Local parishes from l’unité pastorale Soleil levant (United Parishes of the Rising Sun) have recently joined forces in an effort to modernize their churches as well as their approach.
The first step was the creation of official Facebook pages for each participating parish: Saint-Jean-Baptiste (L’Orignal), Saint-Grégoire de Nazianze (Vankleek Hill), Ste-Anne-de-Prescott, St-Bernardin de Sienne (St-Bernardin), St-Eugène and Saint-Joachim (Chute-à-Blondeau).
On the afternoon of March 20, 2018, representatives of each parish met to unveil their new social media spaces and share their first successes.
Among those present was David Sherwood, a consultant assisting in the effort.
“Two years ago, none of this existed. We had just started! The parishes had the idea to ask the population how they viewed their own church through a survey. 500 people answered and 200 participated by showing up to public meetings. Their message to the parishes was basically a wish for a more modern approach, especially through social media. People want to update the practice of faith and showed a much stronger attachment to their church than we thought!”
Representatives of the six parishes clearly took the message to heart, with many now active on social media, sharing important information and creating content for their Facebook audience.
Some parishes even built new partnerships with local schools, sharing interesting content with one another.
Janie Myner, a representative of St-Eugène parish, stated that “Celebration is the ultimate goal”.
While the approach is indeed a modern one, everyone agreed that tradition and core evangelical values will still be respected and put forward.
Anyone interested in keeping up-to-date with their parish can now visit its official Facebook page and click “Follow”.