UMC.org Offers Preview of New Web Site

United Methodist Communications
Office of Public Information
810 12th Ave. S.
Nashville, TN 37203
www.umcpresscenter.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 17, 2006

Contact: Diane Denton
(615) 742-5406 (office)
(615) 483-1765 (cell)

UMC.org Offers Preview of New Web Site
Online Survey Solicits Consumer Feedback

NASHVILLE: United Methodist Communications is asking visitors to UMC.org, the official online ministry of The United Methodist Church, for feedback on a cutting-edge redesign of the Web site.

The home page ofwww.umc.orgoffers a sneak peek at a few of the innovative features that will be offered on the new Web site, scheduled for a full launch in early 2007. Six online surveys provide opportunities for users to offer comments and opinions for consideration before the site is finalized.

"Our goal is to make it easier for people to connect to the church and to each other through technology-to provide a digital front door to the church. Throughout the development process, we have sought to listen to what it is that users want in a website and to provide the tools, resources, and content to meet those needs," said the Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive of United Methodist Communications. "We want to know if we're meeting their expectations."

The sneak peek showcases:

  • Our People: Meet some of the people of The United Methodist Church and read their stories of faith
  • Find a Church: Reach out to seekers in your community by showcasing your primary ministries
  • Living Prayer Center: Send prayer requests to covenant prayer groups around the world
  • Spiritual Gifts: Discover your spiritual gifts using an online assessment tool
  • Ask InfoServ: Get your questions answered through the denomination's official information service
  • Search: Quickly find the information you are looking for using the Google search device

The sneak peek offers just a sample of what's to come over the next few months. Users can sign up for e-mail updates letting them know when new features are added.

In addition to providing feedback, local churches are asked to update and personalize individual church listings available at Find-a-Church. Users can search the database of churches by geographic location, congregation size, language and ethnicity. Local congregations can use this feature as an evangelism tool by adding details about their worship schedule and activities, words of welcome, photos of the church and pastor, membership statistics, an interactive map and driving directions, and more.

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