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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Church Websites - Fun For All

Problems with Church Websites

[from personal experience and researched data]

  1. Churches often believe they need a website but have not really thought out what they want it to do.
  2. A techie does the site, but then leaves the church or becomes too busy. Site grows out-of-date.
  3. This often gets repeated many times as it has in our church.
  4. No one but the techie can change it, so soon it is not really up to date.
  5. It does not encourage communication between members the way Facebook and other social sites do.
  6. Often a professional is hired and makes a beautiful site for a BEAUTIFUL price. Seldom is it built for easy updating or communicating new info to members and the public.
  7. If you want it updated the pro has to do it and that costs MORE money.
  8. Does it really communicate what your church's purpose is to the world of cyberspace?
  9. Does it connect your members?
  10. All-in-one websites are very satisfying and accomplish many purposes.
    1. Informing visitors and members about what is going on currently
    2. Connecting people and groups within your church
    3. Can be updated by anyone with very little training if you can use a word processor
    4. Can inform members of sudden events between Sunday's such as the death of a senior member, the birth of a baby, a victory in someone's life so that all may celebrate
    5. Appear to the general observer looking for a church that here is a church which is up-to-date, active and alive
Here are three of the sites I have found, each of which is a solution for most of the problems presented above.

Hosting, informing, domains, updating, newsletters, event calendars are all contained in one place.

Each of these sites have free trials.

Advanced Ministry ranges from free to so comprehensive that you can a store so that members can have access to purchasing materials and books being studied in various groups within the church. The price range is the best I have found anywhere.

Just recently I helped a small church here in Niagara to get a website that they could maintain themselves. If you are interested see WindMill-Point-Church

This Church has a different philosophy which gives you everything available on the site but just a bit less storage space for smaller churches.

More and more churches are turning to comprehensive all-in-one websites like those at Advanced Ministry, or This Church or [a demo site for MyFlock]
Probably the MOST important use for these sites is that ANYONE with a little instruction can update the section of the site for their small group. The church secretary can update the event info weekly or as often as needed.

No professional is needed [with apologies to web pros]. A workman IS worthy of his hire.

Any discussion about this would be welcome. Constructive disagreement is NEVER disagreeable (:-).

I have spent many hours poring over sites on the web and forums and listening to the tribulations of churches with out-of-date websites which are not a good witness to the world about your church.

I have found sites which give excellent tips for effective church sites. Contact me directly at or through the group as you prefer if you would like individual help with this changing field.

We live in an age of connection. People are "crying out" to be noticed. If this were not true why is Facebook so successful EVEN among Christians? Why is there a Twitter? Why has GodTube changed to Tangle?

It seems that every time I do a bit of web searching I find new sites which tend toward social interaction. A few years ago Plaxo was a way to store your email addresses on the web so you could get them from anywhere. Now it too is changing into a social interaction site.

It is a phenomenon that a church which wants to minister to the current needs of society cannot ignore forever.

At the same time it solves the problem of static, out-of-date websites which do not represent your active church or which drain too much money from church coffers which could be used for the ministry that Jesus left for us.

The Great Commission
16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." NIV Mathew 28: 16-20

Is there any better use for the Lord's money or your time?


Charles G. Pedley

Thursday, March 12, 2009

URGENT for Mr. Kenney - RE JOB NEEDS -

Hello Senator Kenney!

After seeing your article in the National Post about the jobs that need to be filled, I am applying for a job or perhaps, JOBS.

My pension which is totally subject to market conditions went down a lot when Honourable Jim F. announced the change in income trusts. [I understand why he did this but our "pension" funds did go down and have not returned to previous levels.]

Also the current market conditions have knocked it down about another 20 plus per cent.

If it were not for my wife and I having planned ahead to become 65 in 2008, we would NOT have enough money to live on.

My wife mentioned that you are short of soldiers, cops, spooks and border guards.

Okay what do I have to do to apply?

I am in excellent health except for a bit of extra weight I am carrying around. However I am sure that it is NOT even as much as a soldier's backpack!

I have been told that I was "spooky" in the past by my students when I sneaked up on them inadvertently, of course. Also when a mere youth, I was one of the top "secret agents" when we played.

And border guards! I would have NO problem sitting on my duff in a booth and questioning people about their purchasing activities. Having been a teacher in charge of the security of classrooms full of VERY diverse individuals with NO deaths or even taser accidents, I assure you I am abundantly qualified for that job!

Soldier? Well depending on how strenuous the activity, that might be a "wee" problem as the Scots say. However I am excellent in customer relations, and computer skills and I am sure that would go a long way as most office people I have found when in business do not know much about computers, except "show me where to type".

Please forward the applications or tell me what is required so that I can apply for the most appropriate job to serve my country in its time of need.

Charles G. Pedley


Note: If you do not have your bullet-proof vest on, please put it on first. This letter will self-destruct within 60 seconds after you read it, so please stand back from your computer!


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Jason's Comment and My Response

Jason commented on my post on not respecting atheists.

JASON: Not all atheists are so stupid as to state that there is no chance that there is a god. I, for one, am an atheist.

CHARLES: All atheists I have talked to have said that. Obviously I did not talk to you Jason. So you believe that GOD POSSIBLY EXISTS? Isn't that agnostic? Allowing the possibility of God?

JASON: I do not believe that there is a god as I have never seen enough proof that he/she/it exists.

CHARLES: How do you know Rome exists? How do you know that LOVE exists? Is it by the way lovers act toward each other? That is exactly the same as those that love God.

I cited only a very few of the things that Christians have done and started because they believe there is a God and they love Him by creating schools, hospitals, free public education, universities etc. and they continue that to this day. In India, we have all heard of Mother Theresa and the great work she did. Did you ever hear of Mark Buntain? Mother Theresa brought her sick to hospitals established by the Christian, Mark Buntain. One question. What hospital was established by atheism?

JASON: If I am wrong, I will accept the consequences. I try to live a honest, positive, and meaningful life and take responsibility for my actions. I do not thank "god" for good things that happen to me, nor do I curse "god" for bad things that happen.

CHARLES: That is good. Do you buy life insurance? [Or should it be called "death insurance"?] Why? I do not believe in God just because I want insurance about heaven. However if I am right, and the evidences abound, then I have preserved what is the fundamental me, my spirit [some call it a soul] and my life here has real meaning.

JASON: I know, by now someone has pointed out the fact that I used the term "meaningful" and are saying... ahh, you can't have meaning without god! I say BS to that. I found the basic objective to life that we should ALL strive for, religious and non alike... LEAVE THE WORLD A LITTLE BIT BETTER OFF THAN WHEN WE WERE BORN. That's it!

CHARLES: A person can have meaning without God and you obviously have picked a good meaning. However life has more meaning with God as he is the creator of LIFE. It is like enjoying a good book but have no respect for the author or enjoying a drive in a beautiful car but caring less about the builder.

JASON: Just remember, that I will go to hell for my beliefs if I am wrong and there is a god.

CHARLES: If that is your choice. You do have choices.

JASON: By the way, one thing that I always wanted to know about from those who believe... How do you know you are worshiping the RIGHT god? I mean the Bible is clear about worshiping false gods, what if somewhere along the line the story got messed up and you are actually worshiping Oden, Zeus, Satan, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Invisible Pink Unicorn or even the Great Green Arkleseizure? For that matter the Pope? What if your intentions are right, but the whole religion is wrong. Will you still be spending eternity in purgatory? As far as I am aware, God has not made any recent formal announcement to clear up all the different perversions of the bible, so how could god hold people to following it?

CHARLES: God has made it clear. Just like electricity or computers, or the internet are all understood by those who accept them and find out about them. If you choose not to investigate the knowledge of electricity, then you will be electrically-ignorant. So it is with God. Are you waiting around for him to show himself or are you actively looking at the evidence?

Have you read the Bible? Many atheists when they really decide to check out the evidence and PROVE there is no God ended up believing in Him.

Have you read "What's So Great about Christianity?" by Dinesh Dsouza? Have you read "The Case for Faith" by Lee Stobel? Have you read "More than a Carpenter" by Josh McDowell?

What have you done to actually find out if there is evidence? If nothing, then you found exactly what you set out to find, nothing.

JASON: Perhaps I am wrong (but I doubt it) but with the massive number of interpretations of the bible and religions in general, the chances of you following the one, correct path to God are about the same as mine. I guess I will be seeing most of you in Purgatory... If I am wrong...

CHARLES: What book on electricity is right? Or are they all just explaining a different aspect of it?

The various interpretations are only ways of saying the same thing but in different ways.

The Bible was written over a period of 2000 years by over 40 authors most of whom did not know each other. But they all agree? Coincidence or God-incidence? They agree that man is inherently selfish because we look after ourselves before we consider others. They agree that man basically wants to do what he wants often without consideration of others. Check out your daily news!

You may be a step ahead of many because you exhibit a concern about making the world a bit better place. So what did you do to make it that way?

No religion but Christianity has a founder that said He WAS GOD. The others just claim they have a way to get to God. They are attempts to reach into that vacuum that says, "What is the meaning of my brief existence here?" The Judao-Christian belief tells what the meaning is. And for those who actually examine it, they find the true meaning to life. You have found a meaning to life too Jason. However you just have not read about the author of the book of "a meaning".

JASON: See you then, don't for get the sun block,Jason Barnett

CHARLES: So are we going to the beach? (:-)

CHARLES: I have talked to people who say they want to go to hell because that's where their friends will be. Cannot be true. Hell is the place of absence from God and all that is good. Friendship is good. Therefore there will be NO friendship in hell.

Oh and by the way, did sunblock ever help bacon? (:-)


Posted a mite after the event.


Getting over my fear of NO guardrails and high dropoffs. Had to because once you start driving up over those mountains unless you ask ahead of time, you will likely be faced with them!
Last week, driving from Ouray [pronounced U-RAY], which is a beautiful town nestled by surrounding mountains except for one opening in them to the north. The exit to Durango to the south, is steep and treacherous. We climbed at least 1000 - 2000 feet before losing site of the town. Town is already over 8000 feet from sea level.
Then after the initial hairpin turns with guardrails we got to the road cut out of rock where only about 2 feet from pavement was dropoff hundreds if not 1000's of feet down!
I did a LOT of praying! Also letting people pass when I could and driving 15 - 25 mph which is the suggested speed around many turns.
Can you picture driving 15 mph? Well, often necessary. Then they have these steep descents up to 7% grade. Now I do not know how they calculate grade but I KNOW that is steep. You look down possibly a half mile to a mile and see the cars ahead of you way down there as little 'toys' and then of course, to top it off, after the grade comes the dessert, [no not desert], a HAIRPIN turn with perhaps a 1000' drop with you guessed it, NO GUARDRAILS!!. Braking all the time? Pumping brakes? Finally figured out how to use the Drive + and - after talking to another tourist who had a similar vehicle. That worked better!
But once we got through the worst ascents we were able to loosen our grip on the wheel and breathe again long enough to enjoy the snow-covered peaks of mountains from 10000 to 14000 plus feet. Also beautiful mountain lakes in colorful meadows surrounded by evergreens on the slopes.
Sorry can't send you photos yet because the geek that I am, brought the WRONG adapter for my notebook!! So it has been carrried around useless. However my 4gb memory card said I still had over 700 photos I could take before switching to the smaller ones. So I guess it's okay.
So overcoming the rest of my height phobia I guess was part of the God plan for me. I still cannot relax at those steep, unprotected ascents and descents but once you have done it 3 times in one day, it becomes just a bit easier.
Colorado has to be the most beautiful state. Even tho temperatures often are in the 80's, it is I guess much drier and feels comfortable to me and bearable for Ellen. Also we think they made a mistake in calling Denver the mile-high city. That is LOW compared to the rest of the state! Everywhere we stayed, except for Grand Junction, was over 6000' and more common was over 7 or 8000'. You have to learn to breathe more deeply as you feel short of breathe at those heights.
Now for last few days, [today Monday] we are in Colorado Springs area which is only about 6200 feet! Garden of the Gods rock formations are beautiful! At the approx. 10000 member New Life Church, yesterday we met a young air force academy student who will be serving his mandatory 5 years after the end of this senior year. He was alone, from North Carolina, and in our talking we discovered he always went to Panera Bread after church [ the most delicious, moderately-priced] deli-type restaurant with fantastic Pick Two menu's .... That means for $6.49, you can pick two of a cafe salad, a 1/2 sandwich, or soup. No matter what you get, it is delicious. Except for a few times I resisted the FANTASTIC bakery desserts. However resistance was futile sometimes and I just had to sample their cinammon-pecan roll or one of their fabulous cookies for dessert. Then I was good and instead got my $1.07 dessert of yogurt and berry parfait at MacDonald's after lunch or supper. All this to say that after he offered his phone number and email address, we felt okay about asking him if he would like to accompany us to Panera and we would pay for his meal.
Today staying at he absolutely gorgeous Best Western Academy motel with pool, indoor gardened courtyard and restaurant all right in the lobby with lots of lounge room to read while spouse is sleeping in... At noon we go up the road a mile or two to the US Air Force Academy to watch their parade at noon. Then later have a lot to pick from including train ride through the Royal Gorge at Can[y]on City, about 50 miles south. The gorge is about 1000' feet deep and after the 'hairy'pin turns up top, it seems a little more relaxing to travel the canyon bottom than go over the very insecure-looking bridge for $19 a pass.
See you later! Young man needs computer and you need a rest from my rambling praise of the most beautfiul state of Colarado. Home late Thursday night.