Offices

“In an information based organization the most important   ‘DO? is to build the organization around information and  communication instead of around hierarchy. Everybody in  the non-profit organization— all the way up and all the way  down—should be expected to take information seriously.  Everyone needs to learn to ask two questions: What do I need  to know to do my job? And: What information do I owe  others so that they can do their job, in what form and  when?”

Peter F. Drucker “Managing the Non-profit Organization”


 PARISHIONERS: WHAT INFORMATION DO PARISHIONERS  NEED TO DO THEIR JOB?
  1. Membership of the Parish Pastoral Council
    1. Prior to nomination of council members the parishioners need to know the current goals of the council and the people from among the parishioners who have some interest and abilities to serve and are willing to be nominated.
    2. Parishioners need to know the schedule for elections.  It is often helpful if the parishioners have more than one opportunity to elect. (having elections on two consecutive week-ends allows for people who had some reason for not attending Sunday Mass on one of the week-ends when elections were held.)
    3. Parishioners need to know the outcome of the election and who the people are who will serve on the council (both elected and appointed). Pictures could be displayed in the Church vestibule or the members could be introduced at Sunday Liturgies.
  2. Activities of the Council
    1. Parishioners, Parish Staff and Parish Organization Leaders should be kept informed of the activities of the Council as the need occurs, e.g. final decisions, up-dated plans, innovations etc…
    2. Parishes within the Cluster could also benefit from knowing activities of the Council that would allow for inter-parish collaboration.
    3. Parishioners should have some periodic opportunities to meet face to face with Council members either in parish socials or special forums so that communication can be mutual and interactive.
 PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL MEMBERS: WHAT   INFORMATION DO PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL  MEMBERS NEED TO DO THEIR JOB?
  1. Prior to service
    1. Orientation to their role and responsibilities, the required number of meetings, the time and place of meetings and the general direction the Council is taking at the time of their election.
      • Members need to know clearly the consultative role and the manner in which collaboration occurs.
      • Each member is obliged by confidentiality re: sensitive parish and cluster issues.
      • Role is one of advisor, not parish spokesperson or PPC spokesperson.
      • Each member has a responsibility to communicate accurately and in a timely way PPC information through the means established by the PPC.
      • Members should be prepared to speak publicly to parish community as needed, or requested by Pastor.
      • Members must be prepared to act as listeners to general parish concerns related to the Parish Mission.
    2. Parish data: PPC members need some briefing (perhaps annually) on parish data and the history of planning on both the parish and the cluster levels.
    3. PPC needs time to become acquainted so that working bonds can be established. This is essential to establish norms for communication among members.
    4. Knowledge of the expected outcomes for PPC activities in keeping with the parish and Archdiocesan Mission Statement.
  2. During Service on Parish Council
    1. Information necessary to function effectively: parish happenings, meeting agendas, meeting minutes, and yearly calendar.
    2. Parish needs and Cluster needs and the latest information about the Parish and Cluster.
    3. Activities of parish staff and organizations (school, CCD, Evangelization Team etc..) whose work might overlap or have some impact on the work of the Council.
    4. Information about the parish plan and the cluster plan and the most recent assessments of those plans.
  3. After Service on Parish Council
    1. Evaluation: On-going evaluation of each meeting keeps lines of communication clear.
    2. End of term evaluation provides information to new members about how to be more effective.
    3. Parish evaluation of communication provides the PPC with some record of their effectiveness in keeping the parish informed so that they can do the job they are called to do: be a Christian community.
COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES FOR PARISH PASTORAL  COUNCIL, PARISH STAFF AND PARISHIONERS  COMMUNICATION:
  1. Publications
    • Parish Bulletins
    • Parish Newsletters (approximately 4x year)
    • Parish Plan as updated and communicated to Parish
  2. Media Type
    • Videos: instruction for membership on Parish Council: educational and  inspirational.
    • Computer: Use of E-mail, Web-sites, Internet: access to Archdiocesan information and newsworthy events; access to research for ideas, e.g, youth activities, adult education, NCCB pastoral instructions, Vatican documents etc…
    • Phone: Hot lines; Announcements, conference calls with other councils, heads of organizations etc..
  3. Person-to-Person
    • Parish Meetings: Information evenings, social gatherings, forums etc..
    • PPC Members as Liaisons with parish organizations, task forces, staff other teams (parish council members may need to attend their meetings periodically to maintain good networks)
    • Availability: To Pastor or staff as the need occurs.

  While communication keeps people informed there is also the  on-going need to show appreciation and to keep all parish  volunteers motivated.  Special events for this purpose, in and  of themselves, communicate the value for the gifts and the  giver within the community.

  Some checklists to help assess your communication: