What’s a Church Bulletin to Do?

WGN FEATURE ARTICLE

Bulletin namesChurch bulletin editors have long been challenged to fill those empty pages and vacant blocks with catchy text or a smart graphic. In congregations where the preacher or minister is not a writer, the task increases. Then there is the concern to be both Biblical and practical. Whats a church bulletin editor to do?

The Standard

The great standard for churches of Christ since 1981 has been Bulletin Digest.

Edited by Charles and Jane Beebe of Abilene, Tex., the 20-page Digest publishes material taken from other bulletins of faithful churches around the USA. Subscriptions are $22 per year in the USA, $31 in Canada.

“It is designed to help churches build their bulletins by offering religious articles, humor, graphics, Bible puzzles and insights to edify Christ centered people and help them lead others to Christ,” the website states.

Free offerings on the Internet have presented a challenge to the paid monthly, but the editors press on to provide an important service to the brotherhood.

Online OfferingsDavid Bragg

In a WGN survey of church bulletin editors, all agreed that, with the advent of the Internet, their task is easier than before. (Coming soon: excerpts from the survey.)

A virtual resource for the church bulletin, begun in June 2001 by church secretary Donna Richmond, is the ezine BulletinGold, sent free to subscribers every first Sunday of the month.

According to the description on the Yahoo page, “BulletinGold is published the first Sunday of each month by members of the Church of Christ as a help to other members who do church bulletins or write other types of biblical literature. The purpose of BulletinGold is to provide preachers, church secretaries, and other church members who do bulletins with articles, poetry, and other written material suitable for church bulletins. Any Christian may subscribe and use the material in BulletinGold.”

With the April 2005 edition of BulletinGold, Donna handed the work over to David Bragg and Ed Thomason, who serve as editor and co-editor/webmaster.

More Options

Other electronic magazines and ezines, though not specifically directed to church bulletin pages, are used by bulletin editors to diversify their offerings.

As an example, the West Seattle, Wash., church often includes articles published in Forthright Magazine; others use ezines like Mike Benson’s KneEmail and Alan Smith’s Thought for the Day.

One of the main staples of many congregational websites is a collection of bulletin articles. Some specifically offer their articles for reproduction, such as Ron Boatwright’s Biblical Church Bulletin Articles and the Arkansas churches of Christ website. The Preachers Files website offers a directory of bulletin articles for reproduction as well, as well as bloggers with pithy articles like Mike Riley’s Articles.

Some churches use poetry written by brethren, such as published in the Cloudburst Poetry list.

Worth the Trouble

Carolyn Elliott, secretary of the Cold Harbor Road congregation in Mechanicsville, Va., and editor of “The Courier,” explained why she considered the church bulletin important: “It gives important information to visitors about us, and it informs our own folks of what is going on and gives a prayer list.”

The time and trouble to produce a good church bulletin are worth the effort. Today, that effort is greatly reduced thanks to resources provided by dedicated brethren.

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

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