Starting a new year causes people to attempt new projects and engage in general self-improvement endeavors. That must be why National Clean Off Your Desk Day, New Years Resolution Week and Family Fit Lifestyle Month all fall in January.
At this point you are far enough into 2009 to either fret about resolutions you have made or regret resolutions you didn’t get around to making. Some possibilities you my need to consider:
Update your television. If you do not have a digital-ready television (DTV) and don’t receive your programming through satellite or cable services, you need to be ready for the switchover to DTV on February 17 by obtaining a converter box.
If you are not sure whether you need to purchase a converter box, the FCC (dtv.gov or 888-225-5322) and National Association of Broadcasters (dtvanswers.com) have Web sites to explain and guide consumers.
The government (dtv2009.gov) has been issuing discount coupons for several months. With 18 million coupons already redeemed — and 13 million expired — you will now need to get on a waiting list and will not be able to get a coupon by the switchover date.
Update your church (maybe). In a separate move, the FCC last November approved the use of “white spaces” for wireless consumer broadband devices, which can theoretically go on sale starting Feb. 18. Though these devices are not on the market yet, and won’t be for the foreseeable future, there is concern from preliminary testing that these devices can interfere with church wireless systems in the 700 MHz range.
Keep up to date: Read the Kentucky Baptist Western Recorder’s article (snipurl.com/WR-white) or “White spaces move into the next phase” in eMedia (snipurl.com/emedia-white) for more information about white spaces and how the concerns are being addressed by manufacturers.
Update your biblical literacy. How well do you know scripture? Find audio Bibles and other tools at BibleGateway.com/resources and five one-year reading plans in a number of languages at Bibleyear.com, or receive passages by e-mail from bibleinayear.org.
Update your schedule. When you replace last year’s calendar, do you keep track of birthdays and anniversaries? E-mail programs such as Outlook include a calendar, which can be used to enter events and schedule reminders. Google Calendar (google.com/calendar) is a free service allowing calendar sharing and mobile phone notifications. Facebook also provides a weekly birthday notification service by changing your notifications under Settings.
If you have a friend with an illness or extended hospital stay, consider helping them use a free service such as CarePages.com or CaringBridge.org. These keep others notified and allow them to send encouragement.
Update your church’s schedule. Look ahead on the church calendar to see if there are any staff anniversaries, milestones or major events this year requiring extra planning. Utilize a flowchart to help things move smoothly.
If your church is celebrating an anniversary, contact archivist Angela Stiffler (stiﬄera@william.jewell.edu or 816-415-7620) at the Partee Center for Historical Studies for a free planning kit and other helps. Publicize church news or ministry stories throughout the year. Contact Jennifer Harris (firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-635-5939 ext. 205) at Word&Way with your news.
The year ahead is a blank slate. Fill it with opportunities to make it a memorable one!
Ken Satterfield was formerly a media specialist and is currently Word&Way’s Advertising/Marketing Coordinator.