Renamed UCC news services continue ‘proud tradition’
Two new names have debuted with the United Church of Christ’s refreshed website.
The news section is now United Church of Christ News. The weekly e-news, formerly Keeping You Posted, is now UCC News Digest.
Both continue long traditions of print and digital journalism in the UCC.
Cindy Bailie, who heads the UCC Office of Philanthropy, Technology, Identity and Communication, named several reasons for the changes. But she said readers can expect a familiar approach to news and information from both sources.
‘Connection to tradition’
“The website redesign offered a chance to give our news service a visible name again,” Bailie said. “We wanted a fresh name and logo that would also connect with the UCC’s proud news tradition.”
That tradition dates back at least 212 years, to the Herald of Gospel Liberty, published by a UCC predecessor. Since the UCC’s formation in 1957, two magazines and a newspaper have served the church. These were United Church Herald (1958-1972), A.D. (1972-1983) and United Church News (1985-2014).
The last of those, an award-winning monthly, became an all-online news service in 2014. The name United Church News was eventually dropped from the website. In recent years, the news section of ucc.org has simply said “News” at the top.
‘The church’s full name’
The traditional phrase “United Church” served an important purpose for years, Bailie said. Like the UCC itself, it was born in an era of “united and uniting” fervor among U.S. churches. She and UCC News Director Connie Larkman considered it.
But they felt the new name would fit better with recent efforts to amplify the UCC’s voice and vision. “We wanted our news to carry the church’s full name,” Bailie said.
Now the news web page, as well as individual articles, will carry the United Church of Christ News label. This will boost the church’s identity when articles show up in web searches and social media feeds. And the widely recognized abbreviation “UCC” makes for a crisp logo, she said.
More than 36,000 subscribers
Retiring the name Keeping You Posted is also bittersweet, Larkman said. What is now a weekly email to more than 36,000 subscribers dates back decades. Before digital days, readers received “KYP” via the U.S. Postal Service or as an insert in A.D. magazine.
Larkman said the Digest will continue to feature the latest stories from the United Church of Christ News page. It will share UCC commentaries, events and resources. And it will link to stories in the secular and religious news media that mention the UCC.
“The names are new, but the goal is the same,” Larkman said. “We’ll keep sharing what’s happening in all settings of the UCC, from local churches to the General Synod. We still aim to keeping people posted about the life and work of this united-and-uniting church.”
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