I am Cory Puuri. I have been coming to CTR since 9/11/2011. My wife Rebecca and I are now members and we attend with our two daughters, Lauren and Jenna. Our daughters are the reason why we started attending CTR. Instead of being excited to attend Sunday School, it seemed like a chore to them at our prior church. So, on the morning of 9/11/2011, I did some quick research and we attended TWO Sunday Schools that day. CTR won the girls affection and we have been attending religiously (pun intended) ever since. In fact, our whole family can't wait to attend each week!
I really enjoy applying my talents as a volunteer in service to God. So when Nola Sweet and Ed Pausig invited me to participate in the web re-design, I said an amen! You see, my experience navigating the old site to try to figure out what we were getting ourselves into last September was challenging. The old site had a lot of information on it (too much, really), but it didn't have any information describing what my children would experience in Son Harbor. We literally took a "leap of faith" in entrusting our girls to CTR that first Sunday. And when I signed up for online giving, it took me to a different website to enter my credit card info ("should I trust this other site," I thought)! When I tried volunteering for a youth ministries page re-design a few months later, the link referenced in the bulletin was broken. The search didn't return what I was looking for, so I performed a Google site search and it turned up hundreds of pages that were no longer active. I thought: "this website is hurting and could use a little restoring."
Well, enough about my journey, let's take a look at the new site. A lot of great debates went into making the site serve the Core Calling better. And after a countless hours of work by our team, I think we can all agree that the site is completely transformed!
Our vision (with due credit to Ed Pausig) was: "The website should be an online version of CTR." If there was team disagreement, the options were checked against that vision. To that end, what are some of the key things we do at CTR and how the site enables them online?
We have a better system for storing and organizing the Sermons. You can now browse the archive by Speaker, Date, Series, Topic, and Verse. Once you find what you are looking for, you can share it by clicking on the envelope icon below the player window. I use this to send myself a link that I can forward to friends that do not attend CTR to help extend the reach of our ministry. The site also allows us to store several Files with the Sermon (Files appear on a tab just below the video), including: the Bulletin (PDF format, includes embedded web/email links), video and audio versions of the Sermon, and a written summary of the service (what a great tool for looking up passages referenced in the sermon!).
Coming Soon: links to the video announcements from the worship service!
Another great in-worship tool for tablet owners is the "Mobile Bulletin." See something you want to volunteer for? The web links are all active!
Being new to CTR, I keep hearing about all the ways to get connected, but honestly, I prefer to do my homework before I sign-up. The Get Connected section of the site is in the early stages of a revamp. By the time we are finished, every ministry page will have a description of a typical meeting, a 2 minute video that illustrates the meeting environment (think: movie trailer), and a sample meeting schedule. We really want to capture the essence of what it is like to get connected so members know what they will be getting themselves into.
Connect Groups are now housed within the Church Management System (ChMS) database. What does that mean? Well, you can now sign in to My CTR to find out more about the various Connect Groups at CTR, get member contact info, plot the meeting location on a Google Map, and download resources from a secure area on the site that is only accessible to Connect Group Members.
Did I mention the Church Member Directory is now online? What a great resource... assuming everyone makes their listing public! There are nearly 2,000 regular attendees to CTR, but only 302 households are actively listed in the directory. We need your help in getting the word out!
There are a couple of steps to getting in the Directory. First, click on My CTR and login. If you don't have a login or can't recall your password, you can fix those issues by using the links just below the password box. Once you are logged in, you can add a picture of you and your family, edit elements of your profile and chose what phone/email addresses appear in the directory. Please note that only individuals logged into My CTR can view your directory listing. Now, the last critical element to make sure you show up is to select "Yes" for "Include In Directory" questions in the Personal Information and Household sections of your profile.
I will try to post a quick video on getting set-up in My CTR, including how to go paperless with your tithing. Please check back here soon or subscribe to the Blog RSS feed!
Well, I'm not sure what the appropriate word count is for a Blog, but I am guessing I am over that. Before I sign off, I want to make a plug for submitting feedback. If you like the website or would like to see more changes (e.g., "write shorter Blogs..."), please let us know by submitting a Contact form... or you could reply to this Blog to let me know that you read it ; - )
Thanks for reading!
Your friend in Christ,