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Ray Postuma on February 26, 2010

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Eva, you and I attend the same beloved Covenant CRC, and we've had considerable discussions around this one! At the risk of 'airing soiled laundry', I do want to respond, augment this important discussion and solicit feedback from others!

I understand PowerChurch is great for accounting etc. but unfortunately none of its stored information can be shared on-line by those who need access when the office is closed. Most Council members do their church work after hours, need the information 'now', and many (but not all) want to be empowered electronically. Also, PowerChurch does not permit flexibility in reporting: we can't even use it in the printing of the Church's Directory nor generate custom reports, and so you end up doing the Church Directory in a word processor. As a result, we now have several sources of church information that constantly need to be reconciled, kept accurate and in sync.

Coming into the mix is 'cloud computing', as with e.g. Google Docs (GD) that our church (and others?) are now using. GD is becoming increasingly important as our 'go-to', secure, on-line information source for local church business. Using it's 'shared folder' feature, it also will be the handy vehicle for succession of Council members and other key church players as they move through the various church roles. Happily gone are those thick Council binders that would get passed from outgoing to incoming Council and committee members, often not kept in very good order, depending on the diligence of the person you were succeeding!

Question: how does PowerChurch and my very favourite off-the-shelf database, FileMaker Pro and it's little sibling Bento, interact with this increasing reliance on 'cloud computing'? Answer: they don't!. Gone is the advantage of PowerChurch, Filemaker Pro and any other stand-alone software application. Hopefully Google soon will develop a relational database that can become the single source of our administrative information. Knowing Google's pace, that may be soon?!

In the meantime, since we've adopted 'cloud computing' as the way of our administrative future, we'll need to make do with the simple tools in the Google Docs 'toolbox': spreadsheet, word processing, presentation applications. Nevertheless, and hopefully soon, we'll see a Google Doc relational database with customizable reporting tools to do our finance reports, printing of church directory, etc., all from a single, accurate information source that resides 'in the clouds' and is accessible securely on-line by those authorized and need to know.


Question: Are there any 'template' vision, mission, policy, procedure, legality, guideline etc.  documents out there regarding the whole area of worship service audio-video recording and web streaming (did I miss anything!)?

We'd love to hear from you!!  


Dave, may I suggest we host a discussion on the impact of ICT on society and our personhood? I've read 'The Church of Facebook', Jesse Rice, who's positive on this stuff. Now there's Jaron Lanier's very recent 'Manifesto': 'You Are Not a Gadget'. Whoa! Very sobering for me, an ICT enthusiast like most on this blog!

PS can the web people automatically collapse these text boxes to fit the size of the reply? There's a lot of emptiness to scroll through! Just a suggestion, thanks.

Ray Postuma on February 26, 2010

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Ditto to all of the preceding comments. Some of our virtual 'powerpoint' visuals have created positive (and negative!) discussion, so there's room for enhancement here.

With respect to physical visuals, why not set up a site where folks can send photos of the visuals in and around their worship space? Just an idea, Dave and others!

Yes, used the in Dec 2009 from my laptop to stream a local church funeral to relatives in Europe. It worked well and the overseas family was delighted to be able to share in real time.

I could have used my iPhone (that works well too) but was concerned about the quality of sound/video etc.
The only problem with it does not permit uploading a video afterwards.
Any suggestions about uploading video?

Ray Postuma on February 25, 2010

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I'm almost embarrassed to give you the URL of our church web site ( ) but it works- sort of!
It's become the 'go-to' source for our church members.
Using Dreamweaver (a.k.a 'dreamwrecker'!) two of us faithfully upload the bulletin and other stuff and have done so for the past three years.
But it's time to move on and get something dynamic and this is under way.

Also, our Council has adopted the use of Google Docs, and that's working extremely well. Gone/going are the thick binders that would get passed (often not!) from retiring to incoming Council members.

Slowly, we are 'ascending on the clouds'!

We want to hear from you.

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