The Diocese of New Jersey has replaced its aging Web site with a new, more responsive, easier to use, and more pastoral site built on the WordPress platform.
Launched on Aug. 11, the site is the result of years of planning and more than six months of active development. It features a fully redesigned navigation, enhanced search functionality, a fully integrated Spanish-language version, and an online magazine section with contributions from across the diocese called “Know Your Story.”
“It looks great to me,” said Bishop Chip Stokes. “I think it’s going to bring some really wonderful dimensions to our ability to tell the story and communicate.”
“One of our primary goals was to build a site that is faster, better organized, and easier to use than our old site,” said Steve Welch, diocesan canon for communications. “But just as important was to build a site that reflected our purpose to form people as disciples of Jesus Christ. Every page and every element was built with that purpose in mind.”
In addition to a robust search function that allows users to filter results by content type, the new navigation menus divide content into intuitive segments:
Who We Are: Information about the diocese, its structure, staff, committees, and organizations, and a “Find a Church” function powered by Episcopal Asset Map.
What We Believe: Tools for people new to the church, for those seeking to grow in their faith and spiritual knowledge, and for people discerning a possible calling to ordained ministry.
What We Say: A new online home for Bishop Stokes’ weekly message and video sermon; “Good News in the Garden State,” the diocesan newsletter that has been streamlined and redesigned to work hand-in-hand with the new site, and “Know Your Story,” an online magazine that features articles written by diocesan staff and contributors from across the diocese. All articles are easily shareable from the site to social media or email. “Telling our stories is the purest form of spreading God’s word,” the site says. “Whether it’s a tale of a life changed, a feeding ministry, a special worship service, or simple human community, your story can help inspire and bring others closer to Christ.” Visitors can submit their stories here in written, audio, or video formats.
What We Do: Home for all events in the diocese and its congregations. Individuals, churches, and organizations across the diocese can submit their own events to be included and promoted to the wider community.
What You Need: The “nuts and bolts” of the web site, featuring resources needed by church leaders, including an integrated Human Resources page of benefits and policies, Administrative Resources for congregational and diocesan business, and a Financial Resources section with the answers and tools congregations need to manage their financial activities.
In the coming weeks, the site will be further enhanced in a number of ways. The site will add the ability for individual congregations and ministries to have their own web presence on the diocesan server, using a customizable template. Stories written about individual diocesan ministries will be accessible directly from those ministries’ web pages, and readers will be able to browse articles by keyword.
Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey
Founded in 1785, the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey, headquartered in Trenton, consists of more than 140 congregations in the southern 2/3 of the state. We have one purpose: To form people as disciples of Jesus Christ so that they can participate in God’s mission of reconciliation in the world. Learn more at dioceseofnj.org
We are a part of the Episcopal Church and the Worldwide Anglican Communion.