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Help Topic: Sermoms

The sermon section of the community can be used to read other members' sermons, and to create a sermon yourself. To access it, click the "sermons" tab at the top of any page.

sermon Home Page
When you first go into the sermons, you will see a list of sermons. Important sermons and your favorite sermons will be shown at the top, followed by all other sermons. You may also see a featured sermon entry above the list.

sermons may be local sermons, meaning that they are stored within the community, or they may be external sermons, which are links to sermons not stored within the community.

sermon List
For local sermons, you will see the title of the most recent entry along with a short excerpt from it, and details of the sermon such as the title of the sermon, to whom it belongs and the total number of comments, entries and views the sermon has had. For external sermons, you will just see the title of the sermon, to whom it belongs and the total number of views. To view any sermon, you can click on the title of the sermon. For hosted sermons, you may also click on the title of the most recent entry.

Changing the View
There are two ways the sermons can be displayed. You can change the display using the icons at the top of the sermon list:
- The default layout, showing sermons in a list view.
- A table view, which is similar to how topics are shown on the forums.

Following a sermon
You are able to follow a sermon and subscribe to be notified of updates to it by clicking on the follow sermon button.
Below the sermon list, you can see statistics of the sermons, such as who is currently reading the sermons, the total number of sermons, the newest sermon, etc.

There are also links to see the top 10 viewed sermons, top 10 commented sermons, and 10 sermons with the most entries.

Viewing sermons
This only applies to local sermons. For external sermons, you will be taken to the sermon when clicking on the sermon name.

Entry List
In the center of the sermon page, you will see a list of recent entries. You will see the title of the entry, who posted it and when, the entry itself and how many comments and trackbacks it has had.

You can click the entry title to see the full entry, along with trackbacks and comments, or press "comments" or "trackbacks" to be taken straight to those areas.

You may be able to rate a sermon by selecting one of the stars at the top of the sermon. After rating, you may be able to change your rating by selecting a different star. In some cases, the stars may not be shown or you may not be able to click on them.

Content Blocks
In the left or right columns of the sermon, you will see blocks containing various content. Which blocks are shown and their positions will vary based on the sermon owner's configuration. The most common content blocks are:
  • Mini Calendar - This will show a small calendar, highlighting days for which entries are available.
  • Last entries - This will show a list of the most recent entries to the sermon. You can click on any entry title to be taken to it.
  • My sermon Links - This contains useful links, including:
    • Track this sermon - Clicking this link will add the sermon to your tracked sermons which you can view and manage in your settings panel.
    • Add sermon to favorites - Clicking this link will add the sermon to your list of favorite sermons
    • Syndicate my sermon (RSS) - Clicking this link will take you to an RSS feed of the sermon which you can subscribe to using an RSS program.
    • Archive - Clicking this link will take you to an archive of all entries to the sermon.
  • Last Comments - This will show who most recently commented on the sermon and which entry was commented on. You can click on the entry title to be taken to it.
  • My Picture - This will show the profile picture of the sermon owner.
  • Active Users - This shows how many and which users are viewing the sermon.
  • Categories - This shows the different sermon entry categories. You can click on any category to see a list of entries in that category.
  • Search My sermon - You can use this to search all entries in the sermon. Simply enter your keywords into the box and press "Go".

You can share sermon stories with sites such as Twitter or Facebook, or share them via Email, by using the "Share" buttons found below each entry.

To email an entry to a friend, press the icon then follow the on-screen instructions.

When viewing an entry you may see any trackbacks stored for the entry, if the sermon has trackbacks enabled. You can access the trackback URL by pressing the "Trackback URL" link.

At the bottom of an entry's page, you will see any existing comments on the entry. Below the comments will be a textbox you can use to leave your own comment.

Creating and Managing Your sermon

Creating a sermon
You may be able to create your own sermon within the community. To do so, visit the "sermons" tab in your settings panel. Under "Your sermon Settings" you will see your current sermon if you have one. If you can create a sermon, you will also see a section titled "Create a sermon" - you must read and accept the terms by checking the box, and pressing Next >.

You can then give your sermon a name and description and choose if it will be a local or external sermon. When you are ready, press Finish.

You will now be taken back to the "Your sermon Settings". Make sure if you are setting up an external sermon that you now go into your sermon settings and enter your sermon URL.

You may be able to create more than one sermon, and you may not have all settings mentioned above available to you.

Your sermon Settings
From the "Your sermon Settings" area of your settings panel, you can click on your sermon name to manage its settings, including:
  • Your sermon - This is general settings for your sermon such as the name, description and whether it is local or external. You may also be able to change the view permissions. "Public" means all members that can see the sermons can see your sermon, "Private Club" means that only members you allow can see your sermon, and "Private" means only you can see your sermon. Some of these options may not be available.
  • Your local sermon settings - If you have a local sermon, you can configure here various settings such as guest access, comments and trackbacks.
  • RSS Settings - You may be able to disable RSS, or enable an alternate RSS service here.
  • Customize the look of your sermon - You may be able to change the way your sermon is displayed here such as the style it uses, and the number of entries shown per page.
  • Private Club - If your sermon is in "Private Club" mode, you can enter who has access to your sermon here.
  • Editors - You may be able to assign additional people permission to add entries to your sermon. Enter the names of members who should have this permission here.
  • Your external sermon settings - If you have an external sermon, you can enter the URL to it here.

Adding Entries
To add an entry, you can either click "Post new entry" beside your sermon from "Your sermon Settings", or press the " Add Entry" button from your sermon.

You will need to enter a title for your entry. You can enter "tags" for your entry, which can be used to separate entries into categories if you frequently sermon about multiple subjects.

You may be able to choose the date that the entry is posted on, and if you have more than one sermon, you can choose the sermon it should be saved to.

You may be able to add a poll to your entry just like you would on the forums.

You should the type your entry like any message. You may be able to add attachments to your entry.

At the very bottom of the page you can choose to submit your entry as a "Draft", meaning it will not be published right away, or, as "Published", which will mean it is immediately available for others to view.

When you are ready, press Post New Entry.

Changing Your sermon Theme
You may be able to change your sermon's theme to a different style by pressing the " Change Theme" button from your sermon. This will bring up a pop-up displaying the styles you can choose from. Click on a style to change your sermon.

You may be able to create your own theme by pressing the " Create a custom theme" option. This will bring up a box that will allow you to change the theme of your sermon by entering custom CSS code, or using the color picker. Once you have saved your theme, it may have to be approved by an administrator before it becomes active.

Content Blocks
You can add content blocks by pressing the " Add Blocks" button from your sermon.

The functions of the default blocks are explained earlier in this help file, or you may be able to add your own blocks by pressing the " Add Custom Content Block" option. There may be additional content block options available.

You can move your content blocks by clicking and holding on the title bar and then moving them to the new location, which can be in the left or right columns.

To remove a content block, press the icon.

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