Archbishop Thomas J. Murphy
"... we must develop forms of communication that can inform, motivate, and invite people to participate in our mission." Stewardship: A Disciple's Response, USCCB
a. Describe what forms of media are used to permeate the Stewardship message throughout parish life. The parish uses multiple forms of communication to inform, motivate, and invite parishioners and community members to participate in our mission. We use a combination of paper, electronic and audio/visual media to reach parishioners where they are in terms of technology, language and culture.
(1) Bulletin Our Sunday bulletin includes a dedicated Stewardship page designed to inspire and inform. It routinely includes prayers and stewardship reflections, volunteer opportunities, invitations to hospitality events, and financial reporting. (Stewardship Page: sample 1, sample 2, Sunday Bulletin: sample)
(2) Email We use a marketing service to organize our email communications. Separate lists are maintained by ministries for targeted communications. The Weekly Shepherd is sent each Thursday to inform parishioners of upcoming activities. The average open rate is 35% (industry average is 21%), and the 'click' rate has doubled in the past two years.
(3) Websites Our parish website was redesigned in 2015. The new design is user-friendly, enables ministries to maintain content, utilizes online forms, and is mobile-friendly. Stewardship is a tab on the main menu with links to parish and community volunteer opportunities. It also includes ways to give, and stewardship reporting. When necessary, we have created dedicated websites:
(4) Mobile App In 2015, we launched a mobile App to reach parishioners on their smartphones or tablets. As of June 2016, there have been over 400 user downloads and daily visits growing steadily. (graph)
(5) Social Media Our primary tool on social media is Facebook. We post events and photos, inspirational messages and share news from our community partners or the wider Church. Reviews are positive, with a rating of 4.8 stars (out of 5). Our most popular post to date was a graphic created after the bombings in Paris to encourage prayers for the victims. (sample_fbpost) We also use Twitter and YouTube.
(6) Banners We create indoor and outdoor banners to inform parishioners of upcoming events and to evangelize to the wider community.
(7) Parish Blog Started in 2016, our blog is the most recent innovation to form and inform parishioners and invite them to grow deeper in their faith and involvement in parish life.
(8) Mailing and other print We mail postcards to parishioners and neighbors inviting them to Easter and Christmas celebrations. We create special brochures or bulletin inserts for Advent, Lent, the International Festival, or special requests from the Diocese. (Easter Postcard, 2016)
b. Describe any unconventional or unique communication means for reaching a higher % of parishioners.
(1) Monitors We have two large-screen monitors in the Commons that serve as outstanding tools for evangelization. They display important information, inspirational and Stewardship messages. Content includes program announcements, our parish prayer list, photos of parish activities, Faith Direct reminders , "In Memoriam" slides for funerals and Memorial Masses and more. (samples) It is rewarding to see parishioners look for photos of their friends or themselves serving at an Earth Day clean-up or having fun at VBS. The visual display is effective, crossing language barriers and engaging parishioners.
(2) Videos In addition to the large-screen displays in the Commons, we have an A/V system in our Parish Hall. We use these evangelization tools during Pancake Breakfasts and Ministry Spotlights to display video presentations featuring a particular ministry or Stewardship message. We also share videos online (by email and Facebook) to reach those not in attendance. Recent videos include a slideshow of Pentecost service projects by our youth and a promotion for Faith Direct. A video of the Jubilee Prayer written by our pastor has been especially effective and formational.
(3) Recordings Presiders' homilies are recorded and posted on our website. In addition, we have recently upgraded our recording equipment in the parish hall, so presentations also can be recorded and shared online.
GSCC Application (Main page)
8. General assessment
9. Supporting Materials