Parents at Back to School Night last week received a sneak preview of Saint Brendan’s new website, which officially launched on September 1. “We’ve been working on it for almost a year,” Father Roger said, “and I couldn’t be more pleased with what our creative team has developed. The site is modern, elegant, and visually pleasing.”
The work began last October when the parish hired Steve Keegan Photography to capture the life of the parish and school over a typical weekend. “What he came up with was sheer artistry,” said Lisa Rosenlund, Parish Manager. “The pictures are nothing less than stunning, and they make our new website incredibly inviting.” Indeed, the point of a modern church website is to persuade ecclesiastical shoppers to stop in. “[I]f your church does not have a decent website you’re uninviting a lot of people,” said author and theologian Kevin DeYoung. “Your website is the front door of your church for many, many people. If you’d put a greeter at the front door of your physical church, and line up ushers in the sanctuary, and set up a hospitality center in the lobby, and make sure all the signs are attractive and pointing in the right direction, surely you ought to take the same care with your church’s website” because “most people on the web looking for a church will never visit if your site stinks.”
Above the “fold” of the new homepage stand the words in bold print, Find Your Way With Us. “By their very definition the words are welcoming, inviting everyone to follow the Navigator to find their way to Jesus and to discover their course in life,” said the parish’s Director of Evangelization & Faith Formation, Manolito Jaldon. Indeed, the nautical-themed site was designed with the user in mind. Each page of the website directs visitors to parish resources that can help them navigate the sometimes strong currents of life. The homepage, for instance, contains all the programs for the parish Pray Together. Stay Together year of prayer, upcoming featured events, the weekly bulletin, a way to sign up for the parish’s weekly e-newsletter, as well as a contact form for those who need help from the staff.
The other pages lead the user on a virtual journey of faith, from connection to a community, prayer to God, healing from life’s wounds, growing in faith, and loving others through service and mission. The Join the Crewpage introduces the user to the parish community and explains what they can do to help by joining one of our many ministries. Prayers and information about our sacraments can be found on the Strength for the Journey page. People needing help with healing can find information on the Seek Safe Harbor page, and our faith formation programs for adults and children are described on the Find True North page. The All Hands on Deck page sets out our philosophy on stewardship and grateful and generous living and allows visitors to give online, while the Fill Your Sails page contains our Sunday messages, featured articles, and good news about the parish.
“I am so proud of this website and the design team,” said Father Roger. “It is truly a work of art.” To visit the site, go to www.stbrendanparish.org.
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