There are several ways that your diocesan leadership can engage your diocese with Meeting Jesus. Because each diocese has its own unique gifts, resources and needs, each diocese will need to decide how best to create a unique Meeting Jesus experience. Dioceses can layer the following approaches to make the most of Meeting Jesus.
Traditional Media Campaign:
Not everyone is online yet. By using traditional media, such as your newsletter or direct mail, you can send a physical reminder to busy parish priests and reach those who wouldn’t otherwise hear about Meeting Jesus.
- Distribute journals and send out information about Meeting Jesus through normal diocesan communication outlets.
- Send out a mass mailer/email at the beginning of Epiphany inviting parishes and individuals to participate in Meeting Jesus as individuals, parish-based small groups, or multi-parish small groups.
- You can find materials to create promotional materials under Resources for Communicators.
Social Media Campaign:
Dioceses can use social media to create a sense of community and common purpose despite distance.
- Designate an online facilitator, either from diocesan staff or a volunteer, and ask them to read our step-by-step resources for moderating an online discussion group. Since social media campaigns have a lot of little jobs, it may be a good idea to have a team of people working together, led by the online facilitator.
- Facebook is the most widely used social media platform. Your online facilitator should create a Facebook group, naming it something simple and easy to search, for example, ¨Meeting Jesus in the Diocese of…¨
- If using Twitter or Instagram, create a short hashtag so the conversation can be tracked on these platforms.
- Actively encourage high-profile people in your diocese to participate in the conversation online.
- Use your diocesan blog or website to promote participation. The Brothers of SSJE ask a central question each week during the Lenten Meeting Jesus program. Invite guest bloggers (the bishop or bishops, the canon to the ordinary, etc.) to reflect on the topic each week. Post those reflections across your social media platforms.
Promote In-Person Small Groups:
While a diocesan-wide social media conversation is wonderful, you may wish to also ask parish leaders to create in-person small groups. If geographically possible, you might consider encouraging multi-parish small groups to form, creating relationships across parish boundaries.
- Invite parish leadership to participate by sending them a sample journal, designating a Meeting Jesus workshop at your diocesan convention, or setting up geographically close small groups after a Quiet Day.
- Connect parish leadership to our resources for Standard Small Group Facilitation and Multi-Parish Small Group Facilitation. Don’t forget to include other Episcopal institutions, like chaplaincies for schools, colleges, and retirement homes. We have resources for Teens, Young Adults and Older Adults that could be helpful.
- Invite in-person facilitators and participants to engage in the wider social media conversation!
Host a Diocesan-Wide Quiet Day:
Begin Lent with intentionality and promote diocesan community-making by hosting a Meeting Jesus Quiet Day at the cathedral or another centrally-located retreat center. Quiet days are especially effective at jump-starting online small groups as people get a chance to meet one another and build trust before embarking on an online small-group experience together.
- You can find both schedule and content here, or you can create your own.
- We believe that a diocesan-wide Quiet Day works best when combined with a concerted effort by the bishop and staff to continually engage participants throughout the season of Lent. See the recommended Timeline and Planning for Wrap-Up segments of this guide.