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John Eisenhauer launches to connect churches

Along with his roles as past PNC Board member, national UCC leader, enthusiastic camper and musician for PNC events, John Eisenhauer has made a living as a software developer.

John Eisenhauer is most visible in the PNC as guitarist and singer, but he’ also a software developer.

The last two years, he applied his skills in that work to help UCC churches locally, regionally and nationally better communicate so they can collaborate and cross-pollinate on their passions and issues.

“Progressives do not have the tools that conservative churches are using,” he said. “A web page is a point of marketing and evangelism for any church.”

So John set aside his income for two years to develop, “an affordable new technology platform for shared UCC ministry and service.”

The URL is based on the UCC motto “that they may all be one.

“In the UCC, we have tended to misinterpret the scripture to be that we may each be one, rather than that we all be one,” said John, who spent time researching to develop the b14ucc platform.

John has produced a tool churches can use to build typical websites but with other churches on the same platform, they have access to information about calendar events, worship ideas, study programs and mission outreach.

“There are 5,000 local UCC churches in the U.S.,” he said.  “There would be data on every church, on what interests and excites them.  An open and affirming church can find what other ONA churches are doing homeless ministries.  It can pinpoint what area of the country, what conference and what community.

“I can view them on a map, see a list and sent emails to them,” he said, “or people doing hunger ministries can similarly connect.”

He seeks to create “connections and compassion between individuals, local churches, the wider UCC and more.

John can then access the church’s profile, manually click to find out what they do and connect with them.

b14ucc also has a dashboard to help churches connect people and places through their passions and causes, such as racism, homelessness, earth stewardship, immigration, the economy, jobs, sanctuary, LGBTQ, social justice, mental health and more.

It can also connect people based on ministries of worship, service, education, fellowship and prayer.

What are special needs a church has?  What are constraints for volunteer opportunities?  What dates are events happening?  What special offerings do churches do? Can children participate?

“The platform helps people consider the UCC as more than just me,” John said.

At a recent Justice Witness Committee meeting, he demonstrated tools for designing a blank page, using color, re-sizing photos, changing fonts and creating web page content.  He showed tools for combining articles, photos and calendars for a newsletter.

“The platform works like churches work,” he said.

Plus, there’s a donate button, which connects to Paypal that charges nonprofits no interest.

“I want to interest churches in using the platform as a tool to build a website, to build blogs, to archive sermons, to do calendering and to communicate with other churches,” he said.

His goal is to help people belong, believe, be love and be aware.

“It gives each person agency to share messages in the world,” he said.

The terms of service for using b14ucc include the word “sacred,” calling for sacred use of words and images, so no one is a “morality cop,” but if two people flag content as inappropriate, it can be discussed.  Only things that are illegal or soliciting for profit would be removed.

Justice Witness Committee issue teams could connect with the Fall Gathering action teams and with PNC News articles on justice action in congregations.

John plans to have a scholarship small churches can come on the platform.  Otherwise, there is a sliding scale of fees for set up and a monthly subscription.

“I hope we will see this as a shared ministry,” John said.  “Connectedness makes us stronger.  It would overcome the isolation of churches and clergy.”

Without intentionally connecting, he believes, clergy and churches lose good ideas, ministries, resources and expertise.

“The technology disparities between churches are unjust.  There are technology haves and have nots. This would equalize the ability of a church in upcountry Maui to connect with other UCC churches,” said John, who is initially recruiting 10 churches to use the platform.

“The goal is to raise and level the technology playing field with easy-to-use, world-class tools and resources for all UCC settings,” says the website.

It also includes automated posts to social media, short message services—like texting—and e-newsletters.

If the conference pays to be on it, all the committees and entities of the conference would be on it, he said.

John, who is now doing this platform full time, describes himself as a “church nerd.”  He’s a member of Eagle Harbor UCC in Bainbridge Island, a PK (son of Phil Eisenhauer), a “minister’s wife,” a “camp rat,” a “servant,” a“wise guy” and an ATM—donating more than $500,000 across the United Church of Christ and rocky Mountain College.

He owns and runs Kombi Corp., a managed service provider under contract with each of the eight UCC Conferences in the Western Region.

For information, call 206-780-6101, email or visit


Copyright © Winter 2019-2020 Pacific NW United Church News


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