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CTR To Launch New Website

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Christ the Redeemer plans to roll out a new website over the July 4th Holiday Weekend. Demonstrations will be held after the 8:00 am and 10:00 am Sunday Masses in Atonement Hall. The new site will retain the same web address: www.ctrcc.org, but will feature a more contemporary design and make use of more current web and social media trends.

Work for the new website began several months ago with the formation of a Communications Committee called together by pastor, Fr. Patrick Cogan S.A., J.C.D. The Committee had a number of issues to address with the website being one. The previous website was designed and maintained as a hobby by James Kingsbury, the husband of Diane Kingsbury, the outgoing Music Director, who retired earlier this year. Her retirement and their planned relocation set the ball in motion to address changes and development of a new website.

Several professional and online groups were consulted and vetted. The host, eCatholic, was chosen as a good balance between some ready-made templates, abilities to handle additional social media (i.e. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc.), and ease of use and customer-client experience. Tom Fennelly, a parishioner at Christ the Redeemer, chairs the Communication Committee and took the lead on moving and updating much of the web content from the old site to the new. Content from The Pastoral Wing, a personal website used for Sunday and Monday Religious Education in the interim was also moved over to the new website by its creator, the Director of Christian Formation. A portion of the new website is in Spanish. This area may well grow in the future.

The new website is meant to be a more richly used destination for parish information, communications and interaction. It is hoped that more youth and young adults might also take an interest in offering their opinions and voices through various social media and become more participatory and active in the parish.

The new menu bar was designed to invite parishioners and visitors in with hopes that they might learn more about the parish and become more deeply involved. Aside from the expected sections on parish background history, staff, children and youth ministry programs, liturgy and sacramental worship, the site also has Get Connected, Get Involved, and Get Informed sections that identify activities taking place in the parish and beyond the parish. Several RSS feeds from local, national, and international news sources also populate the website as well as video feeds for Youth and Adult Faith Formation. The homepage also displays Feature News items from the Bulletin, a newsfeed from the Christ the Redeemer Facebook Page, and an RSS feed from the Director of Christian Formation about Christ the Redeemer and Catholicism in Arlington from Examiner.com.

Future tasks to be addressed by the Communications Committee include the installation of an electronic messaging board in the church lobby to better communicate events going on at the parish and to drive more viewership and traffic to the website. Discussion was also held about upgrades to display streaming video and laptop presentations in the Pastoral Wing Classrooms and Atonement Hall. Work has also begun to increase the use of social media primarily through Facebook and Twitter, but also for more practical reasons like Religious Education weather cancellations or parent meeting reminders.

The new website is a first-step in an ongoing process. Visitors and parishioners are invited to visit the website, look around, and offer feedback on what else can be done to help Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church in its mission to be a worshiping and learning community of faith concerned for and welcoming of the other.

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