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The bulletin: not just another piece of paper

NicoleI love to bake. I’m a methodical person by nature, so for me following a recipe makes sense. It has clear, concise instructions, and if you follow the recipe correctly, you will have a perfect finished product.

However, if you don’t follow the recipe exactly, your end product will be messy, and will not look or taste the way you intended. Even leaving out ¼ teaspoon of salt, something so tiny can ruin a dish.

Bulletins follow much of these same rules. Each part, from the opening hymn, to the dismissal and announcements work together to put together each service. If any part of the bulletin is incorrect, it can easily confuse the reader.

I keep all of these things in mind as I go through the week, and see the bulletin come together. I have made errors, such as an incorrect time, and date of an event, and, on occasion, forgotten an announcement completely! However, to the best of my ability I try to avoid these mistakes.

Recently though, I had a thought. What if instead of looking at the bulletin as just a piece of paper, (or booklet, however yours may be designed) we looked at it as telling a story? The story that is being told is about your parish. The first thing a guest will pick up is your bulletin. How does it look?

Does it look organized? If there is no clear order to the bulletin, or if you are missing parts of the service itself, it will make it hard to follow.

Is it appealing to look at? This involves everything from the front cover to the size, and spacing between paragraphs. If there are large gaps, or paragraphs are crammed together, the reader has to determine what you are trying to say.

Does it explain who your parish is? Other than the name of your parish, a welcoming page or paragraph tells a guest who you are.

Each parish has their own unique way of presenting these elements. There is no right or wrong answer; it comes down to personal preference.

All of these things put together tell the story of your parish. And just like the best dessert, the smallest things make the biggest impact.

Nicole Grieve

About Nicole Grieve

I’m a Parish Administrator serving The Church of Saint Bartholomew in Sarnia, Ontario. Besides serving such a wonderful parish, I love spending time with my family, coffee, and serving in children’s ministry.
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