From InterConnections: “Congregations Utilize Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Podcasting”

InterConnections, a UUA publication for lay leaders, has a new article exploring how “Congregations Utilize Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Podcasting.” The piece provides a newcomer-oriented overview of the major tools in use by congregations and is based on interviews with growth consultant for the Ballou Channing District growth consultant Peter Bowden and me.

Q: Are there UU radio programs and podcasts?

A: Yes!

Sermon podcasts are perhaps the most common type of audio programming produced by our congregations. My conservative estimate is that at least 100 of our congregations are podcasting their sermons; the true number may be far higher!

There are also Unitarian Universalist programs that feature original content designed specifically for the audio format and distributed on the radio and/or online. Here are some notable examples:

First Parish in Duxbury has a radio program called “The Spiritual Life” in which Unitarian Universalists are interviewed about different topics related to our Unitarian Universalist movement today. This radio program is broadcast on Sunday mornings at 6:30 a.m. on WATD, 95.9 FM.

LifeNow! Radio by the First Unitarian and the First Universalist Churches of Rochester, NY, offers reflections and interviews on spiritual issues. LifeNow! is hosted by Rev. Kaaren Anderson, co-minister of the First Unitarian Church of Rochester, and often features other reporters and guests.

A relative newcomer to the Unitarian Universalist podcast scene, “Be Spiritual” features interviews with Unitarian Universalists about their spiritual journeys and other topics. The host is Gary Lerude.

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Canandaigua was connected with a radio program called “Liberal Religious Hour.” The host of that program, Rev. Carl Thitchener, died in 2008.

A Different View by the Unitarian Universalist Church in Surprise, AZ, examines religious and political topics in a conversational format. The show is hosted by Rev. Dr. Walter F. Wieder, the congregation’s minister, and Jeff Young.

The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Central Midwest District Podcast provides lay leadership resources, including workshop recordings, addressing issues in congregational life. The podcast is produced by the media team of the Central Midwest District.

Another type of audio content is recordings of written publications. Unitarian Universalist examples  include the Church of the Larger Fellowship’s Quest podcast and the UU World recordings.