Praise the Lord! An Official AME Church Web Sitegreenspun.com : LUSENET : Tenth District - AMEC : One Thread
The following was posted by Bill Dickens on the AME Today Discussion Forum. What are your thoughts regarding the new AME Web presence?
Blessings, Pastor Paris
One of the sessions I attended at the General Board Meeting in Tampa was chaired by the Chief Information Officer (CIO)Clement Fugh. Dr. Fugh unvieled the new official website for the AMEC. The URL is www.ame-church.com I have visited the site twice since last Monday and I can report that considerable work has been expended in improving this product over the current lameduck alternative. Dr. Fugh and his staff should be commended for creative content upgrades and incorporating record reporting features which hopefully will lead to a more reliable indcator about the membership total throughout our Connection. Challenges, however, remain before the new website can deliver on its cornucopia of promises. First, all churches must be equipped with the basic computer hardware and software to benefit from the online membership and financial reporting forms. I asked Dr. Fugh does he or anyone know how many of our churches are online but no one knew the answer to this fundamental question. This is no easy task considering a significant digital divide exists throughout the 19 Episcopal Districts. Second, all Districts need a seperate website. Currently only about a half-dozen of our Districts are online and all are not from overseas. The absence of my District having a website remains an embarrassment (yet folks proudly proclaim we are the "electrifying eleventh"). Third, Bishops and P.E.'s must be trained in order to make this work. This means if any Bishop/PE and I mean ANY, are reluctant to comply with the digital objectives promulgated by Fugh's office he or she should respectfully resign from their position or if need be, terminated from thier position. This may appear on the surface somewhat stern but if we are serious and sincere about the work needed to promote efficiency such draconian measures are needed. We have reached a critical point in our history where it is simply too expensive to allow derelection to infiltrate the House of God. I strongly believe this requirement should be openly debated and presented as proposed legislation at the 2004 Gen Con. Fourth and finally, adequate resources must be appropriated to fund this initiative as a recurring expense. I recall Alton Paris once mentioning that NO funds were appropriated for website development in the budget adopted at the 2000 Gen Con. If no funds were appropriated how can Fugh's office fulfill its mission for 2002-2004?? Many of us "techies" and closet "geeks" on this BB know that the success of any website requires timely updates. If someone is not updating the site it becomes of little use, except for occassional visitor curiosity, to regular visitors.
Quite honestly, I am curious whether the new AME website will develop a partnership with Rev. John Fisher. It is no news that The AME Today is the undisputed leader in our Zion when it comes to content creativity, dissimenating information and allowing "airtime" for folks like me to yak and occasionally pontificate about topics. This interactive feature fosters inclusiveness and compliments the ideal about "Connection". I would recommend that Dr. Fugh and his staff look to Rev. Fisher, Alton Paris and Chuck Embry as allies in helping to reach the goal of AME digital inclusion. And, in case anyone is silently speculating, Rev. Fisher did not pay me to make this point (LOL) QED
-- bill dickens (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 28, 2002
-- Alton E. Paris (email@example.com), June 29, 2002
I am glad to see it for several reasons. First and foremost, it represents an official presence of the church. Heretofore the church has been "blessed" by the generosity of those who have a burden for cyber-ministry and outreach. By taking this commitment, Dr. Fugh is showing that we as an official organ are no longer forsaking what could be a positive avenue.
Some of the other issues will come with dialogue, feedback, and time. The whole "problem" of forms and programs, for example, will be worked out through experience and recommendations. Your comment on the other stream about the interoperability of programs through browsers is becoming more true than not.
As a side note, Reedy Chapel was blessed to have a visitor two weeks ago who cited finding the church on the web! This is exactly the kind of purpose and outreach that benefits our local assemblies.
-- Jerryl Payne (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 05, 2002.