Series 7 - Records relating to Communication Education

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Records relating to Communication Education

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  • Textual record

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CA ON00340 F515-7

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  • 1968-1997 (Creation)
    United Church of Canada. Division of Communication.

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ca. 1.46 m of textual material

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Administrative history

The Division of Communication was formed in 1968 resulting from studies, consultations and debates cumulating in the amalgamation of the former Board of Information and Stewardship and the former Board of Publication. The original mission was to promote the Christian gospel as well as the work and life of the Church to church members and the public utilizing contemporary media. As a result of General Council restructuring, the Division became the Resource Production and Distribution Unit in 2002. The Unit had a similar mandate to its predecessor: to support General Council Office presentation of the United Church to the public through appropriate media; respond to the needs of congregations and partners for resources of various media; and provide effective distribution. However under this new division, aspects of work moved to the General Council Support and Services Unit: Staff members from the area of information services and media relations moved there and General Council Ministers had the responsibility for development of an overall communication strategy for the church. The remainder of the Division moved to six interconnecting parts: United Church resource distribution, Berkeley and UCTV, Resource Coordination, Graphics and Print, Marketing, Wed Design and Production. In 2010 the Unit was renamed Communications and like the Division’s mission in the past, it is responsible for supporting the General Council Office and the denomination by presenting the public face of The United Church of Canada through a variety of media and services. From a more modern perspective the unit helps to foster congregational life, personal spiritual formation, and effective administration of the church through social media, web services, public and media relations, statistics management, and the production and distribution of print and multimedia resources.

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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.

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