Communicating with other countries across the world has become a lot easier in recent years. The internet and smart phones have made sure that we can contact anyone, anywhere at the touch of a button. With video calls, messaging apps and social media platforms, we can now communicate with a lot of people all at the same time. But communication still remains one of the biggest issues we come across when discussing problems with Twinnings.
We have put together a list of Communication FAQ's to help keep your twinning talking and progressing forward.
We keep sending emails/letters and we are not getting any response, it is disheartening.
Although it is disheartening, please do keep trying to make contact. If you are still not able to make contact, please contact the Twinning Development Officer within World Mission Council and we can make contact to see if there are any issues through our partners.
We would like to have a shared service but the time difference makes it difficult.
Time differences often pose a problem with phone calls and skyping for shared services. One suggestion would be to call your Twinning partner one week from your service and have a small group of them on the other end, perhaps their twinning committee, take part in a section of your service and you could call into their service the following week. It's not ideal but it does mean that you will both be a part of each other's services, even if for a short while.
You could also ask your twinning team to write a prayer or a letter that you could read as part of your service.
We would like to have a skype call, but we have no internet in the Church.
Internet access can be limiting, both in Scotland and other countries around the world. Instead of having a Skype call in the Church, you could call group to group within your church at different times. For example, the youth in each Church could call each other from somewhere with internet access.
How do we set up a Facebook group?
Facebook groups are a great way to ask questions and share pictures and stories with selected people. By having a group, members can ask questions for input from othersrather than a page administrator posting for others to comment on. When setting up your group, you will need to pick from one of the following 3 group options:
Public – Anyone can see the groups, its members and their posts
Closed – Anyone can find the Group and see its members. Only Members can see the posts
Secret – Only members can find the group and see its posts
You will then need a name for your Group and you will be able to add members from your friends lists. Once you have added members, they can then invite others to join the group.
We have lost contact with our Twinning since their Minister has left.
If you have lost contact or communication has stopped, please get in contact with the Twinning Development Officer within World Mission Council. They can make some enquiries on your behalf and obtain the contact information for someone within the congregation.
We would always recommend that each congregation/presbytery has a twinning committee. By having more than one person as your contact in the Twinning, you are less likely to lose communication should the minister leave the parish. You could also have mini twinnings within your congregations, for example twin your Guilds or youth in your Church. Again this will help with keeping contact with a number of people within the congregations.
It is our Minister that has been the driving force within our congregation and they have now left which means that we are not sure where we are with our Twinning.
If you are suddenly find yourself with a Twinning that you are not quite sure what to do with, don't panic. Get in touch with the Twinning Development Officer who will, where possible, make arrangements to come out and speak to you and your twinning group. They will explain everything you need to know, let you know where your Twinning is and help you to make arrangements to keep your Twinning progressing.
We were in the initial stages of twinning but are now in vacancy, we have decided to stop communication on Twinning for the time being.
There is no reason why you can't continue with starting your twinning while you are in vacancy. In fact, churches who are in vacancy can start to think about twinning before a new minister is appointed. A twinning is for the whole congregation not just for the Minister, so if your congregation wants to continue to look into Twinning there is no reason why you can't continue with the process. Please get in touch with the Twinning Development Officer who would happily chat through the process with your Kirk Session or World Mission group.
What is the most economical way to phone our twinning partner?
You can purchase international calling cards that are preloaded with credit and give you a better calling rate for calling abroad. If both you and your twinning partner have access to wifi, you can also call using What's App.
Are letters now obsolete?
No. Receiving a letter is a lovely way to keep in touch with your Twinning, it can help to make the relationship seem more real. Especially sending Christmas or Easter greetings in a letter.
Texting is quick, but it is expensive to text another country, is there another method of instant messaging we can use?
There are lots of internet based apps that you can use for instant messaging. The most common would be What's App, this allows you to send messages, videos and photos and all you would need is a smart phone and internet access.