Trinity Cathedral is a vibrant urban congregation with a charismatic leader and a historic endowment. However, it is located downtown in one of America’s poorest cities. Trinity Commons, the facility the Cathedral shares with the Diocese of Ohio, is a popular meeting place for civic organizations and an essential part of the Cathedral’s ministry, but the Cathedral’s generous endowment and congregational giving are not sufficient to support the financial demands of running a major meeting and conference center. How can an urban congregation develop the resources and public profile that allows it to be true to its dual missions, as faith community and civic resource on a tight budget?
For nearly seven years, Canticle’s Rebecca Wilson has conceived and implemented an ever-evolving communications program that has helped foster a vibrant Christian community, while stimulating investment in Trinity Cathedral as a civic institution and agent of social change in Greater Cleveland. Careful attention to congregational initiatives and priorities; consistent, accessible messaging, multimedia web content, social media networking; and mainstream media outreach has resulted in:
*Dean Tracey Lind being positioned as one of Cleveland’s foremost spiritual leaders and an often-cited local, national and international expert on the role of the faith community in urban renewal and sustainability.
*New support from important local charitable foundations that sustain traditional outreach efforts such as a feeding program and school partnership, and enhance Trinity’s reputation as a convener, and faithful participantvoice in civic debate.
*Increasingly popular multi-media and print communications, including award-winning podcasts, that blend and balance congregational news and ministries, generous Christian spirituality and theology, and civic events and advocacy—all while introducing Trinity’s many new Episcopalians to the wider church.
*Innovative social media, including successful use of Facebook as an event marketing tool to replace paid advertising and Twitter streams to gain added visibility for spiritual and theological programs.