It hasn’t happened to me in a while, and that may be why it took me by surprise the other day: a person I respect and like a great deal implied that no one in our parish reads the bulletin.

This person has implied it before–has, in fact, stated it point-blank, but this time it stung in a new way. Part of it was that my tender little pride was a bit trounced, because I invest a lot of myself in our parish bulletin.

It’s unlike anything else I’ve ever seen, and I’ve spent the last six years working with our pastor to make it more like a weekly newsletter, complete with a unique full-color cover and six full-color pages.

We don’t spend a dime on it, aside from my time (which averages between three to five hours a week). It’s paid for by the advertising and generosity of our bulletin printing company.

But it’s been haunting me, and I think it’s time to go back to the drawing board with our parish bulletin.

If no one reads it, then maybe it’s not relevant. (I know “no one” isn’t completely accurate — I know for a fact at least one person does read it other than me.) There are enough people in our parish who aren’t online and who want something printed, I think.

But maybe I’m making more out of it than I should. Maybe it can just be a photocopied front-and-back with a calendar. Maybe it doesn’t need original content, or pictures of recent events, or any of the things that I’ve rather prided myself for including.

I’m turning to you on this: what do you want to see in your parish bulletin? What would it need to have in it for you to read it?

Toss it at me…I have a parish staff meeting next week and I’m going to bring this up, but I’m feeling like what I’m doing is no good. I need some fresh blood. (Or maybe, as someone else suggested, it’s time for me to pass it along to someone else.)

image source: Hannahstown Parish