The Old Has Passed Away

by Emily Ralph Servant, Director of Communication

Way back in 2012, Franconia Conference’s communication was all over the place.

Our website was set up to automatically send out a new article anytime it was posted (sometimes it notified people when a small change to the website was made!) and we sent a separate email for every announcement, event reminder, or broader-church blurb.  This meant that, some weeks, our subscriber list was receiving an email every day and, some weeks, none at all.

We knew it was time to try something different.

Enter “Intersectings” (it was a play on words from our quarterly paper newsletter, “Intersections”), a weekly digest for connecting congregations, pastors, and delegates across the conference. Intersectings’ original tagline was “where our stories meet,” and we included news articles, blogs, social media posts, announcements, and event information—everything together in one place.  We hoped that the predictability of this new publication would make it easier for our pastors and delegates to stay up-to-date on what was happening without getting lost in an avalanche of emails.

The going was rocky at first—it was hard work to find enough content to fill the newsletter each week and we sometimes got complaints from people that they weren’t being kept informed of what was happening.  But as our communication team got used to the rhythms of the newsletter and as members of the conference consistently began opening and reading it, we found that our communication improved.  It was working.

It’s now almost eight years later, and we’ve decided that, once again, it’s time for a change.

This issue is our last Intersectings.  Early in 2020, we’ll roll out something new that reflects the values and needs of our New Conference.

Earlier this year, we began sharing “Bridges,” an email newsletter to keep members of both Franconia and Eastern District Conferences up-to-date on what was happening during the reconciliation process and to help us get to know each another better.  Beginning next week, Bridges will continue weekly through the rest of this year and into the next.  For the time being, watch Bridges for event information, announcements, congregational profiles, and other important information related to the reconciliation process.

Then, once our New Conference has launched, be on the lookout for our new email newsletter.  This newsletter will automatically be distributed to anyone who has subscribed to either Intersectings or Bridges (although you can always unsubscribe if you’re not a credentialed leader or delegate!).  This new newsletter will include the best of both of our email newsletters—news articles, blogs, announcements and event notifications, and getting-to-know-you articles and profiles—as well as new content that reflects our changing times and contexts.

As we prepare for this change, we’ll be laying low for a couple of months, focusing on all the work that goes into building something new—a new website, a new paper newsletter, a new email newsletter, a new social media presence.  We’d appreciate your feedback and suggestions: What have you liked about our communication in the past that you’d like to see continue?  What new elements would you like to see includeed?  What changes do you think would make our communication more effective?  E-mail me at eralphservant@franconiaconference.org.

We work hard to bring you interesting and informative content that will help you stay connected to others in our Conference and to the work of our Conference staff, board, and committees.  But we know the secret to good communication lies with you—all this work is for nothing if you don’t read it.

So thanks for reading Intersectings all these years.  The old has passed away, but—behold!  Something new is coming.