Success Story from Notre Dame Parish, North Caldwell, New Jersey
by Terrie Michaels, Notre Dame Parish
Technology upgrades at Notre Dame have been key in helping to keep parishioners connected, and building a stronger sense of Christian community. We began with “E-mail Sunday”; on this day parishioners were given the opportunity to fill out a form submitting their family name and a primary e-mail address. From there they were given the chance to sign up to receive the weekly parish bulletin and also “News from Notre Dame,” a newsletter that would keep them informed on an “as needed” basis.
Through this technology we have grown due to communication. We have found that people respond quickly to services needed when they receive e-mail with the requests. Through receiving the bulletin online or through e-mail, we have had people join parish ministries.
We have also noticed a savings in “snail mail” due to e-mail technology, from Religious Education news to news about a special mass that has been added, parishioners get their information quickly and cost effectively on our part. Having this savings then enables us to reach out more financially to those in need, especially at this poor time economically.
Our website is another great source of communication. Informative, up to date and user friendly, we have had people join the parish through our online registration and have been told that our website is what drew them in. Take a look at the news, events and photos shown, and you can truly get a sense that we are a big family.
Another area of technology we have been utilizing is Facebook. Our status is always a thought-provoking quote from a famous/well known person, or a promising Bible quote. We receive many thumbs up and positive comments on how these quotes help get parishioners through the day. Posting events has also had positive results with parish events.
More recently, through the generosity of one of our parishioners, we were able to purchase a LCD screen for our Parish Hall Foyer. The LCD screen is updated daily with a calendar of events at the parish. Notre Dame is a very active parish, with numerous meeting rooms and ministries, and there is never an evening where something isn’t happening.
Through the LCD screen we offer videos and photos of happenings around the parish. So, if you happen to miss the parish picnic, you can experience the day through a slide presentation on the LCD. Or if you were unable to go on that parish trip, you can get an up-close view of what others experienced. So in this foyer, Christ becomes present through the gathering of people joining in conversation about what may be currently showing on the LCD.
Looking forward to more ways to being able to continue sharing Christ’s mission at Notre Dame using technology, we want to include a Smart Board, which would be used for all our religious education needs, children and adults.
I’m sure the person who invented the computer didn’t realize that at some point people would find Christ through the computer. At Notre Dame this has become a reality, Christ is truly a presence in our commitment to our parish through technology. The success of modern technology has helped and continues to help in tightening the community at Notre Dame. We understand the healthy benefits of technology for the spread of Christ’s mission to an interconnected world.
Submitted by ParishSOFT User:
Terrie Michaels, Web Administrator
Notre Dame Church
359 Central Ave.
North Caldwell, NJ 07006