First United Methodist Church

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News & Devotions

A Year In Review: Communications

In an effort to improve church-wide communication, the Marketing and Communications team implements on-going communication through a variety of tools. Here are four shifts we made in 2018 that will continue to be priorities in 2019. 

1. We refocused the weekly e-newsletter, the Monday Memo, that includes short descriptions, sort-ed by pillar, for the week’s activities. Each week the content varies based on the life of our church family. For instance, if you’d like to hear last week’s sermon, you’ll find a link in the Monday Memo. If you want to donate to hurricane victims, you’ll find a link in the Monday Memo. If you’d like to learn more about joining the choir, joining a Sunday School class, finding a Connect Group to join, all of this information is in the Monday Memo. It is intended to be something you can read while you’re waiting in line in car pickup or waiting on hold on the phone. Look for it every Monday.

2. The Thursday at 3 is another weekly e-newsletter that offers stories about specific ministries with-in our church. Here you can find out how successful the last mission trip to Kenya was, or how the Florida United Methodist Conference defines the “Way Forward”. This is something to read when you have time to explore, or when you’re looking for more information. Look for this every Thursday.

3. To increase communication and transparency across the 28 ministries, we needed to shift away from the space limitations of the old bulletin. And, we wanted to make our bulletins strictly a worship tool to enhance your Sunday experience. We’ve taken out all of the announcements that were historically in the bulletin and created our Monthly Newsletter. This Newsletter allows ‘our whole church family to know what our whole church family’ is doing. It’s a one-stop shop for church information. A printed copy is available the first Sunday of each month from the ushers and in the narthex and lobby the remaining Sundays. A digital version is also available online at Pick one up and plug the important dates into your calendar for the month so you don’t miss anything!

4. Finally, there is Realm. What is Realm? Ministry isn’t about being in the church office or by the door on Sunday morning. It’s about meeting needs-wherever and whenever we are called to serve. Realm has changed how we use technology in ministry. It’s not geeky or complicated. It’s approachable, useful, and a part of everyday life. It’s on the screens you normally use and avail-able whenever you need it. Need a call from a Pastor? Send a message on Realm. Will you be late to choir rehearsal? Send a message on Realm. Want to know get to know your child’s Sun-day School teacher? Send a message on Realm. Looking for a bible study, book club, yoga class, Connect group? You can find this all on Realm. And, the Monday Memo, Thursday at 3, Monthly Newsletters are all on Realm, too! If you’re not receiving Realm messages, email and a volunteer will help you get connected.

As you can see, we’ve been strategic looking for ways to help us all feel more connected. In addition to these four priorities, we have developed a robust amount of procedures, processes, and guide-lines to help our 28 ministries and 4 pillars maximize their communication efforts. We leverage on-going communication tactics through social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) as well as YouTube to ensure we are meeting people where they are at digitally. Consider, for instance, the purpose of this very report. This annual report serves as an overview of the vision and strategic direction of our church family and the ministries that support that vision. In addition to the website, we are excited to be able to offer a comprehensive report for folks interested in what our church family is all about. Wow, this is a lot of strategic and exciting work! If you’re interested in joining our team please email Sarah Skidmore, Director of Marketing and Communication, at

~Karen Roby, Marketing & Communications Lay Chair