There was an article on the Australian IT: Religious Calling. "A PROJECT by the Catholic Church to pool its telecommunications spending has flared into an ecumenical powerhouse - using the muscle of its multi-billion annual spend to stitch-up deals with a range of suppliers." It talks about Catholic churches set up entities to deal with companies like Telstra and AGL to receive discounted service. It is like an obvious move since a not-for-profit organisation like Christian/Catholic church still spend a lot of money on these services in a year. Especially the phone bills - we can make hundreds of phone calls one night just to chase up regulars, new comers and all the contacts we have. The Catholic churches are now receiving 25% off in their local call charges through Telstra, and the Anglicans will be on this deal next year (2003). I hope St. Matthias is also negotiating its own deals and discounts, as I feared the administrations might not be in its most efficient state.
Take Internet access for example, if I have recalled correctly, the church office is running the Pacific Internet's Business ADSL @ 1500/256kbps, which provides them static IP addresses to host the websites and emails. However, Pacific Internet's Business ADSL service is really over-priced - $149 per month for only 500Mb of download. It is because Business ADSL in Pacific Internet heavily subsidies their Home ADSL users - but why should the church pay for these leechers? There are much better plans out there that can save the church office quite a lot of money every year.
I am just hoping that with the new administration and structure changes next year, we will be using the money God graciously granted us more efficiently. Vivian can write pages on it, if she has time...
Another funny thing about the article is the quote from Father Kelly, from Church Resources a charitable trust with Catholic archbishops as directors. He said that Internet could be the biggest revolution in how the church communicated "since Martin Luther discovered the printing press". I have no doubt about their claim about the Internet. At least they are crediting Martin Luther on his discovery in printing press. I am not sure when will they credit Martin Luther for his re-discovery of reading God's word the proper way. :)