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TechShop adds new computer products for church

9/3/2003 News media contact: Kathy Gilbert · (615) 742-5470 · Nashville, Tenn.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - New additions to United Methodist Communications' online computer store are bringing TechShop closer to being a one-stop technology solution for the denomination.

With the additions of Adobe, Macromedia and MediaShout products, TechShop is moving beyond being known only as a "Microsoft store for the United Methodist Church," said Sean McAtee, TechShop director.

Since its launch two years ago, UMCom's online computer store has saved the denomination more than $8 million in Microsoft software alone, McAtee said.

UMCom introduced TechShop, a 24-hour-a-day online store, as a service to enable United Methodist churches and organizations to buy computer technology at below-retail prices. The biggest share of the savings has come through sales of Microsoft products, the store's flagship product line, McAtee said. In most cases, those products are offered for 50 percent or less of retail cost.

The communications agency is working on securing new contracts with computer vendors that will provide discounted desktop systems, laptops, personal digital assistants, server solutions, storage, printers and networking solutions to United Methodist organizations. Two vendors will be selected from candidates such as Dell, IBM and Hewlett-Packard/Compaq.

"Hopefully, TechShop will be able to include lay members as qualified buyers under this program," McAtee said.

The United Methodist Book of Discipline charges UMCom with developing, implementing and maintaining the denomination's "presence on and use of the Internet, the World Wide Web, or other computer services that can connect United Methodist conferences, agencies and local churches with one another and with the larger world."

With the new product lines, customers can buy Adobe Systems Inc. products, which are used by graphic and media professionals all over the world.

"The Adobe software line includes several applications well suited for page design and layout, making church bulletins, brochures, handouts and calendars both clean and professional," McAtee said.

Adobe products are offered through TechShop at a discount ranging from 20 to 40 percent off retail price. Version upgrade licenses are also available at a discount.

Macromedia provides software solutions for Web development. TechShop carries the full line of Macromedia products, including Web server solutions, development tools, Web application tools and Web graphic tools. TechShop will offer a 70 to 80 percent discount on all Macromedia products.

MediaShout is a media presentation software package designed for church worship services.

"If you are thinking about or currently using overhead projection during your worship service, this is definitely the best software for the job," McAtee said. "It is designed to work with Microsoft PowerPoint, providing instant audio, video, lyric and image integration into any worship service.

TechShop offers MediaShout to any United Methodist organization or member at a 40 percent discount off retail.

More information about TechShop is available by writing to techshop@umcom.org, calling toll-free (888) 346-3862 or visiting https://secure.umcom.org/techshop.

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