Before Janet (pictured above in the white sweater and yellow scarf) was called into ministry, she had been a practicing lawyer, and then in legal publishing. She was accustomed to using software to help her perform her job, keep on top of things, and analyze data.
Then she landed at Holy Martyrs where she is now the Pastoral Associate. And their parish management system did none of these things. In fact, she found it was very difficult to navigate, didn’t have many features, and couldn’t generate the kinds of reports she needed.
And so she began what ended up being a 15 year search for a new system.
It was very important to find a solution that would facilitate parishioner engagement, match up people’s spiritual gifts, strengths, and talents with serving opportunities where they would be best suited, and provide better pastoral care.
Out of several systems that surfaced during her search, MinistryPlatform was the one with all the checkmarks in the pro’s column. It could do everything she was looking for. (Little did she know, it could do so much more!)
Various circumstances caused delays along the way (hello: 15 years!), but when COVID hit, Janet realized they could delay no longer, “We need to be in a better place, because once COVID is over we’re going to have to do outreach, communicate with our parishioners better.”
At that time, she didn’t even know how many systems they were using to communicate with their people! It was tedious. And time for a change.
Holy Martyrs joined the MinistryPlatform community in October 2020. Feeling like they had no time to waste, they began to get up and running as quickly as possible. And Janet only had great things to say about their onboarding process and coach:
“The process with a coach is awesome. It’s really, really good. Amanda has been wonderful … The transition process has gone really well.”
By mid-December, Janet was saying “oh my gosh this is so much better.” And they were already ahead of where they’d been with their previous system in achieving the very things she was looking for.
And now they are accomplishing things they hadn’t even dreamed of like…
Previously when they anointed someone going into the hospital, they might see their spouse at mass and inquire about them, or maybe see them six months later and tell them that they’d been praying for them, but now with Care Cases they can be much more intentional. Holy Martyrs is able to think more broadly in terms of pastoral care, now that they have a tool that will help them do it.
For every sacrament, there is a certain amount of preparation that goes into achieving it. For instance, the young people prepare for confirmation over a course of months, they need sponsors, and engage in some service, etc. MinistryPlatform has enabled them to set up the various preparations, classes, or requirements and track their progress through them.
They’ve also been creating events with sign-ups – you can even see them on their website!
And using the communications tools.
“In MP, it’s all in one place.” (That’s right, Janet! No more spreadsheet sprawl!)
Holy Martyrs is “really small staff wise.”
But they’ve accomplished so much! Yep.
In such a short time! Yep.
Turns out, MinistryPlatform has even helped on the staff side of things by helping to streamline things and shift responsibilities.
Fifteen years ago, Janet began a search with a vision to help make ministry better.
That vision has never wavered:
“Our current times reveal the importance of helping people really understand the gospel message and to help them live into it … As churches we need to be better equipped to do our work and we just have to find ways of doing what we are called to do more effectively.”
As Janet looks forward to unpacking more of what MP has to offer, we look forward to partnering with her and the team at Holy Martyrs, and seek making ministry better – together!
Holy Martyrs staff pictured above, starting from the left and going around the semi-circle ending in the front:
Therese McDonnell (Finance Manager), Kate Zaranec (Office Assistant), Jenny Messina (Office Support), Brenda Darkovich (Office Assistant), Skip McQuate (Middle School Youth Minister), Char Cancasci (HM Kids Secretary), Diane Bruce (Director of Faith Formation), and Janet Payton (Pastoral Associate).