The President's Letter
As I look out my window this morning, I see all the signs of spring, a new beginning. For gardeners, it is the time of planting. Soon it will be the time of tending and watering those plants, and then before we know it, the time of harvest. In Ecclesiastes 3 we read the following:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
Each of us is in a different place this morning. Some are in mourning for the loss of a loved one. Some have the joy of seeing new birth. Some are just graduating from university, eager for that sense of new beginning that comes with starting a career; some are making that first step into retirement. But each of us has this in common: we serve a risen Savior who took those stripes on His back for our healing, then died on a cross that we might be saved. He continues to hold this world together and once again brings us a glorious spring, that we might see His majesty in new beginnings . . . and have our hope renewed.
Let us rejoice together as we enter this new season with our spring weekends. Be purposeful to sponsor that one person God has revealed to you, that He is calling to a closer walk with Him!
Business for Your Secretariat
If You've not Already Done So, Put this Item on Your Agenda
Your community president recently received two email packages from Valerie Mehl, Vice President of Administration for the International Secretariat. The first package presents the slate of nominees for officers and board members running for positions on the International Secretariat, as well as two proxy issues: approval of the annual budget and a bylaw change to reduce the size of the International Secretariat from 27 to 23 members. The package includes short biographies of the individuals running for office as well explanations of the two proxy issues.
Valerie will need your votes by July 3, via fax, email, or postal mail. If you have questions, get in touch with Valerie at 845-594-9616 or emailAdminVP@tresdias.org.
The second package contains the delegate forms for the Annual Assembly. By filling out these forms, you are authorizing one or more delegates to speak for your community and cast a vote at the 2015 Assembly, should the need arise for a "floor vote." The head delegate will be responsible to caucus any other delegates from your community (in case your community has more than one delegate present) to determine how the distribution of votes will be cast. Back to top
Telling Pastors what Tres Dias is all About
A Special Request to Spiritual Directors in Your Community
Tres Dias is a lay-led organization, but members of the clergy often become our best ambassadors and spokespersons. In the story "The Advancing Kingdom and Tres Dias," published in our last issue, the Rev. Christopher Leighton told about how the dynamics in a small, close-minded congregation changed after he convinced the members to attend weekends. It was there, he wrote, that they experienced "authentic Christianity" for the first time.
Quite likely, there are thousands of congregations in America that stand in need of the kind of revival described in the story. Despite the widespread success of Tres Dias and other organizations in the fourth-day movement, we often hear of pastors who are not well informed about Tres Dias. Others express resistance to Tres Dias because of distorted information or fear that the teachings will contradict denominational doctrines.
The attached questionnaire is special call for help from spiritual directors in Tres Dias communities, Please distribute this issue of the newsletter to the spiritual directors in your community and ask them to contribute.
Dear Spiritual Director:
We're asking for your help in making other pastors aware of Tres Dias. The questions on the attached questionnaire are straightforward. We're asking about how you heard about Tres Dias, what reservations you had about attending a weekend, what you experienced on their your weekend, and how it has changed your life and the spiritual life of your congregation.
Your responses will be edited for future publication in this newsletter and elsewhere. We will not use your name in any of our publications if you do not give us permission to do so.
Thank you for all that you do for Tres Dias.
Don Bohl, Editor Link to Questionnaire
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A Best Practices Article
Perhaps the time has come to give up on traditional print-and-mail newsletters. Electronic media offer a less expensive and more efficient means for keeping community members informed. In response to a request published in a recent edition of this newsletter, Stephanie Oppenheimer of South East Tennessee Tres Dias described how her community keeps everyone up to date. The practices are worth passing on for other communities to follow.
To publish the monthly newsletter, titled Pescadores Praise, Stephanie assigns articles from a standard format: a column by the community chairman, a devotion by a spiritual director, an article on sponsorship, a fourth-day story from a pescador, a spotlight on a member of the secretariat, testimonials from reunion groups, and news about service projects, as well as standard information about upcoming weekends.
In addition to the newsletter, the community uses two Facebook accounts. One Facebook group is closed and can be viewed only by the 538 members of the group. This account is used to communicate general information, prayer requests and information on palanca and the serenade. The second Facebook gives more general information about Tres Dias and directs viewers to the community website.
Past issues of the newsletter are archived on the community Website.Stephanie has graciously invited readers to browse the newsletter archives (use this link), and she has offered to advise and assist other communities in the development of their newsletters.
Choosing an Email Marketing Service
Most internet service providers (Gmail, Yahoo, MSN/Hotmail, etc.) place limits on the number of recipients for a single message on a given day. This restriction has given a boost to email marketing services such as Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, Vertical Response, and I-Contact. These services not only allow users to send mail to large numbers of readers with the press of a button, but also provide statistical feedback on the number of "opens," along with an array of other benefits, not the least of which is the ability publish an attractive newsletter with interesting graphics.The industry leaders among small businesses and not-for-profits (as well as in Tres Dias communities) are Constant Contact and Mail Chimp.
The few independent comparisons that exist give Mail Chimp a clear heads up when it comes to cost (a "forever free" policy for fewer than 2,000 subscribers), weigh the two services as equal in functionality (templates, editing software, list management, etc.), but place Constant Contact in the lead when it comes to customer support.Our conversations with a handful of communication chairmen in TD communities confirm these findings. Users of Mail Chimp had consistently positive comments about the price and usability and say that customer support is acceptable.
Our own experience with Constant Contact underscores the quality of customer support (a "live" person answers the help-line phone on the first couple of rings), but also confirms that the service can get pricey with the add-ons (image storage, archiving, etc.).We invite your response to this article and the previous article. If you are using a different email marketing service, please share your experience. Tell us what other communication techniques you using and which techniques are proving effective.
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Tres Dias Banner Faces Retirement
The Tres Dias banner radiates an inspiring symbolism. Designed as a series of concentric rectangles around the Tres Dias cross, the banner chronicles the growth and expansion of Tres Dias from the founding communities (their names are listed in the inner frame) to recently chartered communities (names in the outer frames). But Tres Dias has grown to the point that additional stitchery will make the already-hard-to-handle banner even more unwieldy.
Plans call for creating a smaller banner to mimic the center of the current banner, then creating smaller side-banners to show the grown in number of communities, thus keeping the original concept in place. Christa Arrington of the North Florida TD Community will present a mock-up of this concept at the Annual Assembly.
Now is the time to make your plans to attend...
The 36th Annual Assembly--July 10-12, 2015
Now let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24:25
Co-hosted by Abundant Life and Northern Illinois Tres Dias. Registration forms and information about accommodations are posted on our Website: www.tresdias.org.
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|July 10-12, 2015: Assembly & Secretariat||Abundant Life TD & Northern IL TD|
|October 23-25, 2015 Secretariat||Tres Dias of Southeast Tennessee (Chattanooga area)|
|March 4-6, 2016: Secretariat||Tampa Bay TD|
|July 15-17, 2016: Assembly & Secretariat||Mid-Hudson TD, Poughkeepsie-Newburg area, New York |