Testing Out Bulletin Formats to Make It Impactful to All our Parish Family

If there is one part of our Parish Family communications that reaches the larger world around us, it is our bulletin.  I cannot tell you how many times our priests, Ministry Leaders, and I have been traveling around the area and across the country and once another church hears where we are from, they say, “Wow!  I read your bulletin!”  Sometimes, their comments are even tinged with a little envy.  Kathy Sims, our Bulletin Editor, spends an enormous amount of time and effort to ensure every bulletin is a superior and direct illustration of our Mission.  The material within it is almost all original (including my insignificant set of ramblings on page 6); with high quality content like Father John’s Word and Life, and the various Ministry Spotlights, event details, and countless graphics, pictures, and stories about our Parish Family.  It is truly a fully fleshed-out weekly magazine that is a snapshot of Saint John the Evangelist.

For those of you who have read my page in the past, you know well my emphasis on Pope Francis’ call for the Church to work with “New Wine” in “New Wineskins”.  In fact, earlier this year, Our Holy Father stated:

The Pope then remarked that this “is the message that the Church gives us today: which Jesus says so firmly: ‘New wine in new wineskins!’”. Because, Francis reiterated, “even customs must be renewed in the newness of the Holy Spirit, in the surprises of God”. Before continuing with the celebration, Francis expressed the hope that “the Lord give us the grace of an open heart, of a heart open to the voice of the Holy Spirit, which can discern what must not change because it is fundamental from what has to change in order to be able to receive the newness of the Holy Spirit”.

– Pope Francis 1/18/17 https://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/cotidie/2016/documents/papa-francesco-cotidie_20160118_new-wineskins.html

How does this apply to our Bulletin?  It is a spectacular periodical for sure, but we should always be ready for the surprise of the newness of the Holy Spirit.  We are going to try a few different layouts and structures for our Bulletin.  We will see if there is a new way to communicate the details of our Parish Family in a way that will catch the eye, the focus, and the attention.  Also, it is an opportunity to see if our content could be provided in a more digestible way for people that normally are not bulletin-readers.  It is not as easy to read all the content in our Bulletin on a mobile device, for example.  The “consumers” of our information are looking for it to be integrated into their other communications tools, including social media and apps.  We have an opportunity to see if there are ways to connect all of us together with a common communication platform, our Bulletin.

We will need your assistance, however.  We need your feedback on all the bulletin versions we will be providing over the next few weeks.  What is working?  What does not make sense?  How would you like to see the Bulletin?  Please let Kathy know via her email (kathys@sjecc.com ) so we can take all the ideas in and come up with the best possible way to enliven our Parish Family spirit via our Bulletin.

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