Websites for faith-based communities are very rewarding projects to be a part of. This was one of the projects along with Theory One Design that I collaborated on as the photographer. I will soon be posting another project that I worked on as well! The team behind Theory One Design is known for building communication tools for communities of faith that are functional, sophisticated, reflective of each community’s unique spirit and genuinely welcoming to others. The challenge I had was to spend time with this community and Theory One Design to create an honest set of photographs that accurately portrayed its members, mission, the church as a whole, and the unique details that could tell a welcoming story. The shoots spanned several days where I was able to meet with parishioners and staff, attend member interviews, capture lively music events, and document architectural details of the church itself. Designer Alicia Pritt is one of the most down-to-earth people I have ever worked with and I can see why her design firm is a leader in creating modern, easy-to-navigate websites for faith-based organizations. Her professionalism paired with her warm personality and passion for the project echo throughout each site’s design.
From Theory One Design:
First Church Cambridge
Founded in 1633, First Church in Cambridge, rightfully claims an incomparable legacy of early American history, venerable ministers, progressive ideology and 375 years of faithful service to the community. Aware of its history, the current congregation is also deeply committed to living lives of faith in the modern age marked by radical hospitality and justice advocacy.
We fall in love a little with each of our clients and First Church in Cambridge was no exception. We loved the joyfulness of Sunday morning worship, the exhuberance of the monthly Jazz service and the respite that is the Night Song service. Our interviews also connected us to warm, well-informed members who see themselves as citizens responsible for doing their part to repair the world. We discovered that the people of First Church strive to tangibly live out the message of the Gospels. Our task was to design a site reflective of this in the form of a beautiful invitation to join in.
Under the hood
Behind the photography and custom illustrations, this site provides sermons, music, a comprehensive list of service opportunities, a fully integrated master calendar and news feature, photo galleries and online giving. The site map reflects the community resource that the church building provides by hosting events, rehearsals, concerts and even office space for area non-profit organizations.
Simply put, this site was fun to design. Successful designs are borne out of strong collaborative relationships and the staff and committee at First Church in Cambridge excelled in partnering with us to develop a site completely customized to their needs and visually unique. We also found a treasure trove of inspiration in the architecture and artwork created by church members (don’t miss the enchanting illustrations expertly created by church member, Perry Neubauer).
A Senior Minister at another church has this to say:
“It is a beautiful piece of work. I’ve been all over it. Exploring the site is a bit like exploring a venerable old building. It was fun to poke around and see what was behind this door or that one. It’s a great web site. You’ve definitely got me thinking…”
Copy writing: the staff and Arts & Communications Committee
Copy editors: Nancy Weil and Kate Layzer, members
Photography: Heather Parker Photography
Illustrations: Perry Neubauer, member
Design, programming and project management: Theory One Design
Websites for Faith-Based Communities by Theory One Design