Read Katie’s Article below, and be sure to look at her finished site by clicking on the link in the last paragraph!
“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit, there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who provides all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)
Each parish is unique, but we all share the same mission, to carry out and continue the work of Jesus Christ. Just as each parish is unique, committees and ministries of parishes are unique; each serving a specific purpose but with a common goal: to strengthen faith communities, enhance the liturgical lives of parishioners and fulfill the parish mission.
Committee and ministry leaders are closely familiar with their specific area of ministry but must also be knowledgeable about other parish committee and ministry efforts. Committees and ministries need collaboration. In this age of digital technology collaboration is easier than ever before and tools to facilitate online collaboration are widely available. Applying the skills and knowledge of web-based technologies acquired through participation in Digital Disciple Boot Camp brought a collaborative website project from an idea, to a reality.
The Communicate, Collaborate, Connect website project goal was to integrate technology into a useful tool to facilitate digital collaboration between committee and ministry leaders and create a digital workspace to help leaders become engaged and productive collaborators. The project culminated in the development of the Committees Connect website. The website is designed to help committee leaders provide their members and other ministry leaders with timely information, updates and resources related to their committee and ministry.
Project Organizational Structure and Implementation Plan
Google Sites – Our Committees Connect Website Content Structure
The Committees Connect website is created and managed within the Google Sites application and content is organized and shared within committee/council specific Google Accounts and Team Drives. Each committee/council has an established Google account and chooses a designated a member(s) to manage and upload files and documents to the corresponding Google Team Drive. The staff communications coordinator, in collaboration with council committee members and staff liaisons, populates the website with documents from the shared committee’s Google Team Drive.
Website and Content Accessibility:
The Committees Connect website is accessible to anyone through an internet link. The website content uploaded or embedded from Google Team Drives will apply the same permissions set by the document owner.
The purpose of the home page is to connect names with faces. The home page also lists a description of each committee’s purpose.
Each council and their respective committees have a page containing the following information:
- Meeting dates, time and location
- Member and staff liaison listing
- Upcoming meeting agenda *
- Minutes / Notes *
- Current projects
- Bulletin communications publication dates and updates
- Parish activities/ministries related to individual committees
*Per Archdiocese guidelines Finance Council, and some Finance Council Committee agendas and notes are not shared due to their confidential nature.
The purpose of the liturgical planning page is to provide a quick view of what committees have planned for each liturgical season and resources useful when planning liturgies. Information in this section includes parish wide themes and activities, and ministry schedules and liturgical calendars.
The footer is the last section that appears on each page. The purpose of the footer is to provide reference information applicable to all parish councils and committees.
Google Accounts / Collaborative Tools
Each council and their respective committees have an established Google account. Each council or committee designates their own Google account manager. Google accounts allow access to all Google apps and document sharing/collaboration features.
Each Google account has an email address for general correspondence. This email address will be listed as the primary contact email address for each committee.
Google Team Drive:
Each Google account has an established Team Drive accessible only to its assigned team members. Team Drives is a shared space where councils and committees can store, search, and access files anywhere, from any device. Files in a Team Drive belong to the team instead of an individual. Even if members leave, the files stay exactly where they are so your team can continue to share information.
Google Account Management:
The designated council/committee member(s) manages the Google account. They are responsible for the following:
- Adding and deleting members and permissions.
- Checking and responding to emails.
- Finalizing documents when ready for website.
Once the structure and organization of the Committees Connect website is in place, the next step is to collate the existing documents for the website from the large number of individuals who “hold” them on personal computers or storage devices. Implementing Google Team Drives, in combination with the new website, allows for a centralized place to share and store documents and a simple, efficient way to view them. The next challenge involves change, which is the perhaps the most significant obstacle to overcome. Although all see the benefit of a collaborative website tool, people are used to doing things the way they always have and are somewhat resistant to learning a new procedure. Each individual’s comfort level with technology plays a factor and full implementation of the website will take place over time.
Listening to parish committee leaders concerns and the introduction to Digital Competencies for Ministry, through participation in Digital Disciples Boot Camp, inspired the initiation of the Committees Connect website project. The Digital Competencies for Ministry guided the development of a website where committee leaders are introduced to a variety of ways to incorporate digital content into online workspaces to enhance communications between committees, ministries and their members. The Committees Connect website now serves as a central, online tool to support collaboration and information sharing, furthering the mission of strengthening our faith community and proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ. Visit our Committees Connect website.