Kent (WA) Covenant Makes Leap to ‘Paperless’

Post a Comment » Written on July 3rd, 2007     
Filed under: News
KENT, WA (July 3, 2007) – It is commonplace for new churches to eschew the traditional paper newsletter and communicate with members via email. But Kent Covenant Church is 40 years old and recently made the decision to go paperless.

Cost of producing and mailing the eight-to-12 page newsletter continued to increase and had reached $700 a month, says John Hamblen, associate pastor of administration and Christian formation. Five hours of volunteer time also was needed to assemble the newsletters.

The staff likes the switch to an emailed newsletter, says Hamblen. “It was a tremendous burden on the staff to get articles for the newsletter in a timely manner,” he explains. The email version includes no stories, but only a couple sentences for each item.

The last paper newsletter was mailed in April, and Hamblen says he has heard no complaints. “I think it was a matter of timing for us.”

The church had considered going paperless five years ago, but a survey revealed that only 50 percent of households in the congregation had computers, Hamblen said. Now more than 95 percent have computers.

In addition to sending a general email each Wednesday afternoon, the church uses its membership software to help send “very targeted” emails to various groups within the congregation, Hamblen says. The targeted email frequently expands on the brief information given in the general newsletter.

Money saved by going paperless can now be used to upgrade brochures and other ministry materials that continue to be printed, Hamblen says. To learn more about the church and its ministries, please see Kent Covenant.

Editor’s note: We are interested in knowing of other Covenant churches that have replaced traditional paper newsletters with email-based newsletters. Please email us with the name of your church, including the city and state, telling us approximately how long you have used email newsletters and how frequently they are distributed. Please feel free to share your opinion about email-based communications replacing paper. Send comments to Paperless Newsletters.

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