Episcopal Life Online launched to widen church coverage

New site available at episcopalchurch.org/elife
March 21, 2007

Faster access to current churchwide headlines is now offered via a new website, Episcopal Life Online.

The site offers reporting from Episcopal Life, the award-winning monthly printed newspaper, along with the latest coverage from Episcopal News Service (ENS).

Launched on March 22, Episcopal Life Online combines the news-gathering knowledge and experience of both Episcopal Life and ENS into a website filled with news and information about the Episcopal Church, its people, its programs and its mission in the world.

"This multimedia, interactive site, several months in planning, contains the best of both Episcopal News Service and Episcopal Life former web sites and has some new features, too," said Jerry Hames, editor of Episcopal Life. "These exciting changes will enable us to reach digitally savvy Episcopalians of all ages. The church's web team and writers have worked hard to create this information and evangelism resource for the benefit of readers, surfers and searchers."

Episcopal Life will continue to provide its readers with a quality monthly newspaper delivered to their homes. ENS will continue its award-winning news reporting and gathering. Through Episcopal Life Online, both can be instantly accessed and viewed.

Headed by online editor Matthew Davies, the new site will be updated daily with current news and features.

"Episcopal Life Online is intended to serve our members, seekers and observers in a more comprehensive way and in a manner that better reflects today's informational and technological demands," said Davies, editor of Episcopal Life Online. "Episcopal Life Online offers broader coverage and augments the flow of accurate, timely, well-researched and balanced news, features and information."

The mission statement of Episcopal Life Online provides an overview of the new service: "For members, seekers and observers who want to know more about the wider Episcopal Church or who want to learn more about the Episcopal faith and order, Episcopal Life Online is an information stream offering timely and well-researched reporting, analysis and commentary. Episcopal Life Online's overall content offers the historic and contemporary contexts surrounding today's issues and reflects a range of voices beyond that of its sponsoring institution."

Format highlights content, visual elements

Both content and visual elements of Episcopal Life Online have been designed to provide easy access. Presented in an easy-to-read-and-navigate format, Episcopal Life Online offers features including the following.

Daily E-mail Links: One daily e-mail will link readers with current reporting; Top Stories: current and breaking news headlines are updated frequently; Diocesan Digest: reports focus on the activities of the 110 dioceses of the Episcopal Church; World Report: happenings around the globe and in the 37 other provinces of the worldwide Anglican Communion are emphasized;

Arts: Section features news concerning the art world from the pages of Episcopal Life;
People: newsmakers are emphasized across the church;

Opinion: columns, letters and e-mails are featured from the pages of the current issue of Episcopal Life, along with opinions expressed online;

Multimedia: video and audio reports are offered together with galleries and photos;

Noticias: news reports are presented in Spanish;

Links: offerings encompass other news outlets including Anglican Communion News Service, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA); Bulletin Inserts: easy links are offered to all the inserts produced by Episcopal Life; Fast Facts: quick information describes the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion; Weeks Ahead: calendar items list what's coming up across the Episcopal Church;

EBaR: links are offered to the Episcopal Books and Resources (EBaR);

This Week in History: information offers highlights from the Episcopal Church's heritage.

Episcopal Life Online conveniently offers easy access to the homepage of the Episcopal Church web site (http://www.episcopalchurch.org/).

Future enhancements and features are planned and will be inaugurated in the next few months.

Special interactive features

Episcopal Life Online offers interactive features for readers, dioceses and organizations.

"For dioceses and organizations, Episcopal Life Online can facilitate placing headlines on websites, or headlines with summaries," Davies explained. "Also, Episcopal Life Online is designed to provide the viewer with the ability to instantly respond to an article or an opinion."

Episcopal Life Online also details opportunities for advertising on the website as well as in print in Episcopal Life.

"Episcopal Life Online represents the best collaborative efforts of the communication staff at the Episcopal Church Center," said Canon Robert Williams, the Episcopal Church's director of communication. "We look forward to the future enhancements of the site while also strengthening its interface with Episcopal Life's print editions and its diocesan publishing partners."

Episcopal Church websites and blogs

Episcopal Life Online joins other web sites and blogs of the Episcopal Church:
- The Episcopal Church (http://www.episcopalchurch.org/);
- EpiScope (http://episcopalchurch.typepad.com/episcope)

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