Saturday, October 04, 2008

"Save a tree. Shrink your Sunday leaflet" article at Episcopal Cafe

My most recent article, "Save a tree. Shrink your Sunday leaflet" was posted today over at the Diocese of Washington's Blog, The Episcopal Cafe. Here is an excerpt:

Save a tree. Shrink your Sunday leaflet

What would it take for us in the Episcopal Church to stop producing millions of pages of bulletins and service booklets every Sunday? We all know how costly it is for our environment to keep producing paper, to say nothing of the cost of making and maintaining computers, printers, copiers, sorters, and duplicators. . .

Read the rest HERE.


Rebecca Hall said...

Amen! I'll send this on to the communications people at my church. I'm sure I'll get the typical "bulletins are more hospitable..." answer. But, I think a byproduct of not using bulletins could be that everyone might grow to feel comfortable with the prayer book. That would be a good thing!

Also, one of the small groups that we had last "semester" was called Sustainable Life Support (disclosure: the leader is a good friend). It was a test-run of a curriculum she's writing that looks at the sustainability through a Christian lens. One discussion was about making the church building/services/other activities more sustainable. I think this is a topic of growing interest and concern.

spankey said...

Peter - as one who instituted a full-text bulletin in my parish I wrestle with this a lot.

The first thing we talked about, of course, was money. In the end it costs us $60 more a year to do the whole thing rather than the old way of a simple outline bulletin and the reading insert from Morehouse.

The paper issue, I agree, is very valid. The problem, as I see it, is creating a balance. I would love to print 20 full text bulletins each week for our visitors and newcomers. I would then expect our regular congregation to use the BCP. Then we would have to teach those visitors and newcomers how to navigate the whole damn thing.

I like the projector idea from the Cafe and challenge you to think that the sunk costs of projector and Rite Stuff will be paid off as the cost of paper slowly dwindles.

Or finally, we could go back to daily prayer that, being done so often, becomes a part of people's consciousness and even the books become unnecessary.

Anyway, I like the post, but wonder if it isn't a bit of a pipe dream in our current culture that lacks good Christian Education and as we transition to a post-literate world.

liturgy said...

Amen Peter.

Are people confusing being welcoming with being able to be totally involved? Surely we expect a certain amount of growing into the Christian life and tradition - is it too much to expect a regular to be alongside a newcomer to help them? And afterwards to answer any questions - commencing a companioned catechumenal process?

Why do people want to read along with the reader? With the prayer? Are people with reading and prayer-leading ministries not sufficiently competent to proclaim the reading, the prayer? I guess people with these habits are taking the screenplay to their movies, and the play's texts to shows & must find public speeches very irritating when they are not simultaneously on a screen...

As to screens - my experience is that we quickly end up with communities addressing the screen "...and also with you..." etc.

Finally, Peter, I grapple with these sorts of issues a lot on my site "Liturgy"
If you are interested we could link sites.



Paul Kirk Adams said...

Maybe we could convince Jeff Bezos to donate a leather-bound "Kindle" to each parishioner. As far-fetched as it sounds, a nimble cut-and-paste of an electronic BCP, Hymnal, NSRV Bible, etc. into a fluid document (including announcements, responses, prayer lists, and other inserts) broadcast each week would solve the paper issue.

Those with vision impairment could enlarge text as needed. Preachers could offer transcripts with hyperlinked references of their homilies for post-service study. Amazon could benefit from consumers using the device for other books and periodicals it sells.

Perhaps it's too "Star Trekish" today, but soon a paperless prayer book will be like the Gutenberg Bible was to the parchment scroll.