The new online look
As you may have noticed, our Web site has changed its look over the past several weeks. Underneath it all, it's actually the same "plumbing" - a Web site hosting and design service called Weebly - but this plumbing offered a lot of capabilities that we weren't using in the past.
Why a new look? Well, first and foremost, a Web site is telling the world who we are, and who we can be for the world. Our new design is meant to help people to understand the mission of the church as it relates to their world, and to help people to understand where their lives can fit in that mission. It is also designed to be attractive and readable on mobile phones and tablets - our message can reach people effectively wherever they are connecting to the Internet. More details on the design changes follow below.
As a church that is both very established (since 1791!) and very new in its formation of its identity and worship practices, First UMC Middletown's message offers a lot to our community. We offer people the stability of a faith tradition that has grown through centuries, and an openness to that tradition's place in the future of Middletown and the world. The Web site design is meant to convey this message in many ways.
One key element of the design is that it is "you"-centered: what is it that we, as a church, can do for people in our community and elsewhere? How can we meet their needs? How can we connect with you? These three simple and important themes form the backbone of the Web site's navigation. Throughout the Web site there are calls to action and contact, to encourage people not to just browse, but to make that first contact with us in worship, events, and in personal communications.
And, of course, the Web site is now using its "blog" news feature more actively - it's the same feature that we were using in the past to post our weekly newsletter, but now that newsletter is one of many communications coming through the blogging mechanism. You can subscribe via email to the blog (including the newsletter) through the link found on the right of every blog post, and on our home page. This way, you get all of the best that our Web site has to offer delivered directly to your email inbox.
Access to the Web site is through the same address as before - fumcmiddletownct.org - but that's a hard address to remember, so there's an alternative address that people can type in that brings you to the same Web site - firstmiddletown.org. This will allow people to remember how to find us on the Web more easily, via posters, mailings, radio, and other public communications.
A Web site is never "set in stone" - it's a living document, which is meant to adjust to our changing needs for communication and for projecting our identity as a Christian community committed to the traditions of the United Methodist Church. So, as you find items that need to be corrected or updated, please make sure that they come to our attention. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments and suggestions. May this work bless our mission with God's hope and inspiration!
The new mobile look