If you’re watching the news about the further spread of coronavirus and wondering, “What are some ways we can be prepared this time around?” remember that the most overlooked items are the lines of communication. Here are a few things to attend to to be sure you’re 100% up to speed on getting in touch:
- Have a calling tree in place so that the pastor, employees, and ministry heads can contact each other quickly
- Get all your login information together so that you can access important systems (email, enewsletter, accounting software, parish database) no matter where you are
- Make sure that all recent parishioner information that came in via registration or household update forms makes its way into your parishioner database (use email verification services if you need to)
- Double-check your mass communications systems (enewsletter, social media, parish messaging app) so you can disseminate information quickly
Above all, remember that your parish is not a place, it’s a people: “a certain community of Christ’s faithful stably established within a particular church [diocese], whose pastoral care, under the authority of the diocesan bishop, is entrusted to a parish priest as its proper pastor” (Canon 515). The circumstances in which you minister and administer may change…but your parish is still a parish! And getting in touch with your community is job #1 during difficult times.