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WEB EVANGELISM BULLETIN

. . . learning from each other
W-E-B Issue 146 ~ March 07
Twice a month ISSN 471-0323

News this time...

EASTER MEANING
LIVING A SECOND LIFE
SCI-FI WITH A SPIRITUAL DIMENSION
INTERNET EVANGELISM DAY 29 APRIL
MANY CHRISTIANS DON'T 'GET' WEB EVANGELISM YET
IDENTIFYING WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
CHURCH WEBSITE TOOL FOR YOUR OWN SITE
CULTURE - AMERICAN IDOL
THE WORLD WE LIVE IN
TIPS
IF ONLY
TAILEND

"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is
to close it on something solid" - G. K. Chesterton

"It's never too late to be who you might have been" - George Eliot


EASTER MEANING

The CCCI site PassionofChrist.com leads inquirers through the meaning of Easter. Check out this multi-lingual resource, and share it over the Easter period:
http://www.PassionofChrist.com/

And if you are in a country where school assemblies with religious content are permitted, look at this Damaris Easter material:
http://www.damaris.org/cm/secondaryaol/1025


LIVING A SECOND LIFE

If you have ever played one of those 'SIM' computer games, such as Sim City, then the concept of Second Life will not be completely foreign to you. It's a virtual interactive online world, where you assume a persona, and interact with others doing the same thing:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_life

There is obviously therefore the opportunity to share faith in this context, and some Christians have been grabbing the opportunity. For instance, a Christian writing instructor shares: "What I am doing right now, is a monthly meeting for writers of spirituality-based speculative fiction with intriguing titles like 'Alien Theology: Redemption under a Different Sun.' It is scheduled the second Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. Pacific Time at my place 185,39, 68. I hope to attract both Christian and non-Christian writers to maybe discuss theology in the context of science fiction which may be less threatening than a straight forward Bible study."

Last week LifeChurch.tv launched a church in the virtual world of Second Life. They are not the first church in SL, but they are already having an impact as people from all over the world who wouldn't step foot in a real church are visiting their virtual church:
http://www.web-evangelism.com/offsitelink?b07mar-lifechurch

If you have been sharing your faith in Second Life and have a story to tell, please email us


SCI-FI WITH A SPIRITUAL DIMENSION

Are you interested in sci-fi? Do you want to read - or write - sci-fi with a spiritual edge? Then check out Wayfarer's Journal - where you will find non-preachy stories from a Christian world view:
http://www.wayfarersjournal.com/


INTERNET EVANGELISM DAY 29 APRIL

With just a month to go till Internet Evangelism Day, please can you help to make it known in any way you can:

News releases: http://www.internetevangelismday.com/publicity.php
Articles for syndication: http://www.internetevangelismday.com/free-articles.php
Temporary diagonal banner to add to your site:
http://www.internetevangelismday.com/banner-linking.php

It's not too late to plan an Internet Evangelism focus in your church activities, on or near 29 April. This can be anything from a printed item in your church newsletter, a 2-minute spot during your church announcements, or a themed focus program using our PowerPoint, video clips, drama sketches and other resources.
http://www.internetevangelismday.com/planning.php


MANY CHRISTIANS DON'T 'GET' WEB EVANGELISM YET

The purpose of Internet Evangelism Day is to demonstrate to the church that the Web is a powerful tool for outreach, and that there are many ways to use it, even if you have no technical knowledge at all.

Maybe because it seems intangible and diffuse, web evangelism is not really understood, or perceived as exciting and strategic, by the wider Christian community. Those who are involved in it full-time sometimes find it hard to obtain monetary support. I know of more than one person doing very strategic work in this area, who finds support a constant battle. If you are a group or grant-making trust, looking for a project to be involved in, I can link you up!


IDENTIFYING WITH YOUR COMMUNITY

A 'bridge strategy' site based on news and stories about your local community has great potential. Sadly, very few Christians have used this approach:
http://www.web-evangelism.com/resources/community.php

A community news/resource directory within a church website can also be a magnet to the rest of the site.

In UK, there exists a unique community-based resource which can be customized for an individual community. It can be used as a stand-alone community news site, or as a community-oriented portal for a church website. See sample users here:
http://mycommunity.2day.ws/

Blogging is ideal for reporting news that is happening in a certain place or area, with a 'bridge strategy' emphasis. You can submit such 'place blogs' to:
http://www.placeblogger.com/

If your community contains many students, then EveryStudent.com offers you a branded version of part of their student site, as mentioned last time. Sorry that we did not really make it clear that what you get is a customized version of EveryStudent, on their server. You cannot add their
material to your site as syndicated content.
http://www.myeverystudent.com/


CHURCH WEBSITE TOOL FOR YOUR OWN SITE

It is easy to add our Church Website Assessment Tool to your own website with a few lines of code. It will draw extra visitors to your site:
http://www.internetevangelismday.com/churchdesign-example.php

See how it works in American Tract Society:
http://www.atstracts.org/readarticle.php?id=264


CULTURE - AMERICAN IDOL

It sometimes seems that each week, there are only three TV programs which do not involve audience voting. It's the interactive, being-in-control, thing that people love (just as they do on the Web).

Perhaps you are following the American Idol contest, as I do on this side of the pond, on ITV2. (Shame about the choice of name for the prog, but there you go.) Among the front-runners are Melinda Doolittle and Jordin Sparks. Melinda's humility and gentle charm come from a strong personal faith. Her open witness in this interview on the official AI site is so refreshing:
http://www.americanidol.com/contestants/season6/melinda_doolittle/

Jordin Sparks shares her faith here:
http://www.gospelmusic.org/eprofile/view-detailartist.aspx?iid=3241
She received a Gospel Music Association award in 2005.

Chris Sligh also has sung at GMA music events, is the son of missionaries, and music leader at Seacoast Church.

Sabrina Sloan, who was surprisingly voted off recently, grew up in Saddleback Church - where her mother was also on the staff for many years.

Pray for these young people, that however far they get in the competition, they will honor Jesus, be his fragrance to those around them, and be protected from the dangers of fame and fortune. Pray for the other competitors too.

It would be great to build a bridge strategy site around American Idol.

Humorist Jackie Papandrew writes about getting hooked on AI: "My behavior became alarming. I started scolding my children in a snide British accent and addressing my husband as "Yo, dawg..." And when family members sang Happy Birthday to me, I rudely critiqued their technique. "It was a little pitchy for me," I heard myself saying as their faces fell. Then, feeling remorseful, I gave them a Paula pep talk..."
http://www.jackiepapandrew.com/page12.html


THE WORLD WE LIVE IN

'GLOBALIZATION and the Information Age'
This short video clip on the dramatic speed of change would make a good starting point for a seminar discussion about the web, including digital evangelism. Written by Karl Fisch, and modified by Scott McLeod with mainly US-based statistics (and we Brits will also have to forgive the use of 'England' to mean 'Britain'), this 6-minute presentation will challenge you:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljbI-363A2Q

CHARLENE E. Cothran comes out. Again. For Christ.
http://www.venusmagazine.org/cover_story.html
CT interview with Charlene
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/marchweb-only/112-52.0.html

WEB STATS: latest world stats on users and languages on the Web:
http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats7.htm

Hey, it really seems that this new-fangled interweb thingy is catching on. But maybe you knew that? Some statistics on the growth of Internet access, especially in China, are given in this article:
http://www.web-evangelism.com/offsitelink?b07mar-ohmynews

HAPPINESS: According to the Eurobarometer, 82 percent of European citizens are happy. There are big variations, from the national gloom of the Hungarians to the upbeat Scandinavians. Though one does wonder just what people mean when they claim happiness. Read more:
http://www.qultures.com/articles/2007/february/week9/moscow.aspx

This leads us logically into the Damaris Culture Watch study on the new film 'The Pursuit of Happyness':
http://www.damaris.org/content/content.php?type=1&id=379

ELECTORAL ROLL LISTS - in UK, it is mandatory to be registered to vote (though not to actually use this priveledge). These lists are now online, from 2002 onwards, and may help you locate someone in UK that you cannot find on a number search at BT.com because they have opted to be ex-directory:
http://www.192.com/search/people.cfm


TIPS

- non-techies look away now

CSS - unmissable resource of sample CSS layouts and fixes:
http://www.web-evangelism.com/offsitelink?b07mar-top-css

DRAGGABLE LISTS. Here's a clever feature which could be useful in some circumstances:
http://tool-man.org/examples/sorting.html

GOOGLE: one of life's smaller mysteries is why one of the most successful and creative internet companies ever, makes it quite hard for people to find out all their different services. You would not know from their minimalist search page, that among many things, Google offers one of the best RSS feed aggregators:
http://reader.google.com/

NEWS: Want to submit news items to the Christian community?
http://www.gospelshout.com/

PUZZLES, MULTIPLE CHOICES: The Hot Potatoes suite includes six applications, enabling you to create interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill exercises for the Web. Hot Potatoes is not f.ware, but it is f.r.e.e of charge for those working for publicly-funded non-profit-making educational institutions.
http://hotpot.uvic.ca/

12 TOP BLOGGING TIPS of all time - according to OurChurch.com:
http://blog.ourchurch.com/2007/02/27/the-top-12-blogging-tips-of-all-time/
See also their 10 Tips for attracting people to your site via forums:
http://www.web-evangelism.com/offsitelink?b07mar-forums
You can sign up for their newsletter via email or RSS at
http://blog.ourchurch.com/

RIGHTS TO MUSIC: looking for music to use as an accompaniment to video clips, PowerPoint, etc? Magnatune offer a range of genres, either modestly priced, or in certain circumstances for non-profits, free:
http://magnatune.com/

DOWNLOAD FLASH VIDEO CLIPS easily:
http://www.flashget.com/en/download.htm

INCREASE YOUR BLOG POPULARITY - in Google:
http://archive.webpronews.com/2007a/0320.html

TOP 10 WEB DESIGN BOOKS, from Justin Brewer writing in NetDummy:
http://www.web-evangelism.com/offsitelink?b07mar-10books

WEBMASTER CENTRAL - web promotion guru Pastor Ralph Wilson says, "I'm quite impressed at the improvements to Google Webmaster Central. If you haven't already, set up an account. Once you verify that you're the site owner (via a metatag or a verification file), you have access to lots of data about your site. Look especially at the information on backlinks that is now available! There's also information on page and http errors that helps you spot and fix problems. Thanks, Google!"
http://www.google.com/webmasters/


IF ONLY

- someone would use this idea (a transparent PowerPoint slide) in some sort of evangelism humor:
http://www.esnips.com//nsdoc/c0182d8f-2fda-43e9-8c9b-fc789cc1e917


TAILEND ô¿ô

Just for fun...

This parking game is quite compulsive. It will also help anyone who is learning to drive, or needs to improve their parking technique:
http://www.107.peugeot.co.uk/peugeot.swf

Virtual keyboard for kids:
http://www.web-evangelism.com/offsitelink?b07mar-keyboard

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