This new phone with sidecar belongs to Teresa Hutcheson, the person who answers the most calls around here.


December 13, 2018

Sue George

Director of Communications & Technology 


I have two exciting announcements to share with you on behalf of the Communications & Technology Committee (CTC):

#1: New Phones

A year and a half ago, the CTC began the search for a new telephone system for Derry Church. We knew we were past due: no one could remember when the last system was installed (we guess 20+ years ago). We can no longer get handsets that are compatible, and we’ve had trouble with dropped and disconnected calls. We’ve said more than a few prayers that the old system would not fail before something new could be installed.

In June 2016 we began meeting with vendors and we learned pretty quickly that office phones today are more like computers than traditional phones. As we dug deeper, we realized we needed to address security concerns and include an all-church paging system, with calling and paging capabilities in every classroom and places like the Hammond Library where no phone existed before. We revised our original specs and went out again to seek new proposals. We learned more than we wanted to about sip trunks and pots lines. After reference checks and extensive contract review, Session approved our proposal in August and in late September work began on the project.

This week installation is wrapping up, and staff training happens today. Please be patient with us as we learn the new system in the midst of one of our busiest seasons of the year!

#2: Volunteer Portal

I bet you’ve thought to yourself,  “I sure wish there was an easier way to sign up for all the church jobs I’d like to do! I’d like to usher/be a lay reader/be a greeter/host post-worship fellowship but I don’t know who to call or how to sign up!”

I’m pleased to introduce you to Derry’s new 2019 Volunteer Portal. Go there to sign up for many of the tasks that need doing on Sunday morning, from parking lot attendant to serving communion to delivering flowers. Tabs along the bottom show various categories. Click on the tab, then enter your name and email in the slot where you’d like to serve. If you need to make a change, go back to the portal and move your name to a different slot.

One of the tasks now available to all is the job formerly known as “elder in the box.” That’s the person who stands at the information center in the narthex on Sunday mornings. For the month of January, one of our CTC members will be stationed there with a computer to help anyone learn to use the new portal. After January, the computer will still be there, or use your own computer or smart phone to let us know all the ways you’d like to serve at church. The link to the portal is available on the home page of the church website and at the very top of our weekly eNewsletters.

We’ve debated in committee meetings and around the staff lunch table how effective this portal will be. Will people go right to it, glad for an easy way to sign up? Or, will it be as it is right now, a spreadsheet filled with rows and rows of empty white boxes? I invite you to prove some of us wrong and some of us right by signing up right now.