New iCalendar integration

Posted on February 11, 2020 by Jonathan Reinink

If you've ever wanted to add your Church Social calendar to your Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, or Outlook, you now can! We just added a new iCalendar integration to the app. This works with any application that supports the iCalendar format.

We've added two new iCalendar subscription feeds: one for the public church calendar, and another for each member's private calendar. Let's look at each.

Public church calendar feed

Your public church calendar, which is currently available via our API and WordPress plugin, is now also available as an iCalendar subscription feed. This feed is only available to administrators on the calendar settings page, and is intended as an alternative method of adding your public calendar to your website. Note, this feed only includes events that have been marked as "Visible to anyone".

Screenshot of the calendar settings page

Private member calendar feed

The second calendar feed we've added is a little more interesting. This calendar feed is unique to each member, and includes public events, private events, and schedule reminders. Members can find their subscription URL on the calendar page, under the "More" button, and then choosing the "Subscribe to calendar" option.

Screenshot of the subscribe to calendar dialog

Since the iCalendar format doesn't support authentication, we've used "secret URLs" for this feature. This means each member's calendar URL is unique to them, and signed with an HTTP signature, meaning it cannot be modified. However, the URL is still publicly accessible, which is why it's important that members never share their private calendar URL with others. This is also why we've chosen to not include birthdays or anniversaries in this feed.

Event ending times

You may have noticed that we also added event ending times to the calendar last week. The iCalendar integration was the motivating driver behind that change. Having ending times makes the calendar week view make more sense. Any events that have a start time but no end time will be one hour long. Events without a start or end time are treated as "all day" events.

Screenshot of the end time option on the create event page

We hope this feature makes your Church Social calendar even more useful!