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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Do-it-yourself church directories

One of the most valuable congregational tools is the church directory — especially the photo variety. For decades, pastors, committee leaders and parishioners have depended on them.

Digital cameras, computer software and high-quality printers make directories an easier, more frequent project. Polly Pattison, New Promise Lutheran Church, St. George, Utah, recommends a do-it-yourself directory.

She and Bobbi Butka, church council secretary, led a directory project that took seven months but resulted in a binder for all members — conveniently distributed the Sunday before the congregation's building campaign began.

The 115-page book includes black and white photos with biographical information of each individual/family. Patterson says gathering the information was the most time-consuming part of the project. Biographies were gleaned from new member information found in past newsletters. Members were sent the original text about themselves so they could update and approve it, and send it back in a timely manner.

Another challenge was finding a shop to print a small quantity — about 175 copies (cost: $2.68 a copy).


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