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ChMS from drupal

Joined: 10/19/2008

I had this idea. I want to build a site for the church I grew up in. However the Assistant Pastor is leaving and he is the only tech guy there. I live 900 miles away now so it would be difficult for me to maintain it.

However the secretary might be able to get it if I could include all the publishing things they do in the website. So my idea is content types that include all the events and a blog for the Pastor. Then these things can be entered by the secretary/Pastor and then automatically create the existing written documents by exporting the setup or something. This will keep the website automatically updated and make it easier to make the bulletin and monthly newsletter.

So thats the idea. Now to the hard part. Is this even possible? I'm not that good at drupal yet so wanted to see what the brain trust that is geeks and God says about it before I proceed with researching it.

Joined: 02/23/2008

Yes, I think that is possible. Further, I don't think the 900 miles would be a hinderance aside from personal training. That is, I think you could set everything up for them, make some screencasts, and provide telephone/Skype support.

Between all of that, I think it is a workable solution.

Best wishes on that!

G&G Podcast Host
Matt Farina's picture
Joined: 06/01/2006

First, what do you mean by ChMS? This usually means a church management system like fellowship one? Is that what you mean? Or, do you mean something like a content management system?

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host

Joined: 10/19/2008
Simple ChMS

I want to convert the website into a document generator. So I guess a simple ChMS. Nothing crazy like keeping track of finances and personnel. Just a way to make the whole process easier for the secretary. She would only enter the info once. This would create a bulletin and monthly newsletter from the website as well as post the information to the website. The Pastor could blog and then a simple way to add podcast sermons to the site. I want something low maintenance as no one is there to do the maintenance but me and my life is crazy enough as it is. It was just a thought. Not sure if it is even going to work.

Joined: 12/14/2008
Workin' on it

The Drupal Site I am working on (and learning on) may be sort of what you are asking for...

Right now, our secretary compiles events, news, and announcements into a bulletin for print and distribution each week. Then she emails that to me and I update our 'static' site every week.
I want to use Drupal to turn that process around 180 degrees!
The website will be used to compile and store all the 'stuff.' Then the secretary just copies stuff from the website to create the bulletin.
If we really get fancy, we may be able to have the website spit out a bulletin ready for printing automatically!
That is my dream and what I am working towards...someday...

The challenge will be keeping the site clean and not crowded with too much info. The framework below is mainly targeted towards church members to use as a resource. But, I also need to make the site attractive and informative for newcommers and visitors.

I am working to allow 'simple' users (secretary & pastor & staff mostly) to easily add events, announcements, and news and then let the website sort of take care of itself, showing relavant information at the appropriate times. Later, I might add workflows to allow a broader range of contributors (church members submitting events etc. themselves!).

Here are some of the content types I am formulating and how I am using them to accomplish my goals:
Event/Annoucement - This single content type is really two in one. It has two optional date fields: An Event Date and an Annoucemnt Date. If the user inputs an Event Date, this node is displayed on the calendar for those dates. If the user inputs an Announcement Date, this node is shown on a 'Current Announcements' page, but it is only shown if today's date is between the Announcement to-from date.
This way, an event can be added to the calendar and an announcement can be automatically created along with it. If you want some sort of announcement to be shown on the announcements page, but not on the calendar, you just don't enter an event date. If you want an event to be shown on the calendar page, but not on the announcements page, you just don't enter an announcement date.
An event or announcement is intended to inform visitors about something that WILL happen.

News - This content type is sort of like a church-wide blog. It is intended to inform visitors about something that IS happening or HAS ALREADY happened.

Prayerline Item - Pretty self explanitory. Each prayer item/request is a node that the prayerline editor (secretary) crates and deletes manually.

Blogs - Our pastor puts out a weekly article. This will be duplicated here and I want some of the other staff members to also have their own blog (someday?)

Page - Misc. stuff to put on 'static' pages.

PHEW, long post... I think I even learned a lot through writing it down.