Thanks to everyone who responded to our request for suggestions on how best to create calendars and a church finder for the new website. After conversations with you, and the diocesan staff and the web developers, we’ve decided on the following way forward.
The list of parishes will soon be sortable by the name of the city of town in which the church is located. Parishes in Chicago will be sortable by the side of town on which they are located: north, south and west. Parishes that are northwest-ish or southwesterly will be listed in both categories.
In addition to sorting the list of parishes, those seeking a church can also locate all diocesan congregations a Google map that can be manipulated to view every church in the diocese, or to find the parish closest to you own location.
With a few weeks, we are in hopes of making it possible for seekers to get directions to individual churches through the list of congregations.
It is worth keeping in mind, that at present, clicking on the name of a congregation will take you to its website, where you can acquire its address, open a Google map and do the directions yourself.
Most of the feedback we have received indicates a need for three calendars.
a) A “building calendar” for St. James Commons. So much activity takes place in the diocesan offices and the cathedral, that a calendar for the many visitors who come to those locations for particular events is a must.
b) A calendar of diocesan events. The diocese holds events that range from council meetings, to safechurch trainings, to liturgies, speeches, forums and concerts. This calendar will contain any event that is held under diocesan auspices, and the occasional event sponsored by a parish or affiliate that is likely to appeal to a large audience in the diocese.
c) Technology permitting, we are going to offer a calendar to which congregations and organizations affiliated with the diocese can submit events by filling out an online form. Again, technology permitting, this calendar will be sortable by type of event (arts and music, speaker, etc.) This is a calendar for special events, not another place to post the worship schedule, and the editors won’t publish items that are clearly of exclusively parochial interest such as vestry meetings.
We will be in touch again in the near future to discuss some work we are doing on the information architecture—especially the Our Tools and Our Work categories, which may be renamed—to make it easier for clergy and lay leaders to find the materials that they need to do their jobs.
In the meantime, what do you think about the calendar and the church finder?