Tonawanda News


July 22, 2013

Parishioners use "flocknotes" to stay connected

Tonawanda News — It’s usually considered bad form to use your cell phone in church. But on a recent Sunday, not to long ago, parishioners from St. Vincent De Paul Parish were asked to bring their phones to mass.

At one point in the service, when everyone pulled their phones out of purses and pockets, the church stepped into the future of evangelizing, as all the parishioners simultaneously texted a new online service that would change the way they communicate with each other.

The service is called “Flocknote” and it was designed by a Texan who thought that weekly sermons, traditional “snail mail” and church bulletins were simply not efficient enough in allowing church members to stay connected. David Hayes of Wheatfield, a church member who led the process of installation, said the service uses social media to provide a deeper connectivity. 

“If you look at how most parishes and churches in general communicate today, they have bulletins and websites, but this is really taking it to the next level,” he said.  

That means church leaders can use texts, tweets and Facebook to share important messages instantly. The program has already helped other churches solve big problems, according to church member Annie Esposito, who came up with the idea to use Flocknote.

“There are a couple of neat stories I’ve heard around the country,” Esposito said. “Flocknote saved Holy Week for one parish. The city had planned a construction project right in front of the church, right during Holy Week. The parish was already using Flocknote. They sent out a text asking parishioners to please contact the city, and all these people did. Sure enough the city heard the request and delayed the project until after Easter.”

The program can also assist with events such as winter storms, notifying people when an activity is closed at the last minute; or can send a message from the pastor. 

Text Only
  • SUN LIFE Volunteers honored 1 040614.jpg Women Who Move the City (and beyond)

    April 7, 2014 2 Photos

  • SUN LIFE POUND 1040614j jpg.jpg Rock n' roll fitness

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - crib notes RGB Enough of this winter -- it's time for spring

    Midway through separating the bits of dog food from the shredded paper towel pieces on the saturated bed sheet that had been strewn across the dining-room table, I finally realized I’d had enough.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - critter companions RGB Dear readers, it's me, Kenny

    I have bad knees. I have been told to blame my grandmother. I have also been told to blame her for my love of animals. Today, we celebrate the 100th Critter Companions column.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE mummies 1 033014.jpg 'Mummies of the World' exhibit arrives in Buffalo

    As visitors arrived for the recent NCAA basketball tournament games in Buffalo, a much older group of visitors arrived via motorcade at the Buffalo Museum of Science — but these newcomers to the Queen City wouldn’t be seeking out a place to have a beer between games or where to find the region’s best chicken wings.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - double trouble RGB Years later, still spending sunny days on Sesame Street

    I always knew we’d hit “the Elmo years.”

    Going into parenthood, it seemed like a given. Both my husband and I  were “Sesame Street” fans from childhood ourselves, and we were happy enough to pass it on to a new generation. And we knew, having friends with children of the applicable age, that in this day and age “Sesame Street” equalled Elmo, the squeaky-voiced “furry red menace” (thus dubbed by Oscar the Grouch) of parents everywhere.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE Local Restaurant Week 2 033014.jpg Back for another bite

    As spring finally starts to unfold in Western New York, residents are likely eager to get out of their houses — and organizers of Local Restaurant Week hope they’ll consider eating out as they do that.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wineries invite visitors to take a Taste of the Trail

    If one weekend of food and wine pairings is a good thing, two weekends of food and wine pairings must be even better.

    For the first time, the Taste of the Trail event, which takes place Friday through April 6 and April 11 to 13 on the Niagara Wine Trail, will be split into two weekends, with half the trail’s wineries taking part the first weekend and half the second, said Elizabeth Maute, wine trail coordinator.

    March 31, 2014

  • sig - critter companions RGB CRITTER COMPANIONS: Rewards for playing nice

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE signs of spring 1 032314.jpg Region's favorite signs of spring gear up for season

    Ah, the signs of spring: The birdsong, the flowers, the green grass, the flowing waters of the Erie Canal or Niagara River ... and the words “Opening soon” on the marquee of your favorite seasonal business.

    March 24, 2014 1 Photo