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2017 Workshops


The focus of our users’ conference is in the workshops. They’re a great opportunity for parish and diocesan staff to get in-depth training on ParishSOFT software, learn about new technology trends, gain insights from fellow users, and so much more! Presenters include expert users, knowledgeable ParishSOFT staff, and Nexus keynotes. Attendees select their own classes to build a custom schedule that's just right for them.

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2017 Workshops


The focus of our users’ conference is in the workshops. They’re a great opportunity for parish and diocesan staff to get in-depth training on ParishSOFT software, learn about new technology trends, gain insights from fellow users, and so much more! Presenters include expert users, knowledgeable ParishSOFT staff, and Nexus keynotes. Attendees select their own classes to build a custom schedule that's just right for them.

90+ Workshops offered at Nexus 2017!

Did you attend Nexus 2017? Want a copy of the workshop presentations? Please visit http://conference.parishsoft.com/2017-presentations and type in the password that you should have received via email or at the conference. Please email nexus@parishsoft.com if you attended Nexus 2017 but need the password.

At the 2017 users' conference, Nexus attendees chose from more than 90 workshops and over 78 unique classes in 8 tracks. Read through all the class descriptions below (organized by track).

To better understand for whom each class is designed, take a look at the audience and level listed after the workshop titles.

Audiences:

  • Clergy—Parish priests
  • Diocese—Staff from arch/dioceses
  • Parish—Staff from parishes

Levels:

  • Level 0 (Everyone)—Suitable for attendees with any level of software experience.
  • Level 1—Less than 6 months using the software. Only slightly comfortable with the software and basic navigation.
  • Level 2—More than 6 months using the software. Fairly comfortable with the software and understands most functions of the application.
  • Level 3—More than 12 months using the software. Very comfortable with the software and has an advanced understanding of the application’s functionality.

Workshop Registration

Registration for workshops at the 2017 users' confrence will open in mid-August 2017. In the meantime, please review the sessions we plan to have available and start to plan ahead so you can be sure to sign for the workshops you want once registration opens!

Want to be informed just as soon as workshop registration opens? Subscribe to our conference emails, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn!


looking for the workshop descriptions by track?  Click below to view class descriptions for that specific track!


Need a workshop list to print?

Click the button below to download a PDF of the workshops and their descriptions, organized by track.

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Track: Accounting


Diocesan finance staff, parish accountants and bookkeepers, and anyone who uses ConnectNow Accounting will find classes of interest in the accounting track. Learn about finance and accounting best practices and tips and tricks for using your diocesan or parish accounting software.

Track: Accounting


Diocesan finance staff, parish accountants and bookkeepers, and anyone who uses ConnectNow Accounting will find classes of interest in the accounting track. Learn about finance and accounting best practices and tips and tricks for using your diocesan or parish accounting software.

Accounting Workshops

Becoming More Proficient with ConnectNow Accounting
Parish | Level 0
Jim Nelson, ParishSOFT

You know how to work in ConnectNow Accounting, this class will teach you how to be more efficient with your software. Learn how to save time on data entry, research, and reporting. During part of the session there will be an opportunity for open questions and answers. This is sure to be an information-packed session for all ConnectNow Ledger & Payables and Payroll users. 

 

Parish Friendly / Parish Accounting Services
Diocese | Level 2
Denise Hanson, Diocese of Sioux Falls

Learn how the Diocese of Sioux Falls has implemented its version of Parish Accounting Services. Join us to find out what services are provided, which processes are used, and how shared accounting services has grown to 40 locations in just five years.

 

Parish Auditing
Diocese | Level 2
David Fleury and Kimberly Keefe, Diocese of Lansing

A parish audit is more accurately understood to be a review of parish internal controls. A true audit requires adherence to performance standards in planning, performing, and reporting on the audited parish. This requires significant resources that may or may not be available to both the parish and diocese. An internal controls review focuses on parish financial processes to test and measure against internal control best practices and provides valuable insights into a parish’s financial health and risk profile. It also gives the ability to schedule a more detailed, or even forensic, audit in the event the review reveals the need. Delve into the details of these specialized reviews in this workshop - what are the benefits; who is your audience; and how often they should be performed.

 

Making Permissions Work for You - ConnectNow Accounting
Parish / Diocese | Level 2
Joe Slomiany, ParishSOFT

Would you like a better understanding of how permission levels can be set up in ConnectNow Accounting? Did you know that ConnectNow Accounting users can have access and data processing capabilities limited to specific areas and features in the system, and that entity-level permissions are also available? This workshop will walk you through the different types of logins and how the permissions work with each of them.  Learn the purpose behind different types of permissions, see examples to help you determine how to use permissions for your organization.

 

Ledger Report Writer Overview: Getting the Custom Statements Your Parish or School Needs
Parish / Diocese | Level 2
Matt Dent, ParishSOFT

Get the data you want in the format you need. Learn how Ledger Report Writer lets you create custom consolidated or organization-level statements of activity and financial position from your general ledger. Use those statements to produce flexible reports that deliver real-time, accurate financial data for any given organization, or your entire diocese, at any time, for any period - directly from your chart of accounts. Review relevant examples. This session is designed for organizations that are considering adding the Ledger Report Writer module.

 

Tracking Your Assets in Fixed Asset Management
Parish | Level 1
Matt Dent, ParishSOFT

Tracking assets is an important concern for every organization, regardless of size. Without an accurate method of keeping track of these assets, it would be very easy to lose control of them. ConnectNow Accounting Fixed Asset module allows organizations to track the assets they own, where each is located, who has what, warranties, insurance, maintenance schedules, and the cost and depreciation of each asset. This workshop demonstrates the benefits Fixed Assets offers in keeping track of all your assets.  This session is designed for organizations that are considering adding the Fixed Assets module or have just purchased the module.

 

The New Accounting Standards — What You Must Know and Implement Now
Parish / Diocese | Level 2
James B. Jordan, CPA Atlanta, GA

Financial statements as we know them are going to be different next year.  This workshop covers what you must do now (as soon as you get home from the conference) to save yourself untold hours and audit costs. The background story, required changes to your chart of accounts, how to account for transactions, new statement formats, required council minutes’ details, and more, are explained.  This is a must-not-miss presentation for all diocesan and parish personnel who oversee or input transactions and those who must read the resulting financial statements starting in 2018.

 

Best Practices in Building Budgets
Parish | Level 1
Tiffany Martin, Diocese of Salt Lake City

Creating an annual budget is often a confusing task that no one wants to tackle. Come hear about best practices for building an effective budget. Learn how to enter a budget into ConnectNow Ledger & Payables and how to use reports to compare actual totals to your budget amounts throughout the year. This session also includes an overview of the budget import process.

 

Unlocking the Power of the Consolidation Manager in Accounting
Diocese | Level 2
Joe Slomiany, ParishSOFT

This workshop will refresh you on the power of Consolidation Manager. We will cover managing options to increase internal controls, importing additional accounts to the full chart of accounts, and much more to help staff and volunteers at your organization. Join in discussion to evaluate whether you are utilizing Consolidation Manager to the maximum.

 

ConnectNow Accounting: What's New, What's in the Future
Parish / Diocese | Level 0
Karen Kasenow-Johnson and Joe Slomiany, ParishSOFT

In the past year, we've added many great new features to the ConnectNow Accounting Suite. This session we'll walk through the new enhancements — so you can be sure you're getting the maximum productivity from all of the ConnectNow Accounting modules. You will also see a preview of our roadmap for what is coming next for this product.

 

Diocesan Forum for Accounting
Diocese | Level 0
Joe Slomiany and Karen Kasenow-Johnson, ParishSOFT

The purpose of this workshop is to meet together as accounting diocesan staff to collaborate over successes and address challenges we experience supporting our parishes. If you are a diocesan staff responsible for implementing or managing the ParishSOFT accounting applications for your parishes and schools, this is a workshop you should not miss. Please note that this workshop is for accounting and not census, there is a separate class for census.

 

 Fraud Deterrence with Positive Pay and Bill Pay
Parish / Diocese | Level 2
Jim Nelson, ParishSOFT

If you are increasingly worried about protecting your organization’s finances, Positive Pay and Bill Pay are two ways to implement new practices.  Secondary authorizations of check payments, limited check stock, and bank verification of items presented, are just a few of the ways these programs can work for you.  We will discuss how to use powerful ConnectNow Accounting processes with these programs at your local bank to protect your organization’s finances.

 

Effectively Recording Credit Card Transactions in ConnectNow Accounting
Parish | Level 1
Bob Dickinson, ParishSOFT

A large number of churches have started to use credit cards.  Properly tracking and recording credit card charges in your accounting software can be a challenge.  If your organization uses or is considering using credit cards, ConnectNow Accounting is able to designate credit card accounts, manage entered transactions, and provide a reconciliation feature to ensure everything on your statement is in your system. Note: ConnectNow Accounting does not process credit card transactions.

 

Projects: Organize and Group for Effective Reporting
Parish | Level 1
Tiffany Martin, Diocese of Salt Lake City

Using projects effectively requires forethought. Come check out how to set up projects and project groups to organize and report efficiently to departments, finance councils, and pastors.  For those who have created a project "monster" by having a project for everything, discussion will be held on how to organize projects using project groups to your advantage.

 

ConnectNow Accounting: Reporting Your Financials
Parish | Level 1
Jim Nelson, ParishSOFT

So many reports — which one do I need? The reports screen may potentially be difficult to navigate, but never fear; we can find the data you’re looking for. Learn about different reports offered for various situations, sorting and filtering, as well as how to memorize and recall information for future needs.

 

Increase Efficiencies by Importing with ConnectNow Accounting
Parish / Diocese | Level 2
Tiffany Martin, Diocese of Salt Lake City

Manually entering all your transactions can be time-consuming. Importing journal entries, deposits, and even payroll entries can reduce your day-to-day responsibilities as well as help with consistency.  We will demonstrate the process you’ll need to know to easily produce single or multiple transactions in just a few clicks.

 

Current Topics in Taxation for Churches: The Taxes, They Are a Changin’
Parish / Diocese | Level 0
James B. Jordan, CPA Atlanta, GA

The tax environment is changing. At the time of this writing, the extent of change is unknown. This presentation will cover the latest changes to taxation and dispel many myths and misconceptions about taxation as it relates to the Church. Yes, churches pay a lot of taxes – from payroll to unrelated business income tax, and more. Get up to speed on the latest issues and ask those questions you have always wanted to ask.

 

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Track: Diocesan Focused


In this track, diocesan leaders will find workshops geared specifically for them. Learn about best practices to put in place at your diocese or with your parishes, what other Catholic dioceses are doing, future plans for ParishSOFT, and software for dioceses.

Track: Diocesan Focused


In this track, diocesan leaders will find workshops geared specifically for them. Learn about best practices to put in place at your diocese or with your parishes, what other Catholic dioceses are doing, future plans for ParishSOFT, and software for dioceses.

Diocesan Focused

Diocesan Development Manager Best Practices
Diocese | Level 2
JD Biskner, ParishSOFT

Diocesan Development Manager (DDM) is well tuned to efficiently and accurately process the high volumes of pledges and payments associated with diocesan fundraising efforts. Learn best practices and ways to optimize your processes to work in concert with DDM. We will explore common practices for data processing within DDM, including using DDM to correct pledges or payments when errors occur, and donor initiated changes. Learn ways to utilize the many system reports in your day-to-day work. 

 

ConnectNow Family Merge for Dioceses
Diocese | Level 2
Bob Dickinson, ParishSOFT

Duplicate records can be overwhelming and often present challenges as you try to put your data to work for you. Attendees of this workshop will be introduced to the new ConnectNow Family Merge tool. We will highlight the primary features of the tool and provide guidance on best practices for managing family duplicates throughout the ConnectNow system using this tool. The attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions and understand the process and logic used to merge family records together successfully. The goal is to empower you with the information needed to create a more accurate data set, enabling you to make better strategic decisions.

 

Diocesan Open Forum
Diocese | Level 0
Roni Argetsinger, Diocese of Des Moines

Join this facilitated workshop in an open discussion format that focuses on supporting our ever-changing technology environment.  As our parish and diocesan staff become increasingly interested in utilizing newer technology, such as web based tools to work from anywhere, mobile sites, online donations, social media, etc., what technologies should we be paying attention to and how are we preparing to embrace it within our dioceses?  We will have an open conversation about how the ParishSOFT programs can help support us in our work to support our “customers”.

 

Diocesan Software Roadmap
Diocese | Level 0
JD Biskner, ParishSOFT

ParishSOFT plans to introduce new features and enhancements to the diocesan software. Join us to preview new items coming in future releases.

 

Diocesan Development: Critical End of Year Processes
Diocese | Level 2
Elaine Tank, ParishSOFT

This class is designed to help both new and veteran users of ConnectNow Diocesan Development Manager (DDM) learn the most efficient ways to accomplish year-end tasks at the diocese, including: how to audit contribution data before producing donor contribution statements, effective use of the Donor Reports filters, and how to customize contribution statements

 

Advanced Understanding of Diocesan Intelligent Query (IQ)
Diocese | Level 2
Troy Hayes, ParishSOFT

Have you ever run a query from our IQ program and gotten results that didn’t match your other reports? Or have you ever run a query and received completely different results than what something else in the system is reflecting? This is understandably a perplexing and distressing situation to be in. This class is designed to give you a better understanding of how IQ works and explain some of the reasons you would see different results in your queries. The time will be split between informational training and questions and answers.

 

Evangelizing to Active and Unregistered Families using GIS
Diocese | Level 1
Carla Haiar, Diocese of Sioux Falls

ESRI, is a robust geographic information mapping software that is very affordable for non-profits.  Addresses are geocoded (assign a latitude and longitude value to each address in a table ) and plotted on a map of your diocese.  Each pin point can be selected to view details.  You can also add a geographic layer of Parish Boundaries.  Selecting a boundary, you can export records plotted in the area and share as families that should be contacted and invited to register at the parish.

 

Diocesan Session with Ministry Brand Leadership
Diocese | Level 2
Ministry Brands

Ministry Brands – parent company of ParishSOFT – will discuss important topics with our diocesan administrators.

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Track: Engagement


Both diocesan and parish staff can find classes of interest in the engagement track. Learn from keynotes, users at dioceses and parishes, and ParishSOFT staff. You're sure to gain great ideas for engaging parishioners and empowering ministry.

Track: Engagement


Both diocesan and parish staff can find classes of interest in the engagement track. Learn from keynotes, users at dioceses and parishes, and ParishSOFT staff. You're sure to gain great ideas for engaging parishioners and empowering ministry.

Engagement

Fostering Communion, Working Together
Parish / Diocese | Level 0
Zeni Fox, 2017 Nexus Keynote Speaker

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said that laypersons must be "truly recognized as 'co-responsible' for the Church's being and action." How is co-responsibility fostered? This workshop will explore strategies to foster collaboration with staffs, ministry groups, and parishioners.

 

Characteristics of a Stewardship Parish
Parish / Diocese | Level 0
Julie Kenny, ICSC

This workshop will follow the Seven Steps to Stewardship Success as outlined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in the 10th Anniversary Edition of the Bishop’s Pastoral Letter on Stewardship, and will include best practices as well as practical and proven ideas from seasoned stewardship parishes.

 

Love Conquers All
Parish / Diocese | Level 0
Alan Terlap, ParishSOFT

Most church growth efforts have one problem: they’re designed to grow the church. If church growth is the primary goal, then the good of the people who come into the church becomes a means to an end. The first step to authentic witness to others is a genuine and wholehearted concern for their good—in other words, true love of neighbor. Once that love of neighbor is present, everything else falls into place. This is a brief conversation about what it looks like to put love at the center of evangelism and outreach.

 

Finding Your Charism
Parish / Diocese | Level 0
Alan Terlap, ParishSOFT

Research in all fields show that communities of any size thrive when they have a clear understanding of their purpose and vision. In Catholic tradition, this idea is expressed as “charism,” the distinctive gifts and calling of a particular community within the larger Church. Charism is a way for a community to identify a distinctive purpose while deepening an understanding of their connection to the Church as a whole.

 

Communicate Smarter Using Online Forms and Integrated Marketing
Parish / Diocese | Level 0
Annette Gannon, ParishSOFT

Technology has changed over the years. To communicate with parishioners and the community, you need to use the latest in online forms and integrated marketing. In this class, we will demonstrate how you can use online forms to simplify the registration and follow-up process for parish events and meetings. You will also learn a simple step-by-step process to reach your parishioners with personalized messages and content across both traditional and digital communication channels, including: email, social media, and mobile marketing.

 

Parish Stewardship: Contribution Statements Are More Than an Annual Tax Receipt
Parish / Diocese | Level 0
Elaine Tank, ParishSOFT

While the end-of-year contribution statement provides your parishioners with a receipt for their tax purposes, these statements can also be a powerful stewardship tool. Explore ways to utilize contribution statements throughout the year to challenge, motivate, teach, and thank your parishioners.

 

Ask an Executive: Open Forum for Diocesan & Parish Staff
Parish / Diocese | Level 0
Ministry Brands & ParishSOFT Leadership Team

Join ParishSOFT's General Manager and Leadership Team along with Brad Hill/Mark White from our parent company, Ministry Brands, for an open forum to discuss your most pressing questions.

 

Growing a Parish of Missionary Disciples through Relational Ministry
Parish / Diocese | Level 0
Lisa Sliker, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Archdiocese of Baltimore

The Great Commandment is clear; we were made for relationship with God and with One Another.  In this workshop we will look at a few biblical examples of God's relationship with Man and Man's relationship with one another. From these healthy examples, we will note how relational ministry takes shape, with particular attention on small groups.  Lastly, we will look at five simple practices to help change the climate of your parish from pew warmer to heart conformer as we equip our missionary disciples for the their role in the Great Commission.

 

Unleashing the Leadership Potential of the Pews for the Mission of the Church
Parish / Diocese | Level 0
Lisa Sliker, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Archdiocese of Baltimore

“To bring Faith, Freedom, & the Love of Christ to all."  This is the call of the Vatican to all baptized Catholics.  Yet, we look to our pastors and parish staff to lead the way.  If we continue with this model, our abilities and efforts will certainly be limited.  How do we move past limited resources to beseech all baptized to reach every nation and every person?  What would our world and communities look like if we unleashed the power of talent found in the pews for the mission of the Church. In this workshop, we will look at the power found in everyday leadership, consider what it means to be a leader in the Church and for the Church through ministry and what happens when we align our ministerial works, based on our giftedness, with the five biblical purposes for the Church. Participants will leave with practical concepts and tools to plan a strategy for their parish.

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Track: Hands-On Training


Learn about your software from our best ParishSOFT trainers. In these 2-hour (double length) sessions, users gain "hands-on" experience with the software by using laptops and completing exercises within ConnectNow modules. Both parish and diocesan users can find classes for them in this track.

Track: Hands-On Training


Learn about your software from our best ParishSOFT trainers. In these 2-hour (double length) sessions, users gain "hands-on" experience with the software by using laptops and completing exercises within ConnectNow modules. Both parish and diocesan users can find classes for them in this track.

Hands-on Training

ConnectNow Offering: Contributions — Beyond the Basics
Parish | Level 2
Nancy Lambert, ParishSOFT

If you know the basics of working with contributions, but you’d like to learn more, this may be the class for you. In this hands-on training class you will enhance your knowledge of the ConnectNow Offering module, exploring ways to make your contribution management process more efficient and effective.

 

ConnectNow Family Suite: Communication
Parish | Level 2
Ryan Schreiber, ParishSOFT

This intermediate ConnectNow Family Suite class will walk you through the workflows that will help you communicate more effectively with your members. Join us to explore using workgroups, emailing, and mail merging from different modules within the Family Suite.

 

ConnectNow Ministry Scheduler: A Tool to Recruit, Engage & Involve
Parish | Level 1
Elaine Tank, ParishSOFT

ConnectNow Ministry Scheduler is more than just generating schedules. Learn how this tool can help you organize any service, special event, or ministry, and keep track of your parishioner’s involvement in the life of your parish. From liturgical volunteers to your annual festival, and everything in between, Ministry Scheduler supports effective, detailed management of the various ministries within the church! 

 

ConnectNow Religious Education: Preparing For a New School Year
Parish | Level 1
Cristina Dargis, ParishSOFT

How can the Religious Education module work more effectively for you as you prepare for the upcoming school year? Find out in this hands-on training class! Learn the best practices in ConnectNow Religious Education to leverage the power of the software for the benefit of your educational ministry and parishioners.  By the end of this workshop you will have your terms, sessions, and classes setup for the coming year. All you will need to do when returning to your office is to enter your leaders and students.

 

ConnectNow My Own Church (MOC)
Parish | Level 1
Cristina Dargis, ParishSOFT

This ConnectNow My Own Church (MOC) hands-on training class walks through the program from the point of view of both a parishioner and an administrator. Become familiar with processes that will help you from start (getting your parishioners to sign up and approving suspense activity) to finish (leveraging the information you receive to engage your parishioners in ministry and more). Familiarize yourself with the ConnectNow MOC experience from the parishioner perspective, and be prepared to empower your parishioners to use MOC to track their information and engage in parish life.

 

ConnectNow Intelligent Query (IQ) for Parish Staff
Parish | Level 3
Alan Terlap, ParishSOFT

In this advanced ConnectNow IQ class for parish staff, learn how to use ConnectNow IQ to create more complex queries that can be used across modules, including: Offering & Pledges, Ministry Scheduler, and Religious Education. Learn how to leverage your data using the IQ module to build advanced queries based on critical reports your parish needs, and maximize your results by exporting them for further use. Those attending this class should already be familiar with IQ and be able to build basic queries. 

 

How to Create, Implement and Maintain User-Friendly Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)
Diocese | Level 2
Trisha Barth, ParishSOFT

Standard Operating Procedures - are you lacking standards for your ConnectNow users?  Does the thought of developing a Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) document overwhelm you?  Does the lack of centralized standards limit your ability to leverage your data effectively? If you answered yes to any of these questions, come join our interactive workshop to learn how to create, train, and maintain an effective SOP.  We will explore the key elements of a SOP, best practices for training users on the SOP, and ideas for maintaining the SOP as policies and applications change. You will be given a comprehensive ConnectNow Family Suite SOP template and will participate in a hands-on exercise to build your first SOP process. Leave this workshop with the tools you need to successfully build and execute a well written SOP that will provide support and bring value to your users far into the future.

 

ConnectNow Accounting: Ledger Report Writer
Parish / Diocese | Level 2
Joe Slomiany, ParishSOFT

In this workshop, you will use the Ledger Report Writer module to create custom financial statements in ConnectNow Accounting. Learn how to create some basic reports that will be helpful to your organization. Take advantage of personal instruction from ParishSOFT staff while using the Ledger Report Writer in a test environment. Collect what you learn from this workshop to take full advantage of the Ledger Report Writer module.

 

Benefits of Standardization for the Parish Administrator
Parish | Level 1
Mary Jo Jungwirth, Archdiocese of Saint Paul & Minneapolis

Standardization is important for the parish and diocese. Learn the what, why, who, and how of standardized systemss from Mary Jo Jungwirth of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

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Track: Parish Best Practices


Efficient workflows, better processes, and strategies for leveraging technology at your parish are just some of the topics to be covered in this track. Some diocesan staff may also find these workshops of interest.

Track: Parish Best Practices


Efficient workflows, better processes, and strategies for leveraging technology at your parish are just some of the topics to be covered in this track. Some diocesan staff may also find these workshops of interest.

Parish Best Practices

ConnectNow Offering: The Process from Basket to Bank
Parish | Level 1
Jeff Bachelor, ParishSOFT

Many churches have varying processes in place regarding the handling of contributions. What is the right process? What risks are associated with the process currently in place? This open discussion will focus on the many varying steps involved with accepting contributions, and the necessary controls to ensure financial security and the avoidance of risk throughout the entire process. We'll identify points of inefficiency and potential risk, and discuss techniques to ensure security.

 

ConnectNow Offering End-of-Year Reports:  Maximizing Processes and Best Practices
Parish | Level 2
Roni Argetsinger, Diocese of Des Moines

End-of-year reporting involves more than executing an end-of-year tax statement.  Reviewing your database for missing information, auditing fund accounts and Excel reports, make end-of-year clean up a breeze. This workshop will show you how to complete the end-of-year checklist and generate your end-of-year statements with confidence.

 

Leveraging ConnectNow Family Suite for Church Growth
Parish | Level 2
Jeff Bachelor, ParishSOFT

ConnectNow Family Suite contains a wealth of information and data. Although there are many options available to gather, filter, sort, and report the data, which pieces of data are most useful for building the Church? This workshop will explore data mining options geared towards reaching new and 'fringe' participants, and how to successfully integrate them into the daily life of the parish.

 

The Truth Behind Increased Giving Campaigns: Reasons Why They Work & Why They Don’t
Parish | Level 0
Jeff Bachelor, ParishSOFT

Although resources vary from parish to parish, the need for financial viability remains constant. Whether funding short term projects, such as a building campaign, or desiring parishioners to amplify existing gifts long term, this workshop will focus on various initiatives to increase giving. We will also discuss some of the common obstacles and pitfalls associated with them.

 

Managing Online Registration for Religious Education: A Case Study
Parish / Diocese | Level 0
Carla Haiar, Diocese of Sioux Falls

Learn how to set up the online registration for your Religious Education classes. Increase knowledge, software familiarity, and learn from our experience with an overview of how to set up users, classes, and registration portals for families in your parish.

 

Workflow Best Practices & Processes for ConnectNow Family Directory
Parish | Level 1
Max Brennan, ParishSOFT

This workshop will focus on leveraging basic ConnectNow Family Directory functionality to help you complete day-to-day tasks as efficiently as possible. Learn the power of filtering and quick reports for easy communication and reporting tasks, how to utilize workgroups, and automating workflow through the My Own Church portal.

 

ConnectNow Religious Education - Beyond the Basics
Parish | Level 1
Andrew Haystead, ParishSOFT

Learn how to go beyond the basics and take advantage of all the tools ConnectNow Religious education has to offer. We'll look at topics such as online registration, attendance tracking, and communication with parents and students.

 

Maximize Your Religious Education Revenue with ConnectNow Tuition
Parish | Level 1
Nancy Lambert, ParishSOFT

This workshop will demonstrate how easy it is for any parish to maximize their revenue by utilizing the ConnectNow Tuition module. Learn to set up funds, create invoice items, build easy to use templates, and apply them all to an invoice. Find out how to create scholarships, discounts, and write-offs to better manage your cash flow. Discover how to track payments, issue statements, and maximize your parish's religious education revenue. 

 

Fraud is Rampant in the Church: Who, How, Why & Deterrence Methods
Parish / Diocese | Level 0
James Jordan, CPA Atlanta, GA

A CPA who specializes solely in churches, and is also a Certified Fraud Examiner, is a unique combination. Come hear the many, many ways fraud is committed in the church – and how to deter the opportunity for fraud. Who steals money from the Church?  Anyone with access to the money could. Come learn how to protect church assets in a fascinating discussion loaded with examples – and even a video of someone caught in the act!

 

ParishSOFT Support: Exciting, Ugly, Caring & Frustrating
Parish | Level 0
Paul Knickelbein, ParishSOFT

Ever been frustrated by a support response?  What should you do?  Ever felt like your workflow has stalled or slowed due to waiting for a ParishSOFT Support response?   What should your next step be?  This workshop will highlight some of the processes of the Support Department, and help you navigate your way through the support process.  Gain tools to more efficiently get your questions answered, best practices for communicating with our support team (where, when, how, why), and give special insight into the process that only the director of the support team can give.

 

Rebuilt Church Growth & Optimization
Parish | Level 0
Jeff Bachelor and Mike Cusick, ParishSOFT

Using lessons learned from The Rebuilt Church and The Optimized Church, this workshop will discuss various practical ways each church can “Awaken the faithful, reach the lost, and make church matter” in today’s church environment. Approaching this subject from multiple angles, this workshop will be presented by a strong, practicing Catholic and a former Catholic, now Protestant church elder. We’ll leave it up to you to determine who is who.

 

5 Dysfunctions of a Church
Parish | Level 0
Jeff Bachelor, ParishSOFT

Outlining root causes of dysfunction within the parish office and cultural environment is highlighted while discussing lessons learned from the leadership fable, 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, written by renowned business consultant, Patrick Lencioni (who is Catholic, by the way). We will discuss common missteps churches may experience and how to best avoid and overcome them in sustainable fashion.

 

Religious Education Roadmap
Parish | Level 0
Susan Shirley, Archdiocese of Atlanta

Using technology to help you adequately follow your parish’s mission while addressing short-term and long-range Religious Education needs at your parish

 

Youth Ministry
Parish | Level 0
Susan Shirley, Archdiocese of Atlanta

Susan Shirley from the Archdiocese of Atlanta will discuss her experiences with Youth Ministry in this workshop.

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Track: Parish Software Applications


In these classes, parish staff can learn how to best use their software to impact their work life and parish ministries. While these classes do not offer the in-depth training of a hands-on workshop, they're designed to give parish staff an overview of ConnectNow modules and demonstrate a few specific workflows, tips, and tricks.

Track: Parish Software Applications


In these classes, parish staff can learn how to best use their software to impact their work life and parish ministries. While these classes do not offer the in-depth training of a hands-on workshop, they're designed to give parish staff an overview of ConnectNow modules and demonstrate a few specific workflows, tips, and tricks.

Parish Software Applications

ConnectNow Family Suite: Tips & Tricks for Beginners
Parish | Level 1
Troy Hayes and Paul Knickelbein, ParishSOFT

Are you a new user to ConnectNow Family Suite? Have you been using the ConnectNow Family Suite for less than a year? Then this class is for you! The purpose of this workshop is to offer new users tips and tricks to familiarize themselves with our software and increase their daily productivity. The focus of this class will be primarily on the family directory and offering modules, but will also provide time for questions and answers.

 

ConnectNow Family Suite: Intermediate Level Tips & Tricks
Parish | Level 2
Troy Hayes and Paul Knickelbein, ParishSOFT

Are you familiar with the ConnectNow Family Suite, but still have questions about how some of it operates? Have you explored the more advanced features of the Family Suite? In this class you will learn more in-depth features of ConnectNow Family Suite, join question and answer discussion, and have the opportunity to ask specific questions on the topics you would like to learn about. Come prepared with questions!

 

Getting the Data You Need From ConnectNow Family Suite
Parish | Level 1
Brian Smith, Christ the King, Diocese of Toledo

Explore the various ways you can use the power of ConnectNow to get the data you need for your pastor, co-workers, volunteers, and parish groups. Learn how export functions, quick reports, IQ, and workgroups can empower you to enhance your ministry. Discover how tools from ParishSOFT can help you reach and address your members, and get the right information to the right people.

 

Using Free Tools from the Post Office to Reduce Mailing Costs
Parish | Level 0
Brian Smith, Christ the King, Diocese of Toledo

Learn how using the tools found in the Business Customer Gateway from the United States Postal Service can simplify processes and help you achieve the best pricing on large mailings. By exporting data from ConnectNow, you can use the free Intelligent Mail for Small Business (IMsb) tool to reduce costs. Send full service mailings to receive additional per piece discount on automation mailings; eliminate annual permit fees; use the same permit at any location; and ensure accurate delivery. These easy-to-use tools are free for mailings of less than 10,000 pieces. 

 

Managing Staff Permissions in ConnectNow Family Suite
Parish | Level 2
Bob Dickinson, ParishSOFT

Wondering how to securely manage staff permissions in ConnectNow Family Suite? Discover how to adjust permissions and levels of access based on staff roles and needs. Learn best practices that you can incorporate at your parish to ensure you are keeping your parishioners' data secure.

 

ConnectNow Family Suite: What's New, What's Coming
Parish / Diocese | Level 1
Andrew Haystead, ParishSOFT

In this workshop we will take a look at what's new in the ConnectNow Family Suite since the last users' conference.  We will review high-value features that may be new to you, and discuss ParishSOFT's strategy and priorities for planning and new development.

 

Pledge Processing for a Campaign
Parish | Level 2
Carla Haiar, Diocese of Sioux Falls

This workshop will give you step-by-step instructions to creating pledge records, posting to pledges, and managing a campaign in your parish. Empower your ministry with efficient processes in ConnectNow Offering & Pledges!

 

ConnectNow’s Next Generation of Online Giving: Overview & Integration
Parish | Level 1
Chad Schaufelberger and Craig Ringbloom, ParishSOFT

ConnectNow Giving is our next generation of online giving software. See it in real time as it integrates with the rest of your ConnectNow Family Suite. Learn about how much more parishioners are willing to give when it is made easy for them to do so. With features like text to give, kiosk giving, online event registration and payments, and our online store, your parish has the ability to truly engage your parishioners and encourage them to give their time, talents, and treasure; enabling their desire to serve and become true stewards.

 

ConnectNow Intelligent Query (IQ): Better Data for Ministries & Stewardship
Parish | Level 1
Matt Dent, ParishSOFT

ConnectNow Intelligent Query (IQ) is the custom query report builder designed to help parishes pull the data they need from the ConnectNow Family Suite.  Whether you need a simple report or a more complex query involving multiple data fields, operations, or conditions, IQ makes it possible to get the information you need to empower the work of the church and enhance decision making. This session is designed for organizations that are considering adding the Intelligent Query module or have just purchased it. 

 

ConnectNow Offering & Pledges' E-Statements: Saving Money with Your ConnectNow Tools
Parish | Level 1
Ted Zettel, ParishSOFT

Do you want to learn how to use current technology to help save time and money?  Did you know that you can provide annual contribution statements to your financial supporters in a paperless format with the ConnectNow tools you have today?  In this class you will learn how ConnectNow Offering & Pledges e-statements can provide cost effective, timely, and accurate giving statements to the givers who support your parish's financial needs. We will walk through the e-statement process from creating electronic giving statements and communicating with your givers to retrieval of e-statements from the My Own Church member portal. We will discuss how to prepare early for a smoother, more efficient, end-of-year for both your staff and those who gave financially to your parish this year.

 

Online Event Registration & Payments: It’s Possible with ConnectNow!
Parish | Level 2
Chad Schaufelberger, ParishSOFT

Learn how to better utilize ConnectNow Giving forms to allow your parishioners to register and pay for events online. Here you will see how to custom build online forms that allow parishioners to submit payments. These forms can be used to take an online census, allow parishioners to register and pay for religious education, and give your parishioners the opportunity to register and pay for events, such as summer camps, online — all while giving you access to the information needed in an easy to use format.

 

Sacramental Reporting:  You Were Baptized Where?  
Parish | Level 1
Msgr. George Michalek, Vice Chancellor and Archivist, Diocese of Lansing

 Gain from the experience of Msgr. George Michalek, Vice Chancellor and Archivist from the Diocese of Lansing on how sacramental records of Baptisms, Marriages, Confirmations, and Deaths should be created and maintained. 

 

Introducing: ParishCast – Powerful Group Communication Tools & Best Practices
Parish / Diocese | Level 0
Keith Smith, High Ground Solutions, Inc.

Learn how to use ParishSOFT’s new ParishCast Communication Platform to rapidly alert and notify members of your church, religious education department, parochial school, parish, or diocese.  Quickly and easily communicate via: voice calls; text messages; email; push notifications to smart phones; social networks and more – all within moments!  Best practices for engaging your church, parish, and diocese community in both emergency and non-emergency situations will also be presented.

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Track: Priests


While many workshops in other tracks are relevant for clergy, the classes in the priests track are designed specifically for the parish priest. Some workshops are mission-focused, while others take a closer look at practical side of church business.

Track: Priests


While many workshops in other tracks are relevant for clergy, the classes in the priests track are designed specifically for the parish priest. Some workshops are mission-focused, while others take a closer look at practical side of church business.

Priests

Your Budget as a Missions Statement
Parish | Level 0
Jen Cantrell, CPA

Pastors are responsible for the budget of the parish and creating an annual budget is time consuming and frustrating. Jen Cantrell will talk about how the clergy can handle their budgets, the resources and why the budget is truly the parish mission statement. Join this workshop and learn best practices in budgeting for the clergy.

 

The Business of the Church and the Church as a Business
Parish | Level 0
Jen Cantrell, CPA

Every business has tax and filing responsibilities, so does the Church. As pastors, you are ultimately responsible for compliance with state and federal payroll tax laws. Join this discussion to determine the correct policies for your organization. Are they employees or independent contractors? Am I required to pay overtime to my employees under the new rules? Those questions and others will be addressed. We will also learn the proper procedures for acknowledging gifts of both cash and noncash donations to the Church. Attend and make sure you are compliant with the latest rules and regulations in this complex area.

 

Surviving or Thriving as a Priest in Today’s Church
Parish | Level 0
Tim Sember, ParishSOFT

What are the expectations of a priest today?  What challenges are you facing? Where are you experiencing joy?  How should you measure success? Join an interactive discussion focusing on the priesthood today led from the perspective of a layperson who has served with priests on parish, diocesan, and national levels.

 

Social Media & Your Parish: A Marriage Made in Heaven!
Parish | Level 0
Dawn Wolf, Diocese of Sioux Falls

If Jesus were alive today would he use social media to communicate his message?  Would Saint Paul?  Are you looking at dipping your toe into the social media pool OR are you already swimming and looking to go into the deep end? This session will discuss why a social media strategy is critical to your success and give you tools to create your own strategy.  We'll talk "do's" and "don'ts" of the various social media networks and ideas for creating good content, with a special focus on creating video content.  We will discuss which social media networks you should consider, and which ones might not be a good fit for your parish.  We'll also look at why boosting certain posts might be worth the money, how to maximize your dollars, and much more! 

 

Transparency Leads to Greater Giving
Parish | Level 0
James B. Jordan, CPA Atlanta, GA

There are no secrets in a parish, only confidentiality. Experience has shown that there are inhibitors and enablers that prevent or encourage greater giving. The leadership of the priest is key, but often the culture of the parish is not in alignment with what the giver needs to hear and experience. This presentation and discussion includes actual experiences of how responsive a congregation is to transparent fiscal matters or non-responsive to “secret” fiscal matters. A model for transparency is offered after the inhibitors and enablers are examined. Emphasis is placed on the roles of priests and deacons and their leadership towards transparency.

 

 

 

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Track: Technology


In these workshops, attendees will take a look at "techy" side of church and diocesan work. IT audits, cyber security, browser-based technology and apps, quality assurance, and data governance are just some of the topics addressed in these sessions.

Track: Technology


In these workshops, attendees will take a look at "techy" side of church and diocesan work. IT audits, cyber security, browser-based technology and apps, quality assurance, and data governance are just some of the topics addressed in these sessions.

Technology

Security Awareness Training, Why EVERYONE Should Have It
Parish / Diocese | Level 0
Dawn Wolf, Diocese of Sioux Falls

We hear about data breaches and money being stolen almost daily. Being on the web can be a dangerous place for those who are not trained. No matter how small your organization is, you should have some type of regular security awareness training for your staff and volunteers. Hear about free and low cost training resources that you can provide with little or no budget. Learn what you can and should be doing to protect the resources of your organization, and how to motivate staff to become the best digital security guards you never knew you needed.

 

Making Parish Data Valuable to Parishes
Parish | Level 2
Ron Hurt, Archdiocese of Baltimore

Parishes spend a significant amount of time capturing data. Unfortunately, it is not always accurate. The Archdiocese of Baltimore is working with parishes to provide them with useful information, but the process begins with accurate and consistent data entry.  Data entry standards and enforcement are vital to obtaining useful information. Ron will discuss challenges and potential solutions to enforcing data entry standards, as well as ways the archdiocese is providing valuable data to parishes.

 

Mission-Driven Data & Parish Collaboration
Diocese | Level 2
Marco DeCapite, Archdiocese of Detroit

How can data truly empower our mission? This workshop looks at the importance of data alignment across parishes, and why data governance is essential to serving the larger mission of the Church. This workshop also touches on using tools like Yammer to establish user communities, best practices, and build a culture of collaboration and trust.

 

BE NOT AFRAID of Building a Website
Parish / Diocese | Level 1
Dawn Wolf, Diocese of Sioux Falls

Every parish should have a website and it shouldn't cost undreds of dollars. This presentation will discuss how to get started if your organization doesn't currently have a website OR if it's time to redesign and freshen up the old site you currently have. We'll look at ow changing human digital behavior and expectations are driving new website designs. We'll explore free and low cost options to create and host websites. We will demystify DNS settings and explain why they can make or break your website.

 

G Suite for NonProfits: The Chuck Norris Effect
Parish / Diocese | Level 1
Dawn Wolf, Diocese of Sioux Falls

Chuck Norris is legendary and, according to his fans, there is nothing he can’t do.  Google Apps fans feel the same way about G Suite for NonProfits. This session will explore the suite of applications and collaboration tools that you can use — ALL FOR FREE — and give you practical ways you can use it to advance your ministry and organization. We’ll explore using Google Forms to gather information, sharing Google Calendars to keep everyone informed, adding specialized applications, extensions and add-ons to your tools, and even creating a FREE website for your ministry and MUCH MUCH MORE. There will be plenty of Chuck Norris jokes too!

 

Data Analysis Using Microsoft Excel for Beginners
Parish / Diocese | Level 1
Evan Linick, Diocese of San Jose

You have the spreadsheet, the data is in there, but it’s not telling you what you need to know. Excel is an extremely powerful tool; just a few simple tips and tricks can help make sense of a big pile of data. This session is for the novice Excel user to help you move up to the next level. We will talk about editing, sorting, filtering, tools, and some simple functions to help make that data far more usable.