Worship Times: Worship Leader Magazine Editor’s Pick for 2016

bestofbug-2016-200For the third year in a row, Worship Times has been named Worship Leader Magazine Editor’s Pick for Digital Worship Resources: Web Development!

Meeting the digital needs of ministries and non-profits is our call and passion. We love helping our members discover new ways to communicate and improve upon existing ones. We help ministries tell their story and share their work and call in the world.

Being chosen again as an Editor’s Pick by Worship Leader Magazine reaffirms our commitment to the work we do together, and energizes us for future collaborations with churches, ministries, and non-profits.

We thank our members for the confidence and trust they put in us and allowing us to accompany them in ministry.

Worship Times: Some Reflections from the PC(USA) General Assembly in Portland

A month ago, Worship Times flew home from the 222nd PC(USA) General Assembly in Portland, OR, tired but delighted. We were able to speak to hundreds of people, many of whom are longtime members we have only met by phone or email that we finally got to meet in person.

There were many highlights from our conversations over the week we were visiting with the Presbyterians (well, this branch of the Presbys, at least), but our favorite conversations were the ones that started with, “Do you need help with your website?” Which often prompted this expression:

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“Yes! We really do. Tell us more.”

We are blessed to be in a business that helps people. And doesn’t just help people, but helps people be faithful in the world, and share that faith with others. Throughout the year we get to speak to many people on the phone, and by email, and we love these conversations, but there is nothing like seeing that relief and joy in someone’s face when they find out that we can help them do what they do better, more easily.

The PC(USA) General Assembly isn’t the only denominational gathering we have gone to, but, so far, it’s the largest. Each time we go to one of these gatherings, it gives us the opportunity to have conversations that often range far beyond websites. We were able to provide a place for people to take a break, charge their devices, and just chat about their lives, their ministries, their passions for their work and the world. Though there is some cynicism present in any large church gathering, for the most part, the people who participate, from commissioners to denominational leaders to volunteers to observers to students to people representing organizations throughout the church – mission, camp and conferences, affinity groups – are passionate about this mission we share together, even when we disagree. And we got to hear their stories. Your stories. And think together about how we can help tell those stories.

The work that happens at large church gatherings are just a beginning, or continuation, of the work. Worship Times is currently hard at work following up on all of the conversations we started in Portland, and building on deeper conversations we were able to have with current members.

If you have the opportunity to take part of the larger conversations your churches or denominations are having, take part! Sometimes we get isolated from each other in our little corners of the world, and we need to be reminded that we are not in this alone. We never have been.

Blessings and gratitude for all of you,
Worship Times Team

 

**If you think Worship Times should be at your denominational gathering, please comment below, or send us a note. We can’t be at everything, but if it fits, we would love to be there. Please include dates and contact info for organizers.

We also have done trainings with regional church bodies and leadership organizations. If you are interested in booking Worship Times for a deeper look at websites and church communications, we’d be happy to talk to you about that, too.**

Introducing: Jennifer Haley!

jenniferhaleyThings are getting exciting at Worship Times! We have a lot of new members, and together we are engaging in exciting new forms of digital ministry. As we grow our membership, we have been looking for the right people to add on our Worship Times team so we can continue to meet the needs and dreams of our members as best we can. So, we just added a new site builder to our team who will be a wonderful fit, Jennifer Haley.

Jennifer graduated Cum Laude from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications and a double minor in English and Psychology. Over the years, she has held positions in advertising, marketing, and television. With each job she has grown in her knowledge of communications and administration. Her most challenging (and rewarding) job has been that of stay-at-home mom to her children. This has blessed her with more compassion, organization, determination, and patience.

As the wife of an U.S. Army soldier, she has become highly self-motivated and holds a special place in her heart for the military. She loves spending time with family and traveling. Her hobbies include photography, reading, and antiquing. She is dedicated to being a valuable member of Worship Times. She currently lives in Murfeesboro, TN with her husband and two children.

Jennifer is already hard at work, and we are excited to have her work out in the world on your websites. Welcome, Jennifer!

 

Featured Client: San Francisco Theological Seminary

from the San Francisco Theological Seminary home pageWorship Times has been working on some exciting projects, and launching beautiful websites for ministries of all shapes and sizes. We love the breadth and depth of the work we get to do and the members we get to work with. Today we are please to announce the launch of the new look for the San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS) website. Worship Times has been working closely with our business partners, Poka Yoke Design, and SFTS to design and build a site that fits the needs and style of this wonderful gem of a Presbyterian seminary.

SFTS has been working diligently in the last few years to change the face of theological education offered on their campus – renewing fundraising efforts, launching a Center for Innovation in Ministry, building new student housing to re-center the community and better meet student needs, highlighting their excellent Christian Spirituality program, and creating opportunities to live into the spiritual practices being taught. The collaboration on the new website was centered around the values seen throughout San Francisco Theological Seminary.

We think the new look for the SFTS site well reflects who they are, as we hope to achieve in every project we work on. Our goal is to keep our member ministries’ values, identity and message at the center while providing the highest quality collaborative process, customer service, design and user experience. If you are looking for a web development company to work as partners in the process of building a new site we hope you will consider working with Worship Times.

Featured Client: UNCO

Unco logo

Worship Times was founded in order to help ministries tell their stories through digital media. We created a platform that was easily accessible to users – both technologically and financially – but also provided the highest quality websites and digital communications. We believed that quality did not have to be sacrificed for affordability or user ease, but could go hand-in-hand. We have found similar creative work in the people and ministries that have participated in the Unconference, a church-based, open-format gathering of people who believe that church doesn’t have to be complicated to be amazing. People who are doing remarkable things with very little conventional resources.

People like Anna Woofenden, who started The Garden Church, and saw the possibilities of extending God’s Kingdom to an anonymous alleyway. Mercy Junction, which was created at one of the first Unco gatherings from a conversation between Brian Merritt and Laura Becker. Ministries supported and inspired by Unco and the people who gather there range from these to The Kirk Coffee, Love Wins, Isaiah’s Table, The Word House, Sanctuary for the Arts, Our Common Ground, and Open Gathering. (And more.) Worship Times has been in the mix from the beginning. Having conversations about digital ministry and communications, providing websites, cheering on Spirit-filled ministry.

Worship Times doesn’t just play lip service to innovative ministries, nor do we believe innovative ministry comes in a particular shape, size or age category. We are working and sharing moral Unco waves hisupport with people doing creative ministry in well-established churches, and people who are not sure what they are creating as they just get started, fueled by a calling and passion of the Spirit of God in the world. If you are excited by the work of Christ in the world, and aren’t sure what’s next, Unco is a great place to have that conversation. More than once someone who has come to Unco with the seed of an idea, or not even yet a seed, has gone away and started something new. Maybe right away, maybe a few years down the road, new ministries, resurrected ministries, simply new ideas in an old system.

It’s powerful, it’s Christ-filled, and it’s real. If you need something like that, join us at Unco for some of these life-giving conversations. We’ll see you there.

Next Unco dates: May 16-18, 2016, at Stony Point Center in Stony Point, NY. October (dates tba), 2016, at San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, CA.

Announcement: Megan Hansen

Megan HansenWorship Times is excited to announce another change in our staff team.

We are pleased to announce that Megan Hansen has accepted the position of Director of Operations for Worship Times. Megan joined Gyura Communications in July of 2015. It was quickly realized her ability and skills best fit working with the ministries we serve.

Though her title and responsibilities have increased, Megan will continue to meet members’ needs, from initial conversations about website design and organization, to social media, to questions about how to utilize digital tools to reach beyond the church walls in new and creative ways. She is uniquely qualified for this position, having volunteered and worked in church and camp ministries for over 20 years as well as extensive experience with non-profit organizations and for-profit corporate work. She has a BS in Biochemistry from the University of Washington, and a Masters of Divinity from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Beyond Megan’s experience, she has particular gifts in communication, strategy, and connectional ministry. She is a great resource in accompanying ministries accompanying them in  utilizing digital tools and services offered through Worship Times to tell their stories. We are excited that she will be focusing exclusively on working with Worship Times.

Megan lives in the Houston area where her husband is a Lutheran (ELCA) pastor. They enjoy life with their daughter and a crew of three cats and a dog.

Announcement: Jake Warren, Director of Support

Jake WarrenWorship Times is excited to announce changes in our staff team. First, let’s introduce you to Jake Warren:

Jake Warren is a lover of technology with veteran experience in the customer service domain, and is dedicated to solving problems big or small. This makes him ideal for his new role as Director of Support for Gyura Communications. Jake will be working with both Worship Times and Poka Yoke Design members to help them effectively use their websites and other digital tools. No question is too small for him to tackle with enthusiasm, and he truly takes the fear out of learning new things when working with our members. Consider him a master translator of Technology to English.

Jake’s experience and thoughtful approach also allows him to bring creative and lasting solutions to the big problems and technological emergencies. He has a teacher’s heart. Our members value his attention to detail, and the care he takes in addressing their issues.

As a member of the Psi Chi International Honor Society, Jake graduated with a BA in Psychology from The University of Memphis. His diverse professional experience lends well to his work with the wide variety of work between Poka Yoke Design and Worship Times. Jake’s experience includes executive level tech support in corporate and ministry settings. Jake most recently served three years in tech support at the headquarters of an international Christian denomination. His favorite pastime outside the office is hanging out with his wife Megan and their two pups, Bogie and Hattie.

Jake will also be posting tips and tricks about Worship Times WordPress sites on our blogs on Thursdays, starting next week, January 14, so check them out!

Worship Times is a Worship Leader Magazine Editor’s Pick for 2015

Worship Leader Magazine 2015 Editor's PickWe are delighted to announce that, for the second year in a row, Worship Times has been named as a 2015 Worship Leader Magazine Editor’s Pick for Web Developer!

Our passion for digital ministry comes from our excitement in working with customers who are passionate about sharing the Gospel through their particular experiences and stories. We couldn’t do what we do without the creativity and love of ministry we see in our members.

Being chosen again as an Editor’s Pick by Worship Leader Magazine reaffirms our commitment to the work we do together, and energizes us for future collaborations with churches and other ministries.

In the next year, we will continue to focus on and strengthen our digital ministry solutions for ministries and non-profits. If you are thinking about a new or refreshed website, or a new ministry project using digital media, let us know – we’d love to work with you to make your dreams a reality.

Let us help take your website to the next level, or go beyond your website, and explore:

  • Overall Communication Strategies
  • Digital Outreach
  • Podcasting
  • Social Media
  • Content Creation – Written, Audio, Video
  • Accessibility – How can you be welcoming to all?

And so much more. What are your needs and dreams? We’d love to help.

Susan Gyura Named CEO of Worship Times

Susan GyuraHere at Worship Times and Poka Yoke Design we are excited to let you know that our current Director of Operations, Susan Gyura, has taken on the role of Chief Executive Officer of Worship Times.

Since March 2015, Susan has been central in guiding the day-to-day operations at Worship Times, helping our customers get excellent and beautiful websites, while also developing robust business processes that allow us to offer consistent, responsive, friendly customer service. Through Susan’s leadership, Worship Times is already making a reality of customers’ dreams of new and innovative ways to do ministry. She has helped Worship Times become a leader in integrating digital solutions and developing new tools and technologies that benefit all of our customers.

As of August 1, 2015, Susan’s role has expanded to even more fully utilize her deep experiences in ministry, communication and education, her keen eye for detail, and her great care for our customers as CEO of Worship Times. As our customers’ digital needs grow and change, so too must Worship Times continue to grow and adapt. Susan Gyura’s skills and creative strategic thinking are essential to creating an atmosphere of meaningful innovation as we continue to meet the ever-changing digital needs of ministries without sacrificing the customer care that is at the core of who we are.

Thou Shalt Ask for Help

EditorsPick_2014_200The team at Worship Times is dedicated to empowering congregations developing their church websites and digital presence. On November 1 Worship Times was named one of Worship Leader Magazine’s Editor’s Pick for web development (read more here). So for the next couple of weeks we will be presenting what we consider to be the 10 Commandments for Church Websites. If you have further questions or want to learn more about Worship Times, please feel free to email us.

10th Commandment for Church Websites

Thou shalt ask for help

As scripture reminds us, the Body of Christ has many parts; and we all serve a different roles in ministries. Don’t be afraid to ask someone who is tech-savvy for help.

Worship Time has a bunch of staff members who specialize in support who would be happy to help. Contact us at [email protected] and keep an eye on our blog.

Download all 10 Commandments for Church Websites here.

9. Thou shalt focus on ministry 

8. Thou shalt keep they calendar up to date

7. Thou shalt be thoughtful about using social media

6. Thy website is never done

5. Thy website shalt be mobile friendly

4. Thou shalt keep it short

3. Thou shalt use pictures that show thy community in action

2. Thou shalt be on thy website who God is calling thou to be in the world

1. Thou shalt put needed info right up front