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Welcome to EFC-ER's Weekly Encourager. We trust that this will become a bright spot each week in your emails. The purpose of the Weekly Encourager is to provide up-to-date information about region-wide events, prayer requests, and helpful resources from the local churches.
Keeping It Fresh: Monthly Communication Tips
written by Julie Pickering on behalf of the Communications Board
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The rise of social media has provided powerful communication today for churches. Not only is social media a great way to communicate with those already engaged and attending your church, but it provides a wonderful opportunity for churches to engage with people who rarely, if ever, step foot in a church building.  Here are some of today's most popular social media platforms and tips for their use:

Church Website: 
- should be visually appealing and easy to navigate
- landing page should be designed for those seeking a church (including nonbelievers), not for those who already attend your church

Pastoral / Church Blog:
- great resource to share devotional thoughts, address trending issues, prepare members for upcoming sermons, and expand upon recent sermons

Facebook (public page):
- posts are visible to the public
- useful for reaching those who do not already attend your church
- great way to announce upcoming church events, sermons, share Bible verses, etc.

Facebook (closed/private groups):
- posts can only be seen by members of the group
- useful to communicate prayer requests/praises and announce church events  to people who already go to your church 
- specific groups within the church can have their own Facebook group (ex. Prayer Team, Youth Group, etc.)

YouTube: 
- great place to share videos of worship service, announcement videos, pre-sermon videos, devotional messages, etc.
- allows people to "experience" your church before attending in person

Podcasts (iTunes, PodDirectory, etc):
- useful for sharing sermon audio recordings and devotional messages

Instant Messaging (Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, Skype, etc.):
- useful for group discussion and communication (such as sharing prayer requests)

Twitter: 
- designed for short posts of 140 characters or less

LinkedIn: 
- great for sharing job openings and networking

Google Plus, Instagram, and Pinterest are other useful social media sites. Buffer ( www.buffer.com) is a very helpful, inexpensive social medial management tool that allows you to schedule and post to multiple social media sites at once. 
Celebrate with Friends
 
Left: Damascus Friends Church opened their new youth room on Sunday, February 7th with a Super Bowl party. Youth Pastor Justin Hendershott shared: "An absolutely AWESOME NIGHT as we opened our new youth room. Over 150 teens and adults packed the place out. At halftime 7 teens raised their hands to start a new relationship with Christ while several others asked for prayer to get back on track and to be free from sin. Thanks to everyone who came out and served as well. God is sooo GOOD!!!!" 

Right: Pastor Norbu and Juna Tamang, and daughter Jasper ( Christian Community Friends Church in Columbus, Ohio), left their home in Nepal last year and came to the US as refugees. Due to travel restrictions, they generously donated their pastoral library to the Friends Church they served and sold a portion at a low price to the Seminary. Now that they are pastoring an EFC-ER church plant they needed these valuable books. This need was made known to the Central Ohio District pastors. Each pastor "raided" their own bookshelves to help Pastor Norbu and Juna rebuild a pastoral library! Norbu and Juna were surprised and delighted with the over 50 books that were donated. If you would like to help Norbu and Juna continue to build their library, you can ship or drop off books to  Orange Friends Church clearly marked for Norbu and Juna Tamang.

We celebrate with Cornerstone Community Church in North Carolina as they paid off their mortgage and were able to purchase a new piano for the church. 

We trust that every church is sharing these prayer requests within their local prayer community. Here is this week's request: 

1 - Please pray for our board members as they meet at Canton First Friends for the Grand Board Retreat tomorrow, February 11. We pray they will have safe travels, renewed vision, and fruitful discussions. 
Upcoming Events
* February 11 
- Grand Board Retreat and Executive Board
 
in Canton, Ohio.
* March 18-20 
- Reconnect 
retreat for youth workers at Orange Friends Church in Columbus, Ohio. Download the brochure here
* April 22-24  
- Soul Blast  
in Battle Creek, MI. Visit www.soulblast.org for registration and details. Check out the promotional video here: https://vimeo.com/148521620.
* April 29 - May 1 
- Men in Missions Retreat 
visit www.meninmissions.org for updates.
* May 10-13  
- Pastors' Conference
 
at Oglebay Resort & Conference Center in Wheeling, West Virginia ( www.oglebay-resort.com). Details to come. 
* July 23-26  
- Yearly Meeting
at Malone University in Canton, Ohio.
News from the Center
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The staff will be  out of the office to attend the Grand Board Retreat on February 11.  

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The final deadline to send in Christian Education reports, statistical forms, and Yearbook
 pages 
is   Friday, February 19!    We appreciate everyone's hard work to complete these forms to help gather a snapshot of what God is doing through Eastern Region.  

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During tax season, our Treasurer, Debbie Entwistle will have abbreviated hours. She will be in early mornings Monday through Friday. 

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There are currently pastoral openings at Barberton, Gilead, Urbana, and Deerfield Friends Churches. Contact Randy Heckert ( rheckert@efcer.org)
for more information. 
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Damascus Friends Church will hold a dessert reception on Saturday, March 19th at 6pm with representatives from Barclay College. They will provide delicious desserts, coffee, and the latest news about what God is doing through the college. Visit www.dfcnow.org for more information.
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A bit of humor submitted by Martha Wertz (CSRM)...

During a recent password audit by a company,  it was found that an employee was using the following password: "MickeyMinniePlutoHueyLouie
DeweyDonaldGoofySacramento." When asked why they had such a long password, they replied, "Hello! It has to be at least 8 characters long and include at least one capital." 
CONTACT US

World Outreach Center
5350 Broadmoor Cir., NW
Canton, OH 44709
1-800-334-8863
Julia McDonald, Editor
jmcdonald@efcer.org

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A Little Extra.... QUOTES  FOR THE WEEK:

"All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies." - Psalm 25:10

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end." - Lamentations 3:22

We hope you've enjoyed catching up with news from the EFC-ER office.
More information and news will be coming each week. 
Please send Julia ( jmcdonald@efcer.org ) any of your suggestions, quotes,  and/or ideas for weekly encouragement .