Grace Episcopal Church
Grace Episcopal Church in Sterling, IL is small but mighty. Rev. Peg Williams, the Rector, takes care of all of their online presence.
The Rev. Peg Williams of Grace learned about Membership Vision from the Rev. Andria Skornik of Emmanuel Episcopal Church. When Mother Peg called, Grace had a website that had not been updated in several years -- and worse, none of the site links worked anymore and nobody knew who had access to the login. The parish was starting from square one. The thought of navigating domain registration, hosting, setup, design and upkeep was daunting, to say the least.
With no domain, no content that could be easily converted, no idea how to move forward and nobody trained to maintain a website or interact with a content management system (CMS), the challenges, at first, seemed insurmountable.
Membership Vision researched domain name possibilities before landing on the surprisingly available episcopalgrace.org. The Rev. Peg was pleased with this new URL, and willing to talk about a social media strategy. Although she’d never used social media, once introduced to Instagram and hashtags, she immediately grasped the possibilities. When Mother Peg tested the Membership Vision site management system, it was so easy to use that she set her sights even higher and decided she'd also try to record her sermons. It worked.
Each week, Mother Peg records her sermon on her iPhone and then uploads the sermon from her laptop. She updates the website regularly by posting pictures to Instagram and using hashtags to direct those images to specific pages or posts. By keeping the church’s Google calendar updated and actively posting on social media, the site shows new content daily. This church -- which had a website that was out-of-date by several years -- is now podcasting weekly, active on multiple social media platforms and sending out regular newsletters, easily generated from existing site posts.
Mother Peg’s small community, which was almost resigned to not having a website because they believed they could never maintain one, is now humming along as a podcasting, social media savvy, digitally communicating machine.
Soon after the Grace website was launched, the Rev. Peg started seeing some new faces on Sundays. She continues to post to Instagram and Facebook, and her sermons -- as well as those from guests who speak on certain Sundays -- are posted weekly, feeding the site as well as her iTunes podcast. Although still a small congregation, being able to share their story digitally has given Grace a new sense of engagement and mission.