Announcing Weather-Related Church Closings to a Mobile Congregation

By abac077 via Flickr

By abac077 via Flickr

When my boys’ school called to announce an early close because of snow, two thoughts came to mind:

  1. Why are you closing over a couple of inches snow? (The former New Englander in me)
  2. If my church closes, we can put our Twitter account to good use.

My parish soon canceled that evening’s events. Here’s how we got the word out quickly online to parishioners.

I called the parish office to find out a status update. (Ideally someone on staff should be on point to initiate such messages.) We then sent the word out through these channels:

  • Home page
  • Church Twitter account, @StCharlesChurch (See tweet)
  • The parish’s breaking news email list, one of the 3 email newsletters every church should publish. (See message)
    • We used a descriptive subject line, Office Closed, Activities Canceled for Wed., 1/28. Recipients didn’t even have to read the body to get the gist, particularly since everyone already knew it was snowing.
  • Parish online calendar (See entry)

One channel we missed was the outgoing message on the parish office’s voicemail. Alas, the phones fall outside of my Web Ministry, but I’ve made the recommendation.

Update – December 2009: If Mass or a church service could be impacted, link to your diocesan policy and provide info to a local televised Mass if available.

So that’s how St. Charles does it. What works at your church for sending out short messages quickly?

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One thought on “Announcing Weather-Related Church Closings to a Mobile Congregation

  1. [...] Blizzard of 2009 gave me a few more ideas about handling weather-related cancellations at your church so check out that updated [...]

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