real life examples

 

...and the rest of the story

The three (iPod winning!) churches whose stories are excerpted here used the online 12 Tools for Advent to extend their welcome far and wide. You'll see creative adaptations, let's go get 'em outreach, and fun uses of the Stillspeaking brand.

Read on to see what happened...

   
First Congregational UCC
Tucson, AZ (43 members)
Rev. Briget Nicholson
www.firstucctucson.org

Keeps on giving
"We had no money to advertise in Advent and were perplexed about how to get the word out. One of the new members of our congregation liked the Advent Toolkit headline, 'Red State? Blue State? Joyous State!' He took out a quarter page ad in our alternative newspaper, The Tucson Weekly. Read more...

  St. Matthew UCC
Wheaton, IL (766 members)
Rev. Kirk Moore
www.stmatthew-ucc.org

Christmas music with attitude, and some fun with headlines
"We sponsored 24 hour a day Christmas music on WETN-FM (wetn.org all over the world) with scripts built around Stillspeaking headlines. The ads were short, and carried the Stillspeaking attitude." Read more...

  Community Church UCC
Chesterland, OH (157 members)
Rev. Pam Branscome
www.chesterlanducc.org

Reaching every way
"We put an ad in the local paper saying 'There's room in this inn – Jesus didn't turn people away. Neither do we.'

But we wanted to reach as many people as we possibly could. We sent the e-Christmas card to everyone we knew – our members, and all the groups that meet at our church. They were asked to forward it to everyone they wanted to invite to church. Read more...



First Congregational United Church of Christ in Tucson, AZ (43 members)
Rev. Briget Nicholson
www.firstucctucson.org

Keeps on giving

"We had no money to advertise in Advent and were perplexed about how to get the word out. One of the new members of our congregation liked the Advent Toolkit headline, 'Red State? Blue State? Joyous State!' He took out a quarter page ad in our alternative newspaper, The Tucson Weekly.

What happened?

This gift was a big contribution to our Christmas Eve worship participation. Last year we were 23. In 2005, 63 gathered and at least half were first time visitors.

What a great way to give to our community of faith this Christmas season! This is a gift that will keep on giving in the year.

St. Matthew United Church of Christ in Wheaton, IL (766 members)
Rev. Kirk Moore
www.stmatthew-ucc.org

Christmas music with attitude, and some fun with headlines

"We sponsored 24 hour a day Christmas music on WETN-FM (wetn.org all over the world) with scripts built around Stillspeaking headlines. The ads were short, and carried the Stillspeaking attitude."

"Our doors open extra wide. After all, Jesus was a carpenter! This is _______, _______ at St. Matthew United Church (pause) of Christ in Wheaton. We invite you to worship and learn with us. We care about justice, understanding and exploration. So no matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you're welcome here. St. Matthew United Church (pause) of Christ in Wheaton. Visit us on the web at stmatthew-ucc.org or call us at 630-665-1236.

More Scripts

We used print ads too:

A nearby mega-church publicized their decision not to worship on Christmas Day so the staff could have time with their family. We used this original headline in our brand and the free headline from the toolkit "Shelter for the Spiritually Homeless" in a couple of daily papers.

What happened?

· 12 regular visitors (at least 3 visits) during Advent

· At least 30 (stopped counting) but could be as many as 60 new faces on Christmas Eve - not out of town relatives, inactive members or regular visitors. Packed house at both 6pm and 10pm worship services.

Community Church in Chesterland, OH (157 members)
Rev. Pam Branscome
Story sent by Karen Berger
www.chesterlanducc.org

Reaching every way

"We put an ad in the local paper saying 'There's room in this inn – Jesus didn't turn people away. Neither do we.'

But we wanted to reach as many people as we possibly could. We sent the e-Christmas card to everyone we knew – our members, and all the groups that meet at our church. They were asked to forward it to everyone they wanted to invite to church.

Keep the e-card! It's a great tool and is cost effective for churches like ours with low budgets for advertising."

What happened?

"It seemed to have worked very well since our attendance went from an average of 45-55 members on a Sunday to 145 on Christmas Eve! About half were visitors, and there were twice as many children as usual."

 

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