We are thrilled with the new “Groups” feature in myParish App, and we hope you are as well. Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Montrose, MI did all of us a favor by creating an easy-to-follow “cheat sheet” on how to join a group. You can see the tips sheet here.
For parishes, the new Groups feature on myParish App has multiple and wonderful uses. Parish admins need to know exactly how to create a group. Just follow these steps:
- First, login to the myParish App admin page.
- Next, click on the “Groups” tab on the top of the page. (It’s next to “Homilies.”)
- Choose English or Spanish for the group, and then click on the “Create Group” button.
- You’ll need to choose “Church.” Then, you need to put your church’s zip code in the “Filter by a Church” box that appears. If you are an admin for several parishes, you may need to type in the parish name.
- You’ll be asked to name your Group, and then add a short description (the description is required to save your Group.) For example, you might name the Group “Moms’ Bible Study” and describe it as “For moms of all ages. This group meets every Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. in the Marian Room.”
- Click “Save” in the bottom right corner of the box.
- At this point, you’ll see two icons in the bottom left corner. The “lock” means that this is not a conversation; the moderator can send out messages only. This is great for when you have a large group, or merely want to use the Groups feature to inform. The second is an “eye” icon. This allows you to “hide” the group for a period of time (for instance, a Bible study group that does not meet during the summer months might use this.)
- Once you save your Group, you’ll want to assign the moderators for that Group. For this example, you might add the parish staff member who oversees the Moms’ Bible Study Group, plus the group leader. Type in the name, hit “enter” and then add another name, if needed.
- Once your Group is created, you can click on “Manage Group” underneath the Group name/description.
- This is where you can add or change moderators, add discussion questions, and moderate the discussions. (Remember, you can send an invite through the app to add members, but not via the admin page.)
That’s it – you’ve got your Group! As always, if you need assistance with this or any features of the app, please feel free to contact us for assistance.
As a myParish App administrator, you’ve hopefully had a chance to check out the new Groups feature. (If you haven’t, please do. We know you’ll find it helpful!) This feature has the potential to not only help with day-to-day communications needs of a parish, but also help with information needs for religious education, schools, small groups and the many other groups that a church employs for the faithful. The Groups feature is flexible enough to handle targeted communication as well as on-going discussions.
Here are just a couple of ideas to help your faith community make the most of the Groups feature:
- If you are using Groups for administrative needs (i.e. church/school employees), make sure your list of members is up-to-date.
- It may take a bit for people to get used to using the Groups feature. A few reminders are a great idea.
- Again, for administrative needs, keep Group discussion timely. You don’t want to post a reminder for something that is a month away. People will forget. On the other hand, posting something the day before won’t give you the best results either.
- Make sure you (and any Group moderator) know your diocesan policies on social media usage. For instance, any group that involves children and teens (18 and under) should have two Group moderators, so that two adults can view all messaging. This is for the protection of church staff and volunteers, as well as our children.
- Let small group leaders know about the Group feature and how to use it. For instance, if your parish typically has Advent and/or Lenten small groups, the leaders can become Group moderators in order to extend discussions and post reminders.
These are just a few simple tips on how to use the Groups feature. If you’d like to know more, or to activate the Groups for your parish, please use our contact page. We’ll be happy to help.