We had an excellent question from the Rev. Martha Gillette, priest-in-charge at Church of the Holy Apostles in Wauconda, in response to our last blog post. It concerned calendars. We’re building a few, and are interested in your advice. It is our sense that showing you everything that is going on across the diocese at a single glance isn’t possible. The list would be too cluttered. The information might all be there, but it would be extremely difficult to find the tree you were looking for in a forest of events. The solution that we are leaning toward is multiple calendars—all of which can be viewed individually, and some of which will feed into an extensive “events around the diocese” calendar.
We are imaging a calendar for:
- Diocesan-sponsored events, be they programmatic or governmental
- A “use of space” calendar for St. James Commons—that will include all events at St. James Cathedral, as well as those in diocesan offices
- The aforementioned “events around the diocese” calendar
The events calendar will comprise sub-calendars for particular types of events. We are in hopes that congregations and church-related organizations from around the diocese can submit items to these calendars using an online form. We are currently considering sub-calendars for:
- Arts and music
- Education and formation (lectures, panel discussions, etc.)
- Special worship services
Keeping in mind that these calendars exist primarily for publicizing distinctive events that might be of interest to those outside of the parish (So it would not be appropriate to post your Sunday morning service times, or reminders for your vestry or altar guild) what other categories might be helpful?
Would it make sense to have a category called something like Advancing Good Causes in which we could list activism, advocacy and fundraising initiatives? Do parishes hold youth events that might be of interest beyond parochial borders? Should we have a Miscellaneous category for events that don’t fit easily into any particular category?
We could also use some advice regarding the Church Finder that is in the works. It will, in all likelihood be possible to search for churches using the name of the church, or the zip code in which you hope to find a church. (And, obviously, we will have a list of all diocesan congregations.) Are those two fields enough? Should we try to make it possible to search by the name of a town or neighborhood? If so, what kind of language should we use to help people find churches in the city of Chicago? Should we use geographic language? Neighborhood language? We’d appreciate your thoughts on this.