By Cindy R. Williams
On Saturday, September 21, the largest Church Technology Seminar ever held in Arizona was hosted at the Gilbert Arizona Greenfield Stake Center.
Stake Technology Specialist, Mike Fish, organized the seminar to teach members how to use Church applications on their computers and phones, including how to schedule ward and stake buildings.
Approximately100 members attended from various stakes around the valley.
Training in the use of the LDS.org calendar, along with familyseasrch.org was included in the instructional seminar.
Elder Dan Eliason, LDSTech service missionary, from Utah, says, “The Church recognized that technology is advancing faster than the regular budget can cope and also that there is a wealth of technical talent within our ranks of the membership.”
“They created LDSTech as a means to augment the Church employee labor force and also provide opportunities for members to serve in a specialized capacity,” he said. “Both Church service missionaries and ‘non-called’ volunteers provide significant contributions to some areas, such as beta testing and member training on the new apps.
Elder Eliason added, “LDSTech is also beginning to have a role supporting the Meeting House Technology Coordination Team that has primary responsibility for supporting Stake Technology Specialists.”
He said the idea of forming chapters, or local groups of interested volunteers, is a concept recognized by the Information and Communications Services (ICS) department, under the direction of the Presiding Bishop’s office.
ICS representatives, Paul Scherbel, Meetinghouse Technology Coordinator, and Anna Butler, Field Management, flew from Utah to Arizona to assist with the seminar.
The seminar was organized by Mike Fish, Technology Specialist for the Gilbert Arizona Greenfield Stake. Brother Fish also serves as president of the Phoenix chapter.
“Everyone now schedules the building themselves through LDS.org calendaring. I receive many phone calls and recognize there is a great need for training. My passion is technology. I like to share it. It thrills me to see others able to do some cool stuff on their own,” Mike says.
Included in that “cool” stuff taught at the seminar was:
- How to use LDS.org Church website tools to assist leaders with their callings and access to Church tools (MLS).
- How to download, install and use two official LDS mobile aps (LDS Tools and Gospel Library).
- How to implement the new Church digital missionary pilot program using social media, such as Facebook and others.
- How to use new features of the Family Tree on familysearch.org.
- Use of the buildings technical resources (TV projectors, connecting personal devices, etc.)
- Hands-on demonstrations of various equipment used to broadcast stake conferences.
According to the seminar organizers, learning how to use Church applications is for everyone. Virginia Fish, 86, and great grandmother of 37, agrees. She says, “I show others in Relief Society how to access the lesson on their phones. I don’t want to let the kids get ahead of me.”
More technology training seminars are projected for the near future. For more information, contact your Stake Technology Specialist or Mike Fish at 602-824-8564.