By now, most of you will have seen the brand new InterConnections monthly email newsletter, sent on September 15. We hope you enjoyed it; we have been grateful to hear your comments!
InterConnections is now a totally online publication. The last paper copy was the Spring 2009 issue. For financial reasons, the UUA has gone electronic with several publications, including InterConnections. One practical result is that without the costs of publishing on paper, InterConnections can now be sent to whoever finds it useful. If there are leaders or potential leaders in your congregation who you think should receive it, invite them to sign up.
We do recognize that the transition away from print will be difficult, even impossible, for some who do not have access to a computer or choose to live without one. We regret that. The Rev. James Hobart, longtime UU minister and now on the Affiliated Faculty at Meadville Lombard Theological School, spoke to us about these folks after receiving our September issue.
He wrote: “I reluctantly accept the decision that for financial reasons InterConnections will be limited to an electronic edition. However, I fail to see you acknowledge that this works a hardship on those who are not electronically connected. Now that may be mostly ‘old fogeys’ and there may not be very many of the older generation or anyone else who does not have email. However, it is a loss to them not to have paper communication. I seem to remember we UUs have some statement about ‘the worth and dignity of every person.’ To be denied communication affects a person’s sense of their worth and dignity. Perhaps financial realities trump that, but I think at least it should be acknowledged that we are marginalizing some of our constituency.”
Hobart’s comments lead us to invite congregations to consider whether some of their members who would find InterConnections useful might not be able to access it, and, if so, to consider making a paper copy of new articles each month for these folks.
The Rev. Josh Snyder, senior minister of First Unitarian Church of Wilmington, Del., spoke for others: “Let me say I prefer electronic communication like this! Our church just went to an electronic newsletter with a few still getting a paper version. Let me tell you, folks love it! I do too. I can save this, print off a million copies if I want to, cut and paste it into a presentation using OneNote or PowerPoint, blog about it, or email it off to all my friends. That beats a piece of paper anytime.”
InterConnections strives to provide relentlessly useful information to congregational leaders to help them do their jobs better, drawing on the shared wisdom in our congregations. To quote from the very first issue of the newsletter in 1998: “InterConnections searches out the churches that have had extraordinary successes with an issue and tells you how they did it, then recommends other resources you can draw on in tackling the same issue. The issues it addresses range from the familiar to the surprising, from nuts and bolts of money to the magic of membership growth, to nourishing the spirit.”
InterConnections wants to hear from you when your congregation has a success story. Send story ideas, questions, and other comments to InterConnections Editor Don Skinner at interconnections @ uua.org or (800) 204-2523.
If you’d like to sign up for the free newsletter, you can do that here.
Welcome to the new InterConnections. I’m looking forward to working with you to make it the best it can be.