Many of us are familiar with the book and movie Eat, Pray, Love. The journey one woman went through (Eat in Italy, Pray in India, Love in Indonesia) to overcome a divorce. Well, what about the time of year where we follow Fast, Pray, Give? We Fast on Ash Wednesday, and Fridays until Easter, pray to be closer to God, and Give to those who have less, and it all takes place for 40 days of Lent. The Lenten season is only a few weeks away, and we want to make sure that you are ready for Fast, Pray and Give.
We had such a great response to our blog last week that we thought it deserved a second part! Since being back to church means truly connecting with one another in person, we thought the focus should be there – connection. We thrive on human connection and what better way to unite than through your local parish. Here are some of the ideas we have come up with!
It’s that time of the year. Christmas and Epiphany are now over, and when we see snow in the forecast, the Easter season is not in site. So, the question becomes, “how do we put our parishioners back in the pew”? Well, we think we have the answer for this – you must welcome them back and you can do it with your social media accounts. Don’t worry, we’ll show you how!
Merry Christmas from all of us at John Patrick Publishing and Parish Giving. Reflect on the true meaning of Christmas as you share in traditions with your loved ones, “to give up one’s very self – to think only of others – how to bring the greatest happiness to others – that is the true meaning of Christmas.”
It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is this coming Thursday. It is a day in which we reflect upon the past year and see how our lives have grown and changed. We remind ourselves that we should be thankful for the things we have, rather than be upset with ourselves for what we think we are missing. It is also about gratitude – showing our appreciation for what we have. So, this is our blog dedicated being thankful for everything that we have. Hope you enjoy!
Last week I received an email from a travel company that I used pre-COVID. Exploring their different trips put the bug in me to start travelling again. They stated that “human connection is in crisis” and “collective isolation” has kept us apart. Reconnecting is what the doctor has ordered. We are happy that many of our parishes agree. Here are some of the events they wrote to us about after we released our blog last week. We hope you are able to join in the fun!
During the past 18-months your parishioners and you probably became quite creative when it came to weekly offerings. I have heard of giving boxes outside of the parish, people mailing their envelopes in, or some not giving because they didn’t know how. Well, why not instruct your parishioners to use Parish Giving? Each parish has their own giving page, and we can create a QR code for your parishioners to scan and take them there. You can place the QR code on the bulletin, social media sites, parish website, and constant contact emails.
Our partners in crime at John Patrick Publishing created an app for their wonderful church bulletin advertisers. Here you can view the church sponsors that are on your church bulletin and receive sales and incentives by the advertisers. Instruct your parishioners to go to the QR code on the back of their bulletin and download the app that is suitable for their device. Teach them how to locate businesses in their area and to see what is on offer. Your sponsors supported you during a difficult year, so it is time for us to support them.
Facebook is no longer just for college students. Many parishes have social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Snap Chat. You can stream Mass online, and parishioners can comment on what a wonderful experience it was to view if away on vacation. Your parish can also set up a private Facebook group and allow parishioners to join. This way it keeps some of the spammers out.
This time last year QR codes made a huge explosion on the media scene. They were always there sitting quietly in the background, but now they are front and center. Many restaurants are using them for their online menus, while news networks place them on the television screen so viewers can be directed to their app or website. Your parish should be doing the same. You can create a QR code for anything – your website, your bulletin, your church’s Parish Giving site, and so much more. All you need is 5 minutes to demonstrate how one works, and your parishioners can then view anything electronically.
Change is good. It really is. We all fear change, but we really shouldn’t. This includes learning and having to adapt to a different source of information. That’s why we think offering informational sessions prior or after Mass to help show how technology can help them with their parish community. Let them see the apps and social media sites the parish uses to keep in touch with parishioners and to encourage everyone to use them.