Bulletin Examples: Jennifer Johnson & Sewickley Presbyterian Church

Bulletin Examples: Jennifer Johnson & Sewickley Presbyterian Church

September 23, 2019 by

If there’s one thing church communicators love to hate, it’s the church bulletin. Some have tried to kill it, but the rest of us just make do. We decided to talk to some church communicators and see how the bulletin is working (or not) for them.

Today we talk with Jennifer Johnson, the director of communication at Sewickley Presbyterian Church in Sewickley, Penn.

“I decided to incorporate everything into one document which has made the process much more streamlined.”

What do you love about your bulletin?

I wouldn’t say I love our bulletin, but it works for us. I’ve been to many church communication conferences and follow a few church communication blogs and the general consensus is that bulletins should be a thing of the past. Working for a church where bulletins are still needed makes me pause whenever I hear people who are adamant about getting rid of them. This becomes problematic when you have a church that doesn’t have screens and that still worships in a traditional fashion. You can have a high-tech building, have a solid communication strategy, branding, etc., but your congregants still need to be able to take part in worship.

Our sanctuary doesn’t have screens yet (they are in the process of being added) and we hold two services in the space: traditional and contemporary. So the space must accommodate both styles of worship. The traditional service has responsive readings and such, and so having the order of worship printed is a necessity for the time being. Also, we have a large divided congregation who either prefer traditional worship (aka no screens) or who love contemporary. As much as ‘we’ would like to go paperless, there is still the need to meet people where they are and not force something that might possibly lose a large chunk of the members.

Not having screens is a huge issue with getting rid of a bulletin where the order of worship is needed for worship. It’s not as easy as saying “You don’t need those anymore,” unless there is a way to provide the information to the congregants in an alternative way.

What would you change about your bulletin?

I stay on top of the bulletin process and have creative liberties with it. So it is a document that changes when it needs to. Because we have to have it, it is designed in a way to include all pertinent information. There is some info I would not have (staff names for one) but removing those names isn’t a big deal to me, so they remain.

Our order of worship used to be on just four pages and then we’d have inserts for announcements. I decided to incorporate everything into one document which has made the process much more streamlined. We also have design standards so it goes along with the church branding.

Is there anything unique about your bulletin that other churches don’t do?

Not really. It’s an organized document that works for our congregation.

How is your bulletin process working these days? How have you improved it?

The deadline for bulletin submissions (from pastors, lay people, staff) is Tuesday at 12 p.m. The bulletins go through the editing process on Wednesday morning. An edited version is provided to the necessary people on Thursday morning and then they are printed on Friday morning. We print approximately 500 a week for three services. We also hold an 8 a.m. traditional service in our chapel (no screen either). Our 8 & 11 a.m. services are more or less the same (info wise) but the 9 a.m. is the contemporary so the order of worship is different than the other two.  I feel the process is fine. If I was the one who populated them each week I would have them printed on Thursday, which is the only change I would make.

Bulletin Example


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Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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