There’s an exciting movement happening in the Archdiocese of Chicago and Faith Hub is playing an essential role. The archdiocese kicked off the “Renew My Church” effort a few years ago and Faith Hub was created in 2020 to work with parishes to ignite change.
“Parishes spent the last several years looking at their operations by recognizing what they have, imagining what they would like to have, and then determining how to best organize themselves,” said Leo Rubinkowski, event coordinator for the Faith Hub. “Sometimes it’s parishes being united, so these two communities combine into a single, larger community which can cause a lot of heartache even if it’s necessary for growth. But the longer term renewal that has to happen is spiritual renewal and that’s where Faith Hub comes in.”
The Faith Hub is a place for honest conversation, authentic community, and open to people from all faiths. The ministry hosts courses, programs, leadership training, fellowship dinners, and weekly Masses throughout the year. So keeping track of their volunteers and creating a community where people feel they belong are critical to their ministry.
Creating A Sense of Belonging And Connection
Faith Hub strives to help people feel like they belong and reimagining hospitality through ParishStaq Forms is one way they’ve found success.
“The registration forms… I really like that…,” said Rubonkowski. “Those are so key to what we do in terms of wanting to accommodate people. Being able to organize all of that data collection that we can keep for later consultation: ages, spiritual self identification, location… Since we’re not a parish, we’re a ministry in the archdiocese, we want to know where people are coming from, if they’ve got a faith community, Catholic or not, we’re interested in knowing who is taking advantage of resources we’re providing. Some of it is to see what parishes are really going on in terms of developing leaders but also if there’s people who are taking advantage of it and have some sort of relationship with.”
ParishStaq also allows them to quickly review responses en masse for food sensitivities, sizes of parties, or past RSVPs which makes hospitality easier.
“Some of our guests regularly bring friends, but don’t always identify them as their plus one,” said Rubonkowski. “If we expect that friend to attend, but don’t remember their name, we can check a previous RSVP for the information, which allows us to make a nametag. It makes it clear that we were ready to host them! No digging through folders, Excel files, or clumsily-documented guest lists!”
Top Down, 10,000 Ft View In Three Minutes
Before moving to ParishStaq, Faith Hub used spreadsheets that they kept on a Google Drive to organize and share their data but they couldn’t plan more than a week or two out. Now, with a team of ten core people, Leo is able to solely manage volunteers and events on his own, allowing the rest of the staff to focus on their mission.
“When somebody asks me for a list of everyone who has ever led, I need to plan a little, but really it’s just a quick report and I have all the names that I need with contact information. It takes me all of three minutes to pull those names,” said Rubinkowski. “Being able to see what they’ve participated in, that kind of top down 10,000 foot view of how people have been involved has been really helpful for us to target our requests for volunteers, invitations to events where we want to celebrate people who helped us lead a particular course, or if we’re running a sequel course. Being able to collect that information has been extremely useful for us. It really is essential to our day to day operations of just keeping track of people to serve them through keeping track. We want to be able to give people things that are going to help them but we need to know what kind of help they can use or what kind of help might be beneficial.”
“No digging through folders, Excel files, or clumsily documented guest lists.”