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United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.
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Records relating to Administration and Finance

From its inception in 1968 the Division of Communication has been overseen by an Executive and a Secretary, later termed the General Secretary and Executive Minister. The Secretary and succeeding roles were the heads of the Division, and the Executive were responsible for communicating with other Division Secretaries as well as counterparts in other denominations. The Division Executive was comprised of members elected to that role by their Conference (1 per) and others elected according to function (such as Chair, Vice-chair, Committee/Taskforce Chairs etc.) by the General Council. The Executives were also responsible for setting policy and overall direction for the work to be carried out in the program units and by the staff of the Division. The Department of Finance and Administration was established in 1985 with responsibility for all of the accounting and budgeting within the Division. The department dissolved in 1993 and the work was adopted by the General Secretary’s office in 1994.

Series contains eight subseries: 1) Minutes, 1967-1999, 2) Reports, 1968-1990, 3) Correspondence, 1968-1983, 4) Financial Records, 1968-1998, 5) Office Files, 1967-2001, 6) Records of thee General Secretaries, 1968-2008, 7) Records of the Division Management Team, 1991-1998, 8) Records of the Communications Group, 2008-2012.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

Office Files

Series contains office files concerning: Computers, Software and Websites; Division Events; Historical Documents; Inter-church Correspondence; Manuals, Policies and Guides; Objectives and Organizational Structure; Personnel and Job Descriptions; and Records Management and Archives 1967-2001.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

Records relating to Resource Centres

Resources Centres were hubs for the distribution of United Church produced material. The Resource Distribution Department and UCRD worked with Presbytery and Conference resource centres and outlets across Canada to deliver a comprehensive range of United Church and other recommended resources, bringing information, advice and resource access to church members. Under the umbrella of Resources Centres were Book Rooms: retail outlets overseen by the Conferences and Presbyteries. AVEL outlets were also under this umbrella offering free AV resources to Conferences. At some point some AVEL Outlets began to sell resources in order to counteract a lack of funding.

Subseries contains records relating to the various types of Resource Centres which included administrative groups like the Retail Distribution Branch Managers, the Resource Centre Administrative Task Group, the Book Room Branch Managers, and the Retail Operations Management Team. Files and subsequent arrangement reflect the type of resources centres including Presbytery Resource Centres, Book Rooms and AVEL outlets

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

Records relating to Resource Coordination

Before the creation of the Resource Coordinators work area, there were no resource coordinating functions within Communications or across the Church House. The Division of Communication and the Division of Mission in Canada had editors. These divisions were the largest resource producers. They worked on specific tasks and resources, like magazines and books, and did not share work or coordinate work. All the divisions used the services of Communications in terms of graphic design, and video and website design. The divisions (other than DMC and the Division of Communication) may have hired writers or possibly editors, but in general the material was not edited. And staff people in all the units (many of whom did not have communication backgrounds) had to decide first what kind of medium they wanted to produce (video, print, web) and then go to the appropriate staff person in Communications. In 2002, the work area of Resource Coordination was created. Resource Coordinating staff were liaisons with the General Council Units to provide professional advice about producing resources and to shepherd resources through the production process, which included editing, graphic design and web posting. Often the resource coordinator edited the resources (for print or Web) from their assigned units, or if they couldn't, ensured that they were edited by another resource coordinator or a freelancer.

Series contains three subseries: 1) Records of the Resource Planning Group and Print Resources Steering Group, 1990-1996, 2) Records of the Senior Editors, 1996-2012, 3) Records of the Resources Coordinators, 2003-2010.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

Records of Senior Editors

The role of Senior Editor was created in 2002 as part of Resource Coordination. Rebekah Chevalier held the position from 2002 until 2015. The Senior Editor was the manager of the resource coordinators. They were responsible for overseeing the processes involved in resource coordination, namely, editing, proofreading, and reviewing graphic layouts.

Subseries contains the records of Rebekah Chevalier pertaining to her work on coordinating mission resources via the Mission Theme Task Group 1996-2012.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

Communications Documents

Subseries contains communication documents produced by the Division 1969-2016. Documents include Communiques/News Releases/Press Releases; Clippings; Daily Blues; General Council Communications; Press re Residential Schools; and Profiles.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

Records relating to Communication Education

Communication education had been an activity of several of the Departments in the Board of Information and Stewardship, including Press and Information, Broadcasting and Audio-Visual. These Departments continued their activity in the new Division of Communication. In the 1960s and 1970s Rev. Robert Reid took on the work of communication education and was responsible for increasing the churches understanding and familiarity with different media of communication through seminars, workshops, bursaries, scholarships, seminary courses and professional consultations. Reid worked closely with Helen Currie to bolster communication education concerning audio visual materials. However in 1971 Reid was removed from the audio visual focus and was tasked to oversee communication education concerning all types of media. In 1973 Communication Education was placed under the purview of Media Services and offered advance courses in theological schools, and workshops at conference and presbyteries levels typically involving other denominations. When the 1973 transition happened, Keith Woollard, former Director of Broadcasting, concentrated his energies on a new Communication Education Staff Group and on regional relationships. The Communication Education Staff Group assigned the responsibility of giving leadership on Communication Education within the Division and in relation to conferences. The group was devoted to aiding United Church ministers and workers in utilizing all manner of communications (print, audio, visual) to more effectively make their message heard. In 1975 Division of Communication authorized the formation of a Communication Education Task Force to develop a strategy for communication education within the United Church. The staff group was assigned to follow through with the Task Group’s strategy, to follow through with involvement in community cable projects and absorb the responsibilities of the Media Outreach Task Force originally established to encourage and assist the Maritime Conference and the Saskatoon Presbytery to design informational-motivational campaigns. The same task group also communed with local congregations, presbyteries etc. to create a guidebook for media outreach.

Series contains six subseries: 1) Administrative Records, 1968-1982, 2) Records relating to Communication Education Events, 1968-1980, 3) Records of the Communication Education Committee, 1985-1996, 4) Records of the Probe Communications Seminars, 1975-1989, 5) Records of Television Awareness Training and TV Scope Programmes, 1976-1981, 6) Records of Evangelism/Communication Program, 1983.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

Records of CEMS Executive

Subseries contains records of the Executive including minutes of annual, executive and staff meetings, correspondence, correspondence of the responsible Associate Secretary, Robert Plant, and annual reports 1971-1997.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

Records related to Media Plan I

Media Plan I was established out of Mediamix through Bruce Marsh. Marsh prompted the Division to design a new approach to reach United Church members through TV spots in primetime programming with the purpose of informing United Church members about the message and work of the Church in order to foster financial involvement. In that process members of the general public would be informed and develop an appreciation of the Church and its projects to prompt a positive response. Media Plan I was the name given to the pilot educational campaigns in Barrie, Peterborough and Ottawa in early 1974. The report on this project indicated that TV spots reached a broad United Church audience with strong acceptance but the radio spots followed at a distance when reaching members. However while using guest personalities on radio reached fewer people those listening were impacted.

Subseries contains correspondence, reports, promotional material, financial records and press re Media Plan I 1973-1974.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

Records of the Directors

Subseries contains the records of Keith Woollard who served as the Associate Secretary responsible for the Department of Broadcasting during its existence, and the records of Des McCalmont who served as media staff. Subseries contains project files, scripts and correspondence 1942-1978.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

Records of the Still Pictures Unit

Still pictures were originally the responsibility of the Audio-Visual Department within the Board of Information and Stewardship (created 1954). The programme was continued by the Division of Communication's Audio Visual Department prior to 1973 and then by the Department of Media Services/Media Resources Still Picture Unit. The Unit, housed at Berkeley Studios, was involved in the collection and production of photographs, slides, and film strips. Like most of the other units in Media Resources, Still Pictures existed largely to serve the needs of other Divisions as well as Conferences and Pastoral Charges, maintaining a library of materials. These filmstrips produced were created for educational purposes on behalf of departments and divisions of the Church, especially the Division of Mission in Canada, and the Division of World Outreach, and their antecedent bodies. They were also used for fund-raising awareness within the church.

Subseries consists of the following files: administrations, correspondence, photo collections, production lists, general production files, film strips and slides production files, presentation slides/slide set production files, caption material and filmstrip kits and production files.

United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

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