Communication is the broadest and most pervasive theme to surface in this process. It was identified as a crucial issue in and of itself, and emerges as a key factor in discussions of the strengths and weaknesses in other areas. Members appreciate the establishment of communications channels, such as the website and Byte of Synod, along with any information disseminated from the Synod Office, and especially visits from the Bishop or staff. At the same time, most communications efforts were frequently identified as inadequate or irregular. Participants often said that the gatherings, in and of themselves, were “positive” and made them feel they were “heard.”
Four essential areas of communication have been identified:
• face-to-face communication with the Bishop and staff
• digital/electronic communication
• information dissemination
• conceptual/contextual communication addressing mission and purpose.
In particular, congregations in our geographically dispersed Synod would like direct contact with the Bishop at times other than crises situations; an updated, easy to navigate, more complete website; a more effective way to let congregations and members know about the programs and resources developed by the ELCA or Synod; and communications from the bishop that clearly delineates purpose and direction.
What communication from the Synod might be helpful to you as a congregation and as individual members of the Synod?
What would inspire you to engage in the mission and purpose of the Synod?
What kind of personal connection would you like to have with the Bishop and Synod staff?
How do you think that connection might be best accomplished in our geographically dispersed Synod?
What kind of digital technology might best assist in communication between your congregation and the Synod office?
How might the Synod office best make synodical and national resources available to your congregation?