How to Implement Our Path Forward at Your Parish This Fall
Our Path Forward 2021 and Beyond
From the beginning of September through the end of November, most parishes choose at least two weekends to implement an offertory program to build and strengthen weekly income. As we continue to navigate through the heartbreak and challenges of the pandemic, we remain steadfast in our faith and commitment to keep moving forward. This Fall, with deep gratitude to parishioners and donors alike, we enter our Season of Giving.
Our Path Forward, 2021 and Beyond, was thoughtfully created for your parish by your Regional Director Team to be easy to implement in person or online.
Prayer Postcard to inspire participation
To kick off the Season of Giving and introduce Our Path Forward, AOB will mail a standardized prayer postcard (linked here ) to most registered, active parishioner households in mid-September. This postcard takes the place of the pastor letter sent with previous offertory programs. There is prayer on one side, and a QR code linking to the Our Path Forward website, where parishioners can find your own parish giving page. Good news - there is nothing you need to do to make this happen as your Regional Director will take care of the details. Better news - there is no-cost to your parish for this postcard mailing!
Here are 5 simple steps to implement Our Path Forward with details for each weekend listed below:
Step 1: CHOOSE your Announcement and Commitment Weekends
Step 2: COORDINATE the timing of sharing your Annual Report/ State of the Parish prior to your
Step 3: CUSTOMIZE templates provided by your Regional Director for bulletin announcements, social
media posts, email messages, Flocknotes, WhatsApp, etc.
Step 4: PERSONALIZE templates provided by your Regional Director to customize Homily and Talking
points for Announcement and Commitment Weekends. Speaking from the heart about how offertory helps your parish is always most effective.
Step 5: SHARE with your parish on your Announcement and Commitment Weekends.
Preparing for Week One
Click here for materials
Announcement Weekend provides an opportunity for you to share about your parish ministries, the tremendous good your parish does and for you to ask your parishioners to prayerfully consider increasing their contributions to the parish. Remember to focus on “Why should parishioners give to their parish?” There are so many places competing for charitable gifts from your parishioners. Use week 1 to make your case on why their gift to the parish is appreciated and important.
Step 1: Share Annual Report prior to Week 1
Create an annual report / state of the parish and release it before implementing Our Path Forward. This can be done in many forms, from a pulpit announcement to a mailing. The overall goal is to give your parish members an accurate view of the parish financials and goals for the future. This can help build a case for support for increasing offertory donations.
Step 2: Prepare the Bulletin Announcement
Download the pre-made bulletin text, make any needed changes and add it to your bulletin for Week 1.
Step 3: Create Social Media Posts
Download the pre-made social media post video, and upload it to your Facebook page and anywhere else you feel it’s appropriate. Post on Facebook the Thursday before Week 1.
Step 4: Create Email / Flocknote / WhatsApp Messaging
Download the sample email text and create and send it on the Thursday before Week 1. Use this chance to make the email your own and share what you think is important for your parishioners to hear. If you did not already release an annual report this is a good opportunity to share with your parishioners the financials of the parish.
Step 5: Sample Homily / Talking Points
Download the sample Homily, make your changes and speak about Our Path Forward on Week 1 during Mass. The sample script is designed to give you some ideas and inspirations - feel free to make it your own.
Preparing for Week Two
Click here for materials.
Week 2 is the commitment. It’s your chance to brag on your parish members, and thank them for all of the support, efforts and volunteering they do. Thank them for being faithful people and for their service. Once all the thanking is done, it’s time to give everyone a few minutes to fill out the commitment card online using their phone or by using the provided paper version. Try not to think about the commitment card as a task you need to get finished quickly so you can move on. Making a renewed commitment to the parish is a big deal! Parishioners are deciding what the parish community means to them and how they will provide financial support.
Week Two is similar to week one, with the added step of allowing your parishioners to fill out the commitment card online or the paper version.
Step 1: Prepare the Bulletin Announcement
Just like week 1 you will need to download the pre-made bulletin text, make any needed changes and add it to your bulletin for week 2.
Step 2: Create Social Media Posts
Download the pre-made social media video post, and upload it to your Facebook page and anywhere else you feel it’s appropriate. Post on Facebook the Thursday before Week 2.
Step 3: Create Email / Flocknote / WhatsApp Messaging
Download the sample email text, and create and send the communications on Thursday before Week 2.
Step 4: Sample Homily / Talking Points
Download the sample Homily, make your changes and speak about Our Path Forward on Week 2 during Mass.
Walk through process of making commitment on Contactless Response Card or In-Pew Card
Contactless Response Card https://www.opfaob.com/my-commitment
This year, parishioners can respond on their phone. Familiarize yourself with the web address and fill out the form yourself, so you know the questions and the time it takes. Ask parishioners to take out their phone and fill out the response.
In-Pew card - Place the printed In-pew card in the pews. Look over the card to understand the parts. The in pew card has a QR code, and web address on it that links to the online commitment form. If the parishioner is not comfortable with the online form, they can fill out the card itself, tear the response section off and place it in the offertory basket.
Remember: Your parishioners will need to time to respond. Give them a few minutes to fill out the Contactless Response Card. Have some music, use this time to pray. Make this an activity and not just something you need to get through!
Saying thank you is vital. Remember to thank parishioners for their support after Commitment Weekend.
Your Regional Director will share responses for your parish with you from the digital commitment card. If parishioners indicated they would like to leave a legacy gift, your Regional Director will work with you to figure out the best way to engage with them.
QR CODE Stickers
After you completed the commitment weekend, you can stick the in-pew QR code stickers to the back of the pew. The stickers will be provided to you by your Regional Director. The QR code will link directly to your parish giving page.
Please remember, the Fall is a great time to ask your parishioners for a renewed commitment to your parish. As always, if you need help, and would like some support, please reach out to your Regional Director for assistance. We are happy to help!
www.opfaob.com - Parishioner website for Our path Forward
www.advancingourmission.org - All the resources you need are located here under parish resources.