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.
You’ve had a successful launch! Parishioners are excited about the app, and people are using it.
In a word: Relaunch. Now that doesn’t mean you have to have another big, pull-out-all-the-stops weekend. Instead, think about “relaunching” like maintenance.
Here in Applandia, we have a great hardware store. It’s got everything you need to fix a leaky pipe, clean the vinyl siding on your house, regrout your tub or rake the leaves. (Yeah, it’s not exciting, but it’s got to be done.) Better yet, the Applandia hardware store is staffed with terrific people who can help. You don’t know what tool to use? Not sure how to get that pipe back on once you’ve got it off? We can help.
Here are a few ideas for “Relaunch” or app maintenance:
- Include information about the app in your parish’s welcome packet. Be sure to mention it when new parishioners stop in the office to register.
- Be sure to put information about myParish App in parent information packets for back-to-school and religious ed. The Groups feature is a terrific way for teachers and parents to communicate.
- Make sure your parish leaders/staff know that the app should be their “go-to” for communication. While the Groups feature is great for Bible studies, small groups and RCIA, it’s equally terrific for making sure the choir members know which pieces of music to bring for practice, or for sending out the Pastoral Council minutes before the next meeting.
- Remind parishioners via all your communications channels about myParish App. Put information about how to download in your bulletin on a regular basis. The same goes for your parish Facebook page.
- If you have a Time/Talent/Treasure or Stewardship Sunday, make sure you include an information table about the app.
Relaunching won’t be burdensome if you follow these suggestions. And if you have a question or need some help, our friendly support staff (just like the folks at the hardware store) will be happy to lend a hand. Give us a call at 1-800-997-8805.