If you’ve been on St. Brendan’s website or Facebook page in the past month you may have noticed some new activity: this blog! As this blog gets up and running I wanted to share with you some information about why it was started, what type of content you can expect, and how you can contribute!
St. Brendan’s is at a waypoint in our journey as we work to grow and enrich our parish and continue our mission to support each other and serve the world around us. [Don’t know our mission statement? You can find it here!] Part of growing St. Brendan’s is expanding our presence in the digital realm and sharing St. Brendan’s stories beyond the walls of the church.
As I have had the opportunity to take a more active role in our parish, I have come to appreciate the diverse gifts and talents within St. Brendan’s—as well as the continual work needed to support our mission. These experiences have prompted me to consider ways in which I too might contribute to this work. This spring I began talking with some other members about ways to share St. Brendan’s stories digitally, and it turned out that this was not a new idea but one that, in fact, had been previously suggested by other members but never acted on. Thus, this blog was born.
The goal of this blog is to share St. Brendan’s stories and the good works God is doing at St. Brendan’s with current and potential members. The hope is that this blog will give newcomers a more personal glimpse into life at St. Brendan’s, create digitally sharable content and increase St. Brendan’s digital presence, and make St. Brendan’s a more active part of members’ (digital) lives throughout the week.
When I moved to Pittsburgh and was searching for an Episcopal Church, I began with a Google search and then browsed through the websites of various local churches. St. Brendan’s webpage and online presence gave me my first impression of St. Brendan’s, as I’m sure it does for many others. Thus, it is important that these media represent the culture of our parish. While our website does a good job of listing the various services, ministries, and events that go on at St. Brendan’s, having weekly blogged content is another way to give people a glimpse into life at St. Brendan’s through a more casual and personal format, to show that St. Brendan's is an active church, and to give voice to the diversity of ministries, people, and opinions within our parish.
Blog posts also provide regular content to share on our social media, which diversifies the type of information visitors see on our Facebook page and increases our digital presence. These posts can create opportunities to reach those we might not otherwise reach as people comment, share, and like posts within their own social networks.
Finally, weekly blogged content is a small way to bring St. Brendan’s into the work week for those of us who are not able to attend the many weekly events that take place at St. Brendan’s. Life at St. Brendan’s extends far beyond worship on Sunday, but often that is the only aspect that members, and especially newcomers, see. By featuring different ministries, sharing people's stories, and posting on other church-related topics, it is the hope that this blog will enable members to connect with St. Brendan’s digitally during the week as well.
These are some of the types of posts you may expect to see:
Interviews and stories with St. Brendan’s members (See a farewell interview with our previous interim priest, Fr. Ted, here and stay tuned next week for a conversation with Fr. Regis!)
Features about different ministries at St. Brendan’s (Read about all the time and effort it takes to put together the yard sale here or get a peek at St. Brendan’s peaceful and intimate 8 am worship service here.)
Posts about church-related topics such as liturgical holidays (Find out why and how we celebrate Pentecost in this post.), evangelism, prayer, and more
Answers to questions about services and traditions in the Episcopal Church or at St. Brendan’s (Have a question? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Guest posts by priests, vestry or other members, diocesan staff, or others (Have something to say or know someone who does? Email me at email@example.com)
Other Episcopal, religious, or socially-related resources (Check out a list of podcasts you might be interested in this post.)
Since I am the author/editor, this blog will have my voice. However, I see this as an opportunity to hold conversations with many people at St. Brendan’s, and it is my hope that this blog will also represent the many different views within St. Brendan’s. I hope to work closely with the clergy and other members of the parish and share their knowledges, expertise, and experiences.
Finally, for those of you I haven’t had the chance to meet yet, here is a little bit about myself and how I came to St. Brendan’s (and a picture of myself dressed up as a very serious St. Nicholas for All Saints' Day about 20 years ago!):
I have been a member at St. Brendan’s since fall of 2014. Though I am not a native, I have lived in the Pittsburgh area for about 8 years and am now proud to call Pittsburgh my home. I am a cradle Episcopalian (although neither of my parents were), and I was raised in a wonderful church community. As I ventured out into the world on my own, I found that I missed being a part of such a community. In the decade since I left my hometown, I attended numerous churches (mostly Episcopalian): big churches in large cities and small rural churches, churches that were hundreds of years old and ones that were still defining themselves, churches in wealthy areas, and ones in impoverished neighborhoods. But none of them felt like home. That is, until I came to St. Brendan’s. On my first visit to St. Brendan’s I was greeted by at least a half a dozen people after the service, and, ever since, members here at St. Brendan’s have made a point to make me feel welcome and have encouraged me to become involved in the many ministries and programs within our church.
I am excited to sail with St. Brendan’s and take part in sharing a few of St. Brendan’s stories here on this blog! So, expect to see me around asking lots of questions, taking photos, and documenting the going’s on at St. Brendan’s. And please share any feedback or ideas you may have; if you have something you’d like to write or just an idea that you think would make a good post, let me know! Feel free to stop me after church or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Brendan’s is a good name for our church because we are a community on the move. The sailing is not always smooth, but our fellow voyagers give us strength and comfort. This is our journey together and these are our stories.
Grace and Peace,