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Equipping Update

   

October 20, 2003
-by Dan Dyck

Winnipeg, Man.— The November issue of Equipping Canada marks the third exclusively electronic distribution of the packet, begun by Mennonite Church Canada in June. The contents of each packet strive to inform and resource pastors, congregational leaders, worship teams, Christian Education committees, Sunday School teachers, librarians, and many others.

A review of the electronic distribution method revealed that:

  • Over 90% of MC Canada congregations receive e-Equipping. Of these:
    • Some churches (3%) don’t like electronic distribution and have requested to go back to hard copy only.
    • About 9% of recipients have reported problems.
    • About 9% (monthly average) of email messages to congregations are returned as “undeliverable” (likely due to address changes or other technical difficulties)
  • Over the course of about 1 week in October, there were nearly 700 hits on the Equipping web page. (In September alone, there were a total of 266,000 hits on the MC Canada web site.)

As with any system, there are pros and cons. There have been a few bugs to work out at the MC Canada end (staff has been working diligently to solve these problems). Dealing with technical challenges beyond MC Canada’s control has created a few issues. A few have found it hard to switch to the new system, and have requested only hard copy distribution (any church can request a return to hard copy only distribution – just call 1-866-888-6785 and ask for Karen Peters.). And ultimately, it’s up to the user to visit the web site and download the information (Thanks to everyone that does!).

But web site usage statistics suggest that many recipients find web delivery of Equipping Canada helpful. Anecdotally, we know that those accustomed to using computers (and who have internet connected members) find it much easier and less time consuming to simply email the alert to their various members – enabling more people to make use of resources and information. For those who create bulletins and church newsletters, cutting and pasting text saves time.

Users are invited to send comments and suggestions to office@mennonitechurch.ca, or call 1-866-888-6785.

Sidebar: Here’s how e-Equipping works:

Most Equipping Canada materials are prepared for posting to the MC Canada web site (www.mennonitechurch.ca/resources/equipping/). Items that are too bulky or have copyright requirements that prevent electronic re-distribution are held for exclusive hard-copy distribution (four hard copy editions per year are sent to all congregations). An email alert is sent directly to receiving congregations alerting them that the latest edition is ready, and where they can find it on the web. Congregations and individuals are free to download and redistribute the resources and information at their convenience. Noteworthy items in the November/December issue, a hard copy edition, of Equipping Canada include:

* not available on the web