Parish Website Design and Hosting Program

Parish Website Design and Hosting Program

In the wake of a two-year pandemic, there can no longer be any doubt that a parish’s website serves as the digital “front door” of a congregation. Or that an effectively designed and well-positioned website is essential for welcoming and connecting both parishioners and visitors to a parish’s mission and ministry.

To better position our congregations in this digital world, we’ve partnered with Worship Times – the team that helped to redesign the diocesan website – to bring a new cost-effective, secure, and robust web design and hosting solution to parishes in the Diocese of Washington.

This new design and hosting solution for congregations offers a number of benefits, including:

  • An initial parish website audit to assess needs
  • Website design and set-up
  • Website hosting
  • Easy to use content management system for handling parish news, events, service times, online forms and more
  • Rapid support response from the Worship Times team
  • Improved search engine optimization (so folks can find you more easily)
  • Access to training in best practices for parish websites and social media presence
  • Regular and timely site maintenance to ensure peak security
  • Option to share diocesan content on parish websites (e.g. Bishop’s sermons and reflections, the Path of Discipleship)

Each parish is unique – and so is each parish website – which is why we made sure this opportunity is not a “one size fits all.” With three tiers of functionality (basic, standard, or advanced) and price points for development between $800 and $4,000 and hosting fees below $50/mo, parishes are able to select what features and site capacity they need for their ministry context.

We’re excited by this opportunity for parishes to work with Worship Times. With years of experience providing design and hosting services for diocesan and parish websites, their friendly and professional team offers knowledge and guidance in the particular aspects that make parish websites successful. They’re also equipped to provide ongoing training and support in optimizing the effectiveness of a successful online presence – another huge plus.

We are confident this new partnership with a trusted vendor will help parishes maximize the potential of their digital “front door.” If this sounds like something your parish would be interested in, please contact Keely Thrall, Director of Communications.

Congregational Growth Grants are available to provide funds for initiatives that support enhancements to parish communications and technology. We invite you to review the grant requirements and consider submitting an application by May 6 for the spring grant cycle. Another cycle of Congregational Growth Grants will open in the fall.

Learn about Congregational Growth Grants

Parish Website Design and Hosting Program – Explanation of Tiers and Costs

Parish leaders wishing to take advantage of the Parish Website Design and Hosting Program are invited to learn more about the three tiers of functionality and associated costs so that they may choose the option best suited for their ministry context.

Basic
Design Fee: $800
Monthly Hosting Fee: $35
Functionality: 2-3 pages with premade template

Standard
Design Fee: $2,000
Monthly Hosting Fee: $35
Functionality: Events managements system, blog, forms, publications, and social media tie-ins

Advanced
Design Fee: $4,000
Monthly Hosting Fee: $47
Functionality: All the functionality of the Standard option, plus: drag and drop template, SEO tools, live streaming tie-ins, and advanced forms and events system

Thanksgiving for Vital Stories

Thanksgiving for Vital Stories

As I reflect on this season of thanksgiving, I find I am grateful for our Regional Gatherings this fall. They were great in helping me get to know the people of this diocese better. I am especially grateful for the discussions we had around the Vital Signs of Parish Health. Developed out of diocesan-wide conversations held in 2020 to identify what areas of focus go into creating a health church, the Vital Signs are now an integral part of all of our revitalization work. At each of the Regional Gatherings, we took 10 minutes in Zoom breakout rooms to answer the following questions.

       Which Vital Sign do you think is your congregation’s greatest strength?
       Where do you think God is calling you to invest your energy?

Watching the expression on people’s faces as they described their greatest strength became a source of growing joy. They lit up with energy and enthusiasm, eager to share that area of ministry in their church. And even as they moved to share what area they felt called to invest in, the energy–and the sense of possibility–remained. I love hearing these stories. Especially amazing are those that came out of this pandemic time. They give me great hope for our churches and how we are going about sharing the gospel in this world.

Last Thursday, the Parish Vitality Working Group and I hosted Sharing Vital Stories through the School for Christian Faith and Leadership, an event inviting the whole diocese to share stories about the ways in which our parishes have experienced vitality in the last 18 months framed by the seven Vital Signs. We did the work in small groups. And while I was a bit worried when we began because many of the people in my group had done this previously in a trial run — Would they tell the same story as last time? — new stories were told. New stories that were just as awe inspiring as those from that first test round. As the evening ended, I gave great thanks for how we have embraced the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in a pandemic time that could have shut us down physically, mentally, and spiritually. As the evening ended, I gave great thanks. This pandemic time could have shut us down, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Instead, we embraced the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. And as we continue sharing vital stories, continue embracing the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, continue investing in possibility, we surely will also continue our path toward revitalization.

The Rev. Canon Anne-Marie Jeffery, Canon for Congregational Vitality