Often churches take donations to purchase flowers for the altar; and a dedication is mentioned in the bulletin that week. Other churches may have a fundraiser where members purchase a brick that is inscribed with a loved one’s name. Tributes and memorials are way to honor and remember important people in our lives. Why not tie in your website so that memorials also live in the digital space.
So how can you preserve a digital legacy? There are several options I will explore in this article, including a memorial section, microsites, and even social media.
If you bother to mention in your weekly bulletin that someone purchased flowers in honor of someone, you can certainly mention it on your website. Many churches allow congregation members to purchase flowers, inscribed bricks, or their name inscribed on a plaque. A photo with a digital camera or phone can easily put it on your website. You can mention the donor, the inscription, and/or the photo.
As mentioned in a previous post on microsites, a separate memorial section might be advantageous. If you decide to go with a microsite, you can brand it differently and keep it separate from your main church website. Although the branding and hosting of a microsite might cost more, it could be supported by those willing to purchase a memorial space for a loved one.
Instead of taking up server space on your own website, why not share photos of those inscribed bricks, flowers, of plaques on your favorite social media platform? On particular anniversaries those who purchased the memorial can share with their friends. They will not only deal with the grief associated with the loss, but also inadvertently promote your church.
If you have an offline method of creating a memorial, do not keep it only there. Create a digital space for your congregation to remember loved ones. Not only will it be around just as long as a printed bulletin or inscribe brick; but it can be shared with others online. Thus your church and the healing message of Jesus will be spread to others. The best part is that these solutions often do not have a lot of overhead and extra costs.
Photo courtesy of Adrian van Leen