Partnership enhances Web services to local churches
6/10/2003 News media contact: Linda Green · (615) 742-5470 · Nashville, Tenn
Tenn. (UMNS)--United Methodist Communications entered into a
partnership June 10 with Praktikos Technologies of Birmingham, Ala., to
offer hosting and other Web technology at reduced costs to local
The subscription service, "E-zekiel" allows
churches to create Web sites without relying on volunteers or staff
person with technical knowledge. Church webmasters have a choice of more
than 250 Web site "templates" - high quality graphical designs that
give a Web site its look and feel. Content is added through a Web
interface that operates like a simple word processor. Other than a
computer and access to the Internet, no software or technical skills are
"Local church Web initiatives are a significant part
of the church reaching out to the world and being relevant in today's
culture," said the Rev. Larry Hollon, UMCom's chief executive.
"More and more people look at a church's Web site before deciding
whether to attend. The Web is becoming a meeting place for Bible study,
small group discussion, finding and signing up for volunteer activities,
and building communities of spiritual faith with people across the
globe. The Web, when implemented properly, enhances and strengthens the
church and brings more people into communion with Christ."
E-zekiel service offers ready-made content to keep Web sites fresh and
current. Daily United Methodist news headlines and the Upper Room Daily
Devotional are the first of many features available on Web sites powered
by the E-zekiel service. Web sites may also offer event calendars,
online discussion groups, polls and prayer requests, as well as other
E-zekiel offers five levels of service,
allowing the church to pay only for what it needs. Higher levels of
service offer more storage space, Web pages and increased functionality.
The service can be purchased on a monthly basis or on a yearly basis
that provides an additional discount. As the Web site grows, additional
services may be purchased one at a time.
churches of various sizes are already using the E-zekiel service. "We
went from zero to 60â€¦using the E-zekiel tool," said Irv White,
director of marketing for Windsor Village United Methodist Church in
Houston. "It was important for us to have a site that was warm,
friendly and familiar. The ability to update our own informationâ€¦is a
plus for us."
According to the Rev. Paul Perry, pastor of New
Palestine (Ind.) United Methodist Church, "We needed help with our Web
site and [E-zekiel was] just what we needed."
with Praktikos is the result of a multiyear study by UMCom staff of the
Web needs of local churches. A high percentage of churches with Web
sites polled by he United Methodist Board of Global Ministries-- in
conjunction with UMCom -said they desired more sources for fresh Web
content and simplified technology.
"Part of our job is to help
local church webmasters match their needs and abilities to the right
service," said Steve Downey, leader of UMCom's Web ministry team. "No
one solution is right for everyone, but the E-zekiel service fills an
important niche with a combination of simplicity and features."
To learn more, or purchase the service, go to: www.umc.e-zekiel.com. A free, 30-day trial is also available on this website.
adds to the growing list of technology products and services offered by
United Methodist Communications through its TechShop initiative.
TechShop offers a variety of computer hardware and software at
significant discounts to United Methodist organizations. During its
first two years of operation, TechShop has saved the church more than $8
million on Microsoft software alone.
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