Our Story – Technology

November 20, 2020

It is hard to imagine not having the technology we do today that enables us to have a website, weekly emails, and Facebook page; among other things. This has been such a blessing in this year of physical distance and not being able to safely gather in person.  But New Life certainly didn’t start out that way!

Member records – All information was handwritten on index cards. Attendance was kept on handwritten ledger forms. Over time, information was added to binders with typed pages that contained all the families information. In January 1983, all statements and records were put on a computer system called Servant Keeper. Now we use software program called Shepherds Staff which enables us to manage a lot more information (think emails, cell phone numbers, etc.) and sort information for ministry purposes (think youth education, senior citizens, etc.). (If you need to update your contact information, please visit our website, under Resources tab, and select Church Directory Update.)

Newsletters – These monthly pieces were typed. Clip art was added by taping to the paper. Then copied on a mimeograph machine and folded by hand. Now we are able to communicate weekly through our email. All the text and graphics are done on the computer. Information is more current and everyone is able to interact by clicking on links to view more information or immediately signing up for opportunities. (If you would like to sign up to receive these timely emails, please visit our website, under Resources tab and select Weekly Emails.)

Pictures – Remember the few pictures that people took back in 1970s? You couldn’t see the picture until you took them to a store to be developed. Most were small square photos with a white border and sometimes included a date. The only way to share these pictures were to physically show it to someone or order a reprint. Now all 50 years of New Life’s pictorial history is stored digitally on Google photos. Every picture within the church has been scanned and organized by date over this past year. This makes things like this blog and Flashback Fridays on Facebook possible. (If you have any pictures of church life from 1970-1979, please share with Susan Brown. There are not as many in this timeframe as other years. We can scan your pictures and return the original to you.)

Bulletin Boards – These use to be everywhere inside the church. If you wanted to promote an event or announce a service project, you made a flyer and tacked it to the board. Now we are able to have all this information and more on our website which was established in 2002. And especially during times like this when we are not gathering, it has been extremely helpful to have one place you can access from the comfort and safety of your own home.

Prayer Chain – Started in October of 1982. Consisted of a phone tree to pass along the prayer requests. Today, you are able to submit prayer requests at anytime of day through our website. This also makes it easier for people outside of New Life to contact us who find themselves in need of prayer. Now those requests can go out daily, if needed, through email. This also enables us to include these prayers, as requested, on our worship videos. (If you have a Prayer Request; please visit our website, under the Connect tab, and select Prayer and Care.)

Worship – Everyone gathered in the sanctuary (and we will again!). In the meantime, through the use of an Ipad, and video software, and Youtube channel, we have been able to provide a worship every Sunday throughout this pandemic. If you can’t come to church, we’ll come to you through your TV, computer, kindle or cell phone! God’s message hasn’t changed and in fact we may need to hear those words of hope, love, grace and forgiveness now more than ever.

While technology is great and efficient and adaptable to changing times; sometimes you just need some human connection. So feel free to call the church office for information or with questions! We are happy to talk to you! And we looking forward to connecting in person sometime during New Life’s 51st year!