24 Jul GS 2013 art 92
GS 2013 Article 92 – Committee for the Official Website (CWEB)
Committee 1 presented its second draft. With a minor change, this was the result:
- 1.1. Report of the Committee for the Official Website (8.2.8)
- 1.2. Letter from the church at St. Albert (220.127.116.11)
- 1.3. Confidential letter dated March 7, 2013 from the Committee for the Official Website regarding recommendation for two new appointees (8.1.33)
- 2.1. Synod Burlington 2010 gave CWEB the following mandate (Acts, Article 73, Recommendation 4.3):
- [4.3.1.] Maintain the existing website and associated technical functions;
- [4.3.2.] Revise the content of the website whenever necessary, in particular ensuring that the text of the Book of Praise is the same as that most recently adopted and revised by general synod;
- [4.3.3.] Make synod reports available on the web before synod and also for all members of the churches;
- [4.3.4.] Provide web services and email services to the churches and serve the churches with advice with regard to possibilities of setting up their own websites;
- [4.3.5.] Work toward making all the Acts of all the general synods available on the website in searchable format;
- [4.3.6.] List the mission churches/preaching posts on the website;
- [4.3.7.] Serve Synod 2013 with a report to be sent to the churches at least six months prior to the beginning of synod, including a financial statement and a proposed budget and any recommendations regarding new content to be added to the website.
- 2.2. The Committee’s activities included fulfilling the mandate of the last Synod to add a list of the mission churches/preaching posts. It also continued to provide e-mail services to the churches. It investigated the possibility of having all the Acts of all the general synods available on the website in searchable format. Moreover, the CWEB wishes to draw Synod’s attention to the fact that some of the Acts are already available in such a format. Others are available digitally, but need to be reformatted to be searchable. This is feasible but requires approximately $1250 to do professionally.
- 2.3. Occasionally the CWEB received inquiries from serious parties and these were responded to – usually by the convener. Sometimes inquiries were directed to other synodically-appointed committees. They also occasionally received feedback from the churches to improve the website. However, little new content has been added to the website.
- 2.4. From the “Visitors Overview” report provided, the number of total visitors to the website has steadily declined over the past three years.
- 2.5. Brother H. Sikkema and sister C. Lane have completed their terms on the CWEB. The Committee reminds synod that the terms for new committee members after Synod Smithers 2007 have been established at six years instead of nine years. The brothers W. Bredenhof and J. Koopmans were appointed for a term of nine years by Synod Burlington 2010. The committee requests to reduce the terms of these brothers to six years.
- 2.6. St. Albert supports the proposed mandate of the CWEB to make the Acts of all previous general synods available in searchable format.
- 3.1. The committee has fulfilled its mandate.
- 3.2. The CWEB has investigated the possibility of having all the Acts of general synods available on the website in searchable format. This requires extra funds as proposed in the budget which is appended to their report. It would be good for the churches (and membership) to have these Acts available, but for complete understanding of the Acts it is necessary to append the reports of committees to those synods as well (which can be found in the synod archives). Additional funding will be necessary to provide these extra documents.
- 3.3. The CWEB requests synod to appoint two new members for the committee per their confidential letter to Synod regarding appointments.
- 3.4. The brothers W. Bredenhof and J. Koopmans were inadvertently appointed to nine year terms instead of six year terms by Synod Burlington 2010. This should be corrected.
- 3.5. Upgrading of the website would most likely result in increased usage.
That Synod decide:
- 4.1. To thank the committee for its work.
- 4.2. To approve the budget to a maximum of $5,000 for the period 2013-2015.
- 4.3. To mandate the committee:
- 4.3.1. To maintain the existing website and associated technical functions.
- 4.3.2. To revise the content of the website whenever necessary, in particular ensuring that the text of the Book of Praise is the same as that most recently adopted and revised by general synod.
- 4.3.3. To make synod reports available on the web before the next synod.
- 4.3.4. To provide web services and email services to the churches and to serve the churches with advice with regard to possibilities of setting up their own websites.
- 4.3.5. To make all the Acts of all past general synods as well as all committee reports to those synods available on the website in searchable format.
- 4.3.6. To investigate the effectiveness of the website and to come with a proposal for improvement and include that in the report to the next general synod.
- 4.3.7. To serve Synod 2016 with a report to be sent to the churches at least six months prior to the beginning of synod, including a financial statement and a proposed budget and any recommendations regarding new content to be added to the website.
- 4.4. To appoint two new members to the committee for six year terms and to thank br. Sikkema and sr. Lane for their work.
- 4.5. To amend the terms of Rev. W. Bredenhof and br. J. Koopmans to six years, ending in 2016.