Once again, congregations across the Diocese enjoyed welcoming newcomers on Easter. Visitors who sign in the guest book at church will rightly expect to hear from the congregation. They also expect to receive word promptly. Surveys show that electronic communication has upped the expectation with visitors expecting to hear from the church not just within the week, but within a couple of days. Yet the ubiquity of email does leave a hand-written note standing out from other ways of contacting a visitor.
No matter how you go about it, following through on everyone who signs into the book is a priority. This is trickier at Easter, when the priests are relieved to have enjoyed (read survived) another busy Holy Week and Easter. For future years, plan on how you might be able to get lay persons in place to follow up with a hand-written thank you that goes out on Monday in Easter Week. (The photo is from Easter at St. Thomas, Thomasville.)
Share Best Practices
I know that as a parish priest, we would “mug” newcomers with a personal visit on Sunday afternoon to drop off a church mug with the latest newsletter and a church brochure inside. The goal was a quick, personal thank you with a gift. What works well for your church? Contact me at the Diocese of Georgia office and let me know so that I can share your best practices with others.
The Rev. Canon Frank Logue, Canon to the Ordinary