All Points Bulletin (Board)

Like any modern clergyman worth his weight in used printer cartridges, I e-mail, blog, Facebook and Tweet. I even used Power Point at our recent Annual Meeting. I’m always trying to get our parish to communicate in new and exciting ways. So why is it that the communications tool with the greatest impact on daily church life is still the bulletin board?

I recently had one put up on the wall outside the church office and you’d have thought I co-invented the internet with Al Gore. People are thrilled! On Sunday mornings you can find people loitering in front of it, reading news clippings (those are from things called newspapers that people used to read on a daily basis), staring at flyers for upcoming events, and even picking up copies of recently preached sermons. Move over Ronald Reagan, I’ve become “The Great Communicator.” Who knew the good, old-fashioned bulletin board would become a communications miracle?

This seems to be yet another reminder that as communicators we live in an in-between time. While some folks are all digital all the time and others are all newsprint all the time (please wash your hands), most are somewhere in the middle. Being born too early to be fully digital, I guess I’m in that category myself. I’m usually about five years behind most technologies. I get there eventually.

Here’s an example: When we moved here, I tried to save money and the environment by subscribing to the Boston Globe only Thursday through Sunday. I’ve always been a newspaper each and every day kind of guy. Ever since I learned to read I have started my mornings with a bowl of cereal and the sports section. Now, Monday to Wednesday I feel out of sorts. I wander around the kitchen with my bowl of cereal and it’s just not the same. Which has nothing to do with the morning ritual of arguing with the kids about getting socks on.

So the bulletin board is a window into a simpler time. A time when we weren’t all radically available via smartphone. In time people may stop noticing the new bulletin board. But I somehow doubt it. It’s tangible, it’s visible, and people like it. Plus it never crashes.


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