Eric Nedergaard, our treasurer, would be the first to tell you that Christ the King Lutheran Church has done a good job reducing expenses in 2018 without a loss in effectiveness of our ministry. I owe a lot of thanks to several people who have helped us to identify ways to be more efficient in our use of technology, volunteers and existing resources. As we look to the future, there are still more ways in which we can envision more efficient, effective ways of doing things.
Over the past couple of years, we have investigated ways of reducing the amount of paper that we consume. The office staff have done a good job at utilizing the technology already at our disposal to reduce the amount of paper we use. Still, the biggest culprit of paper consumption continues to be our weekly bulletins. I have long been a supporter of printing the entirety of the liturgy in the bulletin, including songs and Bible readings. This is a simple way to show hospitality to our visitors who may not be familiar with Lutheran liturgy or songs. It eliminates the need to flip back and forth around the hymnal to find the right words or songs. And a full paper bulletin provides a resource that people can bring home for devotional study.
However, this convenience does come at a cost. We print about 85 bulletins each week; each bulletin using an average of 6 sheets of legal-size paper. We print these on our office copier – which is an absolutely marvelous and efficient machine – but we are charged a small amount for every page we print on it. Furthermore, the staples we use to bind the bulletins last a long time, but when they run out (a few times a year) they are expensive to replace. Surely, then, this an area where we can find ways to reduce expense without a loss to the effectiveness of our ministry, right?
One solution which we are looking to complete sometime in the next few years is to install high-quality televisions in our sanctuary, where the liturgy can be displayed in its entirety using only technology. But this solution is not something we are looking to do imminently. In the meantime, we are going to try transitioning back to using our hymnals for our worship life together, and referring people to pages in the pew Bibles for the readings. We will still have a paper bulletin with a printed Order of Worship; lyrics to songs not found in our hymnals; special prayers; and announcements. Even still, this will greatly reduce the amount of paper we use each week. It’ll take a little getting-used-to, but I’m sure we’ll find our stride with it soon.
You can look forward to this new bulletin format to begin on December 23rd. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.