I'M WORKING ON
A snapshot of some of the things I'm working on these days. Would love your thoughts on any of them.
I took on a rebuild of Our website and it has turned into quite the extensive project.
Ultimately I'm driven by the user's experience when it comes to websites. I find too often (particularly in the church/non-profit world) we care more about saying what we want to say which often ends up in a lot of information and a difficult to navigate site. With over 75 different initiatives, I'm working on a site that helps people find easy on-ramps to supporting what we do and finding information on initiatives happening near them. My plan is to do this with a tagging system and creating a different 'page' for each initiative/staff/neighbourhood. That adds up to a lot of pages. But the idea will be a site that allows a user to find what they're looking for easily and makes next steps simple.
Here's some screenshots of what I'm working on:
The goal for completion is August.
Increasing Our Celebration Storytelling
"THE GOSPEL, RIGHTLY UNDERSTOOD, IS WHOLISTIC - IT RESPONDS TO [SOMEONE] AS A WHOLE PERSON; IT DOESN'T SINGLE OUT JUST SPIRITUAL OR JUST PHYSICAL NEEDS AND SPEAK ONLY TO THAT." - JOHN PERKINS
For one of my school assignments I am going to be exploring the way we communicate success at Youth Unlimited around our Five Gauges of Transformation. One of the main draws to joining Youth Unlimited for me was the way they were rethinking how to measure success. One of the final things that I was working on before I left my previous job was thinking through some new ways of measuring change in a teenager's life. I wanted something that would better capture the nuance and process involved, rather than focusing on one or two external decisions.
Youth Unlimited has addressed that very thing with the Five Gauges, looking at the process of transformation in five key areas in a young person's life: Renewed Character, Healthy Relationships, Rooted Identity, Joyful Service, & Clear Purpose.
Those who know me, know my interest in Practical Theology; which is built upon the thought/praxis cycle: Our reflection on our practice informs that practice which in turn informs the ongoing reflection. A practical theologian always keeps one foot in practice and the other in theology - never breaking that tension.
This project is rooted in that model: our stories inspire action, which generates more stories.
What I want to do is reflect theologically on the activity of celebration proclamation.
There are three parts to this project: (1) Some examples of celebration storytelling. The images at the top are some mock ups I made for it. They would each go along with a story pulled from the corresponding program's data. (2) A theology of celebration storytelling. This will be a bit more 'educational', used for teaching staff/volunteers the theological grounding for wholistic transformation. (3) Practical resources for helping our staff tell better stories. In those three pieces you can see the thought/praxis cycle at work.
Update: I have submitted the paper for school and review at YU. Stay tuned.
YU TImes - Sneak Peek
The Summer edition of the YU Times is going to print this week (June 5-9) and then will be going out in the mail shortly after. Here's a sneak peek of the front cover for anyone who happens to visit my site. This is even ahead of some edits.
For those interested, the YU Times is our bi-annual newsletter that goes out in the winter and summer. It's an opportunity for staff to share some stories of celebration from their programs with a wider audience. When I started at YU I took over the curating and editing of the newsletter. This issue actually marks the end of a 5 issue run that I inherited (focusing on each of the 5 Gauges). Starting next winter, I get to dream up something new for it.
Interested in a copy? Let me know.
I'm in the middle of an extensive paper on Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker and a personal hero of mine. Also, she's not Dorris Day.
This involved a presentation to my class. I've added that for your enjoyment.
Seriously, she's the best.