by Lee Jones, Associate Director of IT Catholic Diocese of Richmond DISC Board of Trustee ember
DISC or the Diocesan Information Systems Conference has been around for several years now, 21 to be exact. The organization was formed with the intention of promoting the spiritual growth of the members, providing data processing expertise and professional services to the local and national church, encouraging development of professional relationships among its members, and facilitating the free exchange of ideas and information. DISC welcomes all those involved in the use of technology for the work of the Church at the central office and/or all local levels. We are an organization of many varied backgrounds and levels of expertise. One of the most obvious benefits to an association with DISC is the interaction and free exchange of information within such a diverse group of professional and spiritual people.
Coming from an extremely technical background in the corporate world, it has been a very positive learning experience for me to see the blending of the work of the Church and the role of technology in facilitating that mission. I have seen and experienced this at it’s fullest during the annual DISC conference. Over the last three years I have had the pleasure of attending the conference which has provided me with many tangible and non-tangible benefits. Some of the benefits that DISC provides are:
- Collaboration with colleagues from other (arch)dioceses in North America
- Professional development
- Spiritual growth and development
- Choice of interesting and timely topics from multiple “tracks” at the annual conference
- Opportunity to confer with conference exhibitors, experts in their fields
- Online members’ forum (QuickR), which includes:
- Discussion board for technical, spiritual, moral, or other questions
- Ability to search past discussion threads for interesting content
- Library of forms, policies, and procedures collected from other DISC members
- Information on discount programs that are available to Church organizations and other non-profits
- DISC Newsletter
Although there are many opportunities to benefit from DISC’s conference and discounts, I have enjoyed and benefited most from the interaction with the people of DISC both at the annual conferences and via QuickR, email, and phone conversations. It is sometimes very hard to explain to others how beneficial the personal interaction with other peers at the conference can be. Whether it is in a “track”, a session, a small group, or one on one, I have gained a lot of knowledge and general information from DISC and the membership. But of all the many benefits I have gained from my association with DISC, the friendships that have developed and information exchange that has taken place has topped my list.
If you are not a member of DISC currently, I would strongly encourage you explore the benefits offered through DISC. If you have been a member in the past but for one reason or another, you are no longer a member, check us out now at our website at www.discinfo.org. The organization continues to grow and develop and with the membership, the Board of Trustees and Church, we will continue that growth and development into the coming years.