News for the Bulletin Bored

by Bob Turner on October 21, 2021

As a child, I remember my parents loving everyone in our church. That said, there was one group they viewed with deep suspicion: people who complained they never knew what was going on but never read the bulletin. The bulletin was printed so people knew what was happening, yet some people who wanted to know what was happening never read it. They probably wished the church also published Cliff’s Notes for the bulletin to save time for less avid readers. Mark Twain is credited with saying “Those who won’t read have no advantage over those who can’t read.” Well said. Maybe he was talking about church bulletins? Of course, Twain also said the person “who won’t read the newspaper is uninformed, while the one who does read it is misinformed.” So let’s leave Twain out of this; back to the church bulletin.

In my childhood church that document came as a folded 8.5x11 sheet that was distributed in the lobby by men in dark suits. On Easter Sunday it was light green and on Mother’s Day it was pink. The front cover featured an image that I suspect was our church building, but was grainy enough to double as a UFO sighting. That print bulletin served so many functions: a doodle pad for kids, grandma’s fan on Sundays when the A/C was down, wrapper for chewed gum, or notepad for those who took notes on the message or were headed to the grocery store after the closing prayer. Church bulletins tended to list meeting times, church events, names of leaders, and prayer requests. Larger churches started listing their order of worship, which smaller churches kept unpublished, since it was hard to publish the worship order in advance when songs were frequently chosen on the front row while the worship service was already happening. That is why they ask everyone to close their eyes during the prayers, right?

White Station’s history with the Sunday bulletin has been a journey. The Server was formerly a document that was mailed out to homes. The order of worship was an entirely separate piece that was handed out at Sunday services. Then the two became one. That publication featured an order of worship, event calendar, budget update, sick list and messages from ministers. It was eventually joined by the Daily News Alert, a digital recap of much of the same information which went out Monday through Friday to hundreds of inboxes. Then came the website, Instagram, Facebook, and livestream. J and Avery have upgraded our youth ministry to now have their own app, which gives updates and calendars for all things WSYG. All of this makes those paper airplane bulletins look quaint. Then Covid came and we had to rethink our entire communication strategy. We stopped printing as much and started using QR codes and online signups. Group chats replaced classroom whiteboards.

All of these platforms have one basic function: communication. We make sure our life together is shared and not limited to one platform. Just like the human body has parts that communicate to one another, our spiritual body needs to share with one another. We want you to know what is going on so that you can be a part of what is going on. There are so many ways to connect, but here is my recommended list:

  1. Subscribe to our Daily News Alert. This daily email has it all.
  2. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram. These are the two social media feeds we’ll use the most.
  3. Download the WSYG app. I know, you aren’t in the youth ministry, but they do a great job of loading content for all audiences.
  4. Bookmark and check it out on occasion. We’ve recently launched a fresher website. Its image-rich look and functionality make it great on all devices.
  5. Follow our ministries on social media. They are great follows and help you get a personalized view of what we are up to.

There are many more. In the tradition of my parents I’ll simply ask one thing: don’t be the person who complains they never know what’s going on and then never keeps up with the communication.

Now take a screen grab of this for that friend of yours who never reads the bulletin and send it to them. Thanks for keeping them in the loop.


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