Regarding announcements, here is one alternative idea. In our congregation we have always used a written program/handout at services to "make announcements," which avoids the not-uncommon "ritual" of the Rabbi or the president spending several minutes at the end of the service reciting upcoming Temple events, a ritual which has some benefits but which also can disrupt the flow of the service and change the feeling or spiritual level which might have been attained up until that point. This is not to say that our Rabbi never announces events from the bimah at the conclusion of services, but when he does, it is always very brief and we know that the events announced are very important and that we should pay special heed.
George 875 members
The order of our service is Aleinu, Kaddish, Kiddush, announcements, sermon, and closing hymn.
The announcements are offered by an officer or other board member who is a guest on the bimah. The remarks are: Shabbat greetings and welcoming of guests, congratulations to honorees, announcement of perhaps one or two upcoming events that deserve special emphasis, and reference to the worship bulletin.
Moving Kiddush to the end of the service enables the congregation, after acknowledging the reality of death with Kaddish, to reaffirm life. The ensuing announcements thus follow an upbeat element of the service. The liturgy has already come to its conclusion; only the sermon and final anthem remain. This has worked satisfactorily for the past 30 years.
Harvey 2000 members
We do announcements right after I say "Welcome and Shabbat shalom!" when I first step up to the lectern at the beginning of the service. A board member comes up to the bimah and reads the announcements, and then we do the opening song. That way, the announcements don't affect the flow of the service.
On High Holy Days, however, we do the announcements after the Kaddish in the evening and just before the end of the service in the morning. On Yom Kippur afternoon, announcements are read after the afternoon service and just before the Yizkor service, while we distribute our memorial book to the congregation. We had also done a printed program on some High Holy Days in the past, and then gone back to the reading from the bimah only.
Larry 120 Members
At our congregation, "announcements" are generally made after the sermon but occasionally the order of the service changes (e.g., sermon is the last and announcements before). However, we attempt NOT to [repeat] what is already listed on the program distributed as people walk in unless one or two are extremely important. Rather, a board member or past president stands to welcome everyone and wish them a Shabbat shalom and congratulates honorees (eg. b?nei mitzvah families, etc.).
David 1200 members
Our routine for Erev Shabbat services is as follows: The rabbi delivers a sermon, the cantor sings -- usually something connected to the topic of the rabbi's sermon, then the rabbi introduces the president of the congregation (or whoever is sitting on the bimah that evening -- usually a member of our executive board) for greetings and announcements.
The announcements include upcoming events in the congregation and the community. Clergy or a committee chair in the congregation may add some detail if necessary. We then continue the service with Aleinu, etc
Our ushers distribute an "announcements" flyer (one page, folded in half) that has the announcements on the front, Torah portion to be read that evening and yahrzeit inside, and "standards of behavior" on the back as people come into the sanctuary.
Our minyan service includes announcements whenever anyone has something to say -- it's very informal.