Sometimes, a call or email from a local church with a question leads me on a path to find something entirely new that prompts me to share this new information with all of you.
Such an instance occurred this week when a question came in from the Gateway District in Nebraska about special Sunday giving envelopes. This person heard that United Methodist Communications no longer was providing the envelopes, and the question was, first, if this was true and, second, if so, are there other options.
A quick call to the UMCOM headquarters in Nashville provided me with some information I didn’t have before. Yes, you can still receive envelopes. But there is a different site for local churches to go to order them.
In fact, there’s a new website that provides a portal to all kinds of marketing materials. And for a limited time, you can receive as much as $400 in free outreach products!
The website is www.outreach.com/umc. It’s a partnership between our denomination – specifically the folks at Rethink Church – and the website that serves as a hub for marketing products and tools for churches, non-profits and faith-based businesses. The “/umc” part simply sends you to an area of the website specifically for United Methodist-branded products.
The materials found there are mostly seasonal. For example, my search this week provided a way for me to obtain resources for Advent. But another page – dedicated to special giving Sundays – provided an easy way to obtain the envelopes that started my quest in the first place.
There is even a number you can call – 800-991-6011 – to talk to a representative so you can upload your own image to have promotional materials printed for your local church.
The home page (www.outreach.com) has a lot of resources your church might find useful in addition to the items I’ve already shared that have our trademark cross and flame on them. So check it out.
And, of course, we still have Cokesbury, lots of videos, photos and more at www.umcom.org, and the many helpful resources made available by Church of the Resurrection at www.sharechurch.com.
To summarize: You have lots of marketing tools at your disposal as we prepare for Advent. Make sure you take advantage of them and reach out to your community. The Advent season and Christmas are great times to invite people to church to hear one of the most hopeful stories known to humankind! The resources on these sites will help you share the good news!
Todd Seifert is communications director for the Great Plains Conference of the United Methodist Church. He can be reached via phone at 785-414-4224, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Opinions expressed are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Great Plains Annual Conference or the United Methodist Church. Follow him on Twitter, @ToddSeifert.