“The Gospel is most effectively shared in person-to-person encounters.” —Guidepost 6, Unleash the Gospel
When the pandemic began, we heard from parish leaders in the EGW online community that one of the most effective ways to engage parishioners was by doing outreach calls. As Advent and Christmas draw near, here’s a script of what you might say to check in on your parish community and invite them to Mass safely (if they are comfortable!). Even with the dispensation being extended, we have a responsibility to help our parish communities keep Sundays holy, and return to the Eucharist with joy as much as they are able.
Hello this is NAME, from PARISH in CITY. I am calling on behalf of Father NAME and the PARISH staff to see how you’re doing lately? Fr. NAME misses getting to see all of our faces together and we wanted to check in with you.
How are you? Is there anything PARISH can help you with?
I want to thank you for being a member of PARISH and share my hope that you’re getting ready for a great Advent!
I wondered if you had any questions about the latest update on the dispensation. Have you heard what’s going on?
Archbishop Vigneron has extended the dispensation until DATE to help ease the conscience of anyone who does not yet feel comfortable leaving home to gather with others at Mass. If you are at a higher risk of illness or live with someone who is, we want to assure you that we will continue to pray for you and with you, looking forward to the day we can all worship together again. Remember there are many livestream Masses available from the Cathedral or on MassFinder.org. If you have any questions, I would be happy to let Fr. NAME know so he can help guide you.
CONSIDER RETURNING TO MASS
Advent is approaching, and Fr. NAME is looking forward to celebrating the sacraments for us — those present at Mass as well as those present through prayer — during this special time of the year. For those of us who do feel comfortable, PARISH is ready to welcome us back to Mass — especially people who have started engaging in other activities like eating out at restaurants or going shopping for non-essential items. If you have started venturing out for other reasons, we would like to invite you to consider returning to Mass, too.
I’ve started going back to Mass, and can tell that the parish understands that the virus is still a concern to many people. We’ve been taking serious precautions to ensure everyone’s safety, like LIST (social distancing, capacity, masks use, hand sanitizer, etc. -- whatever precautions your parish has implemented), and I have been very comfortable since I’ve been back. Our Mass schedule is LIST MASS TIMES.
Is there anything that you would like me to pray for? *Pray with them right then*
[Make the Sign of the Cross] Heavenly Father, we thank you for your love and all of the blessings that you have given us. We thank you for those on the front lines of the fight of the virus, the doctors, nurses, first responders, grocery store workers, gas station employees, and all others that are considered critical. We thank you for their courage and ask for their wisdom and patience to avoid the sickness as they minister to others. We pray for those that are sick and those that are caring for the sick, and we pray for the souls of those who have died. We ask for you to perform miracles to put an end to this pandemic and to lead more people to you. We pray especially for THEIR INTENTION HERE. We thank you for Father NAME and thank you for opening back up all of the churches so we can once again participate in the Mass and meet you personally in the Eucharist. All this we ask this in your name. Amen.
Thank you for your time, and I hope you are staying safe and healthy. If you need anything at all, please call me at PHONE NUMBER.
God bless you, and have a great Advent!
If you want to do more, lead them to your website or capture their email address. Direct them to your Facebook account, and email this person links to your parish’s website and social media. You may also ask if they want to be added to an email list that receives the Unleash the Gospel, Detroit Catholic, and/or Archdiocese of Detroit newsletters.
Do not ask or bring it up, but if they ask about money, say the following: “The Church, like most organizations, is hurting, and if you are in a financial position to donate it would be appreciated. Because of our limited funds, we have had to make some changes to ensure that we may concentrate on our critical mission. Any continued giving is greatly appreciated, as are prayers that the Church may make the right decisions with the funding we receive."