Contact to go digital in 2019
Communications Ministry to introduce new digital publication and quarterly magazineBy Rev. Dr. Joe Harris, Director of Communications Ministry
The Contact newspaper has been a mainstay of the Oklahoma United Methodist Conference since 1970, informing United Methodists across the state what God is doing in and through this conference.
Following the December 2018 issue of the Contact, the printed edition will be discontinued. The Contact will continue in an all-digital expanded format that will allow it to be printed by any printer for those who would like to have a paper copy of the conference news.
The digital Contact will have all its current features with conference news featured prominently among its offerings. This expanded format will be available on all digital platforms (computers, tablets and mobile phones).
In the future, many articles will feature interactive elements and embedded video. This will allow us to share stories in a more in-depth way than we have been able to in print.
We also will be inviting writers from the Conference to submit book reviews, special features, and links to specific ministry information and sites. More information on the submission process will be shared as we get closer to the new year.
When considering the future realities of our Conference budget in light of unsustainable and ever-increasing costs of postage, paper and printing, it became clear that we could no longer continue offering the printed Contact.
We had to reinvent how we offer news and information to the annual conference. With many readers moving from printed materials and toward digital reading, creating a digital publication was a natural decision.
However, we did not want to leave out any person who needs or prefers a paper copy of the news. That is why our digital newspaper will be printable by anyone with an office printer. The new Contact will fit on letter-sized paper without resizing, making it accessible to everyone who wants to read it in print.
A new magazine
In addition to the digital Contact, a quarterly print magazine will be sent to a mailing list of specific leaders in the Oklahoma Conference.
This magazine will be a new ministry tool to inform, equip and inspire United Methodists across Oklahoma by sharing what Christ is doing in local churches, on the mission field, and through our connectional opportunities.
The magazine will feature innovative and inspirational stories that capture the movement of the Holy Spirit as we answer the call to make disciples who make a difference. These stories will be practical, relevant and thought-provoking.
While stories in the Contact will continue to focus on the news and work of the local church, the magazine will share how that work has affected the communities and individual lives reached by these ministries.
Your Communications Ministry Board and staff have prayed, discussed and reminded themselves that their mission is to seek to make disciples of Jesus Christ by informing, communicating, and resourcing with conference entities, local churches and individual United Methodists for the transformation of the world.
We believe that God’s preferred future for us is to produce tools that will help Oklahoman United Methodists proclaim the risen Christ through digital, video, social media, and yes, print. We pray that you will find these new directions helpful in your ministry.