Important message - WonderCafe to close June 2014

...that's the bad news. The good news is that an independent group of WonderCafe members have banded together to create a successor to WonderCafe....WonderCafe2! Find out more about that here.
There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:
  -Ecclesiastes 3:1
Dear Friends, was launched by The United Church of Canada on November 7, 2006 to great fanfare. At the time, it was one of the only denominationally supported online discussion forums, and certainly one of the most open-minded. In the seven years of its existence, WonderCafe has hosted an almost innumerable number of conversations on “spiritual topics, moral issues, and life’s big questions;” jokes, games, and light-hearted banter went along with virtual prayers and liturgies. We have shared relationships, developed “real-life” friendships, and built true community. These seven years we have travelled together, accompanying one another in times of joy and celebration, loss and pain.
Yet, since the launch of WonderCafe in 2006, the digital landscape has undergone dramatic change, especially in the use of mobile technologies and widespread popularity of social media. Dedicated discussion forums like Wondercafe are largely being replaced by social media discussions on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Websites like WonderCafe just aren’t as popular as they once were.
Also, WonderCafe is built on software that, sadly, is nearing the end of its technological lifecycle. (That’s Drupal 6, for you techies.) In the coming year, updates for this software - including critical security patches - will stop being issued, leaving WonderCafe and its users vulnerable to viruses and attacks. Unfortunately, because WonderCafe is a highly customized website, there are significant costs involved in upgrading the software the platform runs on.
Faced with this situation, the United Church has sadly come to the decision that WonderCafe will close at the end of June 2014.
The incredible community of long-term participants on the site will be missed - but we don’t want to lose contact! We invite you to continue to take part in the WonderCafe community in one of these ways:
These social media outlets will continue to share the provocative, out-of-the-ordinary news, issues, and discussions on religion, spirituality, and emerging forms of Christian ministry that you have enjoyed on
There are also a number of social media sites for news and discussion focussed on The United Church of Canada. We invite you to join us on:
Follow @UnitedChurchCda on Twitter.
Check us out on Instagram.
Join us on Google+
Join the Church Leadership Network for United Church ordered and lay leaders.
Join the discussion about the future of The United Church of Canada on
As one of the original “admin” for WonderCafe, I want to share how much I will miss our community here. I will always consider my time spent walking with and alongside the visitors to WonderCafe as a significant time in my life - indeed, it was an honour to join you on this journey. I am very grateful to you all for the contributions, commitment, honesty, grace, and wisdom you shared on this site. WonderCafe truly was created by you and you were the ones who made it as successful as it has been over the years. I am also thankful for all the connections and relationships I personally have made through our time at WonderCafe.
It’s a time of mixed feelings for me. I feel sorrow about the impeding end of - a site I’ve been deeply committed to from the start - but I also understand the technological shortcomings of the current software platform and see the benefits of moving on to an advanced environment that is better able to serve the needs of the users.
WonderCafe microsite admins will receive a separate letter outlining the timeline for the closing of the church microsites and listing a few alternatives you can use to maintain your church’s web presence. 
Thanks again, from the bottom of my heart. And please stay connected through one of the sites listed above.
Aaron McCarroll Gallegos for WonderCafe