Mission Statements or Tag Lines on Parish Home Pages

by Sr. Susan Wolf, SND on March 24, 2015

in parish, website

Mission or TagMost parish mission statements read like executive summaries of the “Catechism of the Catholic Church.” Sentence after sentence, sometimes paragraph after paragraph articulate the mission, values and vision of a community that is trying not to leave anything out.

As someone who has been on and even led committees and groups that have developed mission statements, I know how much work can go into them, how much wordsmithing is involved and the great sense of relief when it is completed. The exercise has real value and helps those involved appreciate the organization in a new light.

The mission statement is promulgated, published, and put on the parish bulletin and other documents and then usually forgotten until the parish gets a website. Then someone says “Put the mission statement on the Home Page.” Most (but not all) parishes have opted not to do that. I think that is a wise decision that the rest should imitate.

We know that we have 4-10 seconds to engage website visitors. The formal mission statement of most parishes usually is not going to grab their attention. The length or the vocabulary may even turn them away. If you want to include the mission statement on the website—my preference is to put it on an inside page, but not on the Home Page.

Tag Lines

However, I do recommend using a tag line on the Home Page that captures in a few words or phrases the spirit, essence or priorities of the parish community. I have found a few examples:

1. The tagline for Mary Queen of Peace is Closer to God, Closer to One Another. It is a phrase from their mission statement which appears on the bottom of their Home Page. I like it.

 QOP Tag line

 2. The Cathedral of St. Joseph has a brief mission statement in its header, but also uses the words: Faith-Family-Fellowship from their logo. I think the three words would be enough.

 CSJ Tag Line

3.  The Church of St. John and Blessed Sacrament has two worship sites.  Their tagline is is One Community, Serving God. That fits.

St.JohnandBlessed Sacrament

4.  I am not sure if this is an actual tagline or something that is changed periodically, but I think what St. Edward Parish has is very nice.

St. Edward

Does your parish, religious community, or organization include the mission statement on the Home Page, use a tag line or neither?

Do have a preference or an opinion? Let us hear from you.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Sister Therese Rich March 24, 2015 at 6:22 am

Thanks for the shout out! That is our tagline! [St. Edward Parish]

Susan Timoney March 24, 2015 at 9:11 am

I like the idea of a tag line that gives you a sense for the “personality” of the parish. I would like to see a common mission statement for the whole diocese to emphasize that the parishes make up the local church so the mission statement should be the same. In that context, a tag line supports the common mission.

Bob Lucas March 24, 2015 at 9:54 am

Our mission statement is brief and is included at the bottom of each page. This mission statement drives and is the basis for everything our parish does. It is:
We, Blessed Sacrament Parish
are a Christ-Centered Community
Committed to Worship the Father
Committed to Respond to the Spirit’s Gifts
Committed to Loving Service to All God’s People.

It has stood the test of time and while implemented on Ash Wednesday 1983, it is reviewed regularly to ensure it still represents our mission.

It is also posted in all of our parish classrooms and meeting spaces as a constant reminder of what we are about.

At the insistence of our staff, it is also at the top of the home page.

As a member of our pastoral council we have goals and objectives that are more wordy and aimed at improving our ability to accomplish our mission.

I believe a mission statement should be brief and contain the essence of what you are about. It should also be highly visible so you don’t lose you way.

Bernie Augenstein March 24, 2015 at 1:40 pm

Tagline on the home page of my Lutheran Church:
Cross of Grace Lutheran Church, “A community of grace sharing God’s love with no strings attached.” We think that says it all.

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