Schweitzer Web Update Launched

Earlier this week we launched the updated Schweitzer web site. There are some substantial design updates and major infrastructure changes – switching to the Web Empowered Church platform, which is powered by Typo3. We still have some content to migrate, so this is basically a soft launch (the only announcement is on this blog). We hit some technical snags that delayed the launch by about two weeks and during that time we neglected the previous site – thinking "Oh, we'll be launching the new one tomorrow." The update task list had gotten so long that it made more sense to launch the new site and move content rather than update the old site.

Remaining items for the next week or so:

  • Sermon information – I'm struggling with getting a template that looks good with the SMS.
  • Staff bios – several people turned these in hand written, and I wasn't in the mood to spend time typing before the site was launched.
  • Better blog tools – right now the pastors' blog is powered out of Typo3, but it will be moving to Movable Type and imported via RSS – see the youth section for an example. I'd much rather train our pastors to use MT than Typo3 – our Youth Pastor already has it down.
  • Servant Connector – We're right now updating our master opportunity list. Once that is complete the web team will get the core list imported and leave it to staff to add new opportunities.

Long range we're expanding the web ministry to include a software ministry. I'm lucky to have several people on my team that are professional software developers who are into the vision of building/providing tools for WEC. Here are just a few of the ideas we've kicked around: lyric management system for ProPresenter, volunteer scheduling, worship planning tools, etc. The first project I want to work on is a tool to read/render remote calendar data. We use EMS for all of our room scheduling and main calendar functionality. It has an ODBC interface, so I'm hoping it will be possible to get data from it into Typo3 without too much difficulty.

Now to Good Friday stuff then Easter…