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PNC embarks on communication review

In coming months, the PNC’s 82 churches will reflect on their communication assets and needs to decide what technology will support the connections among congregations, conference leaders and the national setting.

Kathleen Hosfeld led session at Leaedership Retreat in June at N-Sid-Sen.

To facilitate that process, the Board of Directors has contracted with Kathleen Hosfeld, moderator of All Pilgrims Christian Church in Seattle and strategist with Hosfeld & Associates, a consulting firm with 20 years of experience in communication, marketing and digital systems.
She will guide the conference to examine its communication systems and technology with a goal of “fostering trust and deepening relationships, which are the basis for collaboration and growth.”
The board has named a Communication Task Force to help her develop recommendations. 
Task force members are Steve Crapson, Brandon Duran, Robbie Gilchrist, Myrna Harrison, JS Purdue, Mary Stamp and Yvonne Wilhelms.
They will meet by phone, online and in person to review the current situation and tools, and find what is working.
Hosfeld uses an “appreciative process,” affirming what is working, amplifying it to solve any problem and fulfilling the conference’s purpose.
For her, the most important element in communication is “the people who use the tools,” because “technology does not do the work.”  It only supports the people who do the work.
“It can enhance relationships and make it possible to work in spite of geographic separation.  We want to look at ways a communication system deepens trust, collaboration and relationships.”
“No one form works for everyone.  Success comes not in outcomes, but in stretching mutual respect and trust so we can be in conflict, trusting we will work through it,” she said.
Hosfeld will install software to track use of the website.  She will review staff, processes and equipment related to PNC communication.  This summer, she will develop and distribute surveys online and in person to identify solutions.
“Digital communication includes websites, content management, email, newsletters, RSS newsfeeds, social media marketing, blogs and other tools, including online meetings,” she said.
With technologies changing quickly, she said organizations often feel their communications “are a patchwork rather than an integrated system.” 
Hosfeld’s work on mission revisioning with All Pilgrims has led to a 12 percent increase in membership and a 20 percent increase in giving.
From 1986 to 1988, she was a lay leader of communication for St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Ballard, developing communication materials, and doing the church newsletter.
Since starting the consulting business in 1989, Hosfeld has helped one-person startups to Fortune 500 corporations.
“How do we convene meetings, work across distances and engage in congregations so we feel the spirit is at work locally and part of the larger work of the spirit in the world?  How can we help people be animated by what God is doing in our conference?” she asked.
Caring about church renewal, she hopes congregations can discern how to take advantage of shared resources “to nurture the spiritual formation of members to be Christ’s body in service of justice, mercy and peace,” she said.
“We live in a time of profound change, challenging our thinking as a global community about what it means to be the church in this time and place if we are to create a global community and peace,” she said.

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Copyright Pacific Northwest Conference News © June 2010


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