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   by Walter Burden

   Last summer when Ray Delcourt, Stewardship Chairperson, called upon our congregation to join him on a web task force, a faithful band of people answered.  Joining Ray was Pete Schrank (Church President), Chris Chleboun (Social Media Master), Walter Burden (Editorial Content Coordinator), Pastor Ray, Julie Jancik (Office Manager), Barb Mazarakos (Writer/Editor) and Dean Porzel (Web Guru).  The goal:  to discuss bringing the way we communicate with each other and the community into the current digital age. The lists of things discussed included updating the website, e-newsletter development, social media, video content and online donations.

When the group initially met, we decided to first develop our email newsletter as a way to tell members and friends about the things going on at CLC, opportunities to serve, and drive traffic to our website.  Based in stewardship, we worked to create an interesting, high quality e-newsletter and a call to faith in action.  Our pastors wanted to contribute by writing one article monthly and embraced Pastor’s Corner with zeal, despite their busy workload.  The rest of the content was to be written by the lay task force members along with guest contributors.  An editorial calendar was developed and story lines created to find interesting ways to tell the story of CLC’s events and groups that serve our congregation and the community.  Emails were requested and well over 200 gathered. By late October 2013 our inaugural November 2013 issue was emailed out.

   As social media has become a mainstream way to communicate online, our Facebook/Twitter expert, member Chris Chleboun, now takes up the challenge of providing daily Facebook and Twitter posts.  She is the voice behind “Today’s Inspirations”, Upcoming Events, and the interesting photo and video content that now grace the Christ Lutheran Church Orland Park Facebook page, as well as   @CL_ChurchOrland  (our new Twitter handle). We hope you will encourage others to join the 144 people who like and follow us.  The more people we reach, the more Christ Lutheran’s message spreads. It’s essential to our new social and digital initiatives.

   And if you haven’t already, check out our website at ChristLutheranOrland.com.  We have found that many people who visit download the calendar and bulletin, look at upcoming events on the home page, link to the e-newsletter and look at youth events and wedding information.  The site is based on a WordPress Platform, and we seek to find an experienced person to help us with our redesign efforts.  As our current website is basic and functional, the goal is to bring a more updated and personal approach with more photos, graphics, blogs and video looking to appeal to potential new members.  Each newsletter story is now posted as an individual blog as well so members can post stories they like on Facebook.

   Social media, blogs and email have become a digital version of word of mouth communication.  For those who like surfing the social and digital wave, feel free to grab your digital surf board and join us.  Like us, follow us, post a CLC blog and share.

  Send us your CLC related video, photos, ideas and energy to clcstewardship125@gmail.com