004

"I THINK IT looks good. Its layout invites participation and is clearly more than just a digitized version of the paper version. It invites people to make connections and responses, which will help mission. It is a door way to greater involvement, so I think itis well done."

Bishop Mark MacDonald

"WHAT I FIND most helpful in the siteare not just the seeker-oriented additionsthat are now prominently featured,but that the site's development shows acontinued recognition that the church must use the best tools available to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Asmore and more people turn to the World Wide Web as a primary source of information, it's important that we are making this commitment to be present for them and that we are trying to present our vision and particular gifts that we bring to the body of Christ in the most attractive way possible." The new website gives different groups and mission clusters an opportunity to easily share information, not just among themselves, but also with the larger church. Clearly this technology will ultimately make it easy for groups in the church to present their work in an up-to-date and cost-effective manner.Hopefully, this will have the effect of allowing groups to more easily coordinate their work both internally to their group and externally with other similar organizations in the Episcopal Church."

The Rev. W. Nicholas Knisely
Chair, Standing Commissionon Church Communications

"IT'S A GREAT improvement over the hodgepodge of the old site! What I found most helpful was the cleaner, more uniform look. Moving from page to page, the uniformity was helpful in navigating to the porof greatest interest to me." The animated introduction, with it's simple layout, makes a much more attractive introduction to the church though I would have preferred a photo montage of active Episcopalians eithr accompanying or in place of the icon image. The warm colors are certainly asset, but I wonder if seekers/newcomers will be drawn into the pages be by this image of Jesus associated with only one facet of our very rich tradition. As a portal into the American branch of a worldwide communion, Iquestion the effectiveness of an ima associated with Eastern Orthodoxy."

The Rev. Sam Portaro
University chaplain

"SINCE I SERVE a very small congregation now, our local mission does not have sufficient diversity to enable umake use of many of the resources offered — and we also have good resources from the Diocese of California as well.

"The information found under Seekers and Visitors is useful for those who are new to the church or looking for church affiliation; in addition providing resources about our local congregation, I always direct them to this website section."

The Rev. Richard Anderson
former Executive for Communicationof the Episcopal Church

"THE WEBSITE is helpful — the introductory page with its brief comments is just enough to whet one's interest.

"It seems to be much more oriented to getting information out to the unchurched, the new member. I belieive it will attract people to the church will make them feel more comfortable on their first visit to an Episcopal Church.

"What jumped out at me is that it‘suser-friendly.' One can get a brief overview quickly, and at the same time find out where to go for details."

Nancy Salmon
former member of Executive Council

"I VERY MUCH like the emphasis on‘welcome' on the home page and thatthe word is in multiple languages.

"In terms of mission: People willneed to be motivated to find out morabout ECUSA if they're going to takeadvantage of the resources on thiswebsite. That's neither good nor badbut important to remember. People ju‘surfing' the web will not be instandrawn into this site. That said, ifsomeone expresses interest in ECUSA oChristianity generally, I would feelcomfortable in sending that person tthis site for exploration. The overvstatements onvarious doctrinalpoints ofbelief are veryhelpful and Ithink could beused as a toolfor providing anintroduction tosome key themes in Christian faith."Still, this home page is verytheology-heavy at the expense ofpractice. Why are all the rotatingquestions (What did Jesus do? What is aTrinitarian God?) on the home page allabout doctrines? Why don't we havequestions there like, ‘What issocial justice?' or ‘How do wework for peace?' or ‘What doesGod have to do with civilrights?'""There's really [a] sense here on thisnew site that the Episcopal Church isactive, doing things, energized and haslots of different places to plug in."

The Rev. Dr. Jay Johnson,
Programming and Development Director for the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the Graduate Theological Union

"THE NEW WEB page is an unmitigateddisaster. [It] struck me on thehead, like an anvil in a Road Runnercartoon. The opening page takes almostfive minutes to load on a modem. Thewebsite uses Macromedia Flash, aproprietary format that is notaccessible to vision-impairedpeople."I would rather that the EpiscopalChurch have a lame ‘Under Construction'sign than have this unbelievablyawful website. It is a disgrace."

Brian K. Reid
Web Publisher,Anglicans Online

"WHAT I FIND helpful about the newweb page is that it isn't too detailed,andthere isn't a lot of informationcrammed onto one page. It is eato find what you are looking for"The seekers page is easy to getaround in and to understand. I kneexactly where to go on the websiif I had questions about the Epipal faith. The graphics and varipictures on thehome pagestood out for me; they lookvery interesting."

Megan Walton
high school sophomore

"CLEARLY A TREMENDOUS amount of work went into this presentatof resources, references, theolocal statements and announcementsabout the Episcopal Church and aits dimensions. Separating thisthree distinct areas, (Life andWork, Seekers and Visitors,Leadership Resources) helps onebegin to sort through the materiand narrow down to a specificresource. It will take one a whifamiliarize with it all and figuout how to best use it."The variety of areas represented —the arts, social justice and action,education, young person's ministriemay draw seekers into these pages.Interactive faith stories may also bplace where others find a connectionthey read and relate others to theirfaith experience. Over time, it willinteresting to learn how those withfaith affiliation find these pages."I feel web pages are a jumping-ofpoint. For me, face-to-face personalrelationships make faith come aliveothers, however, finding texts andresources that begin to answer burniquestions may be a key to unlocklongstanding doubts."

Sarah T. Moore
Diocesan Communications and Development Office