MSP User Spotlight: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Like most schedulers, Pamela Smith of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church often found herself digging through spreadsheets and email chains to create ministry schedules. Her ongoing task was to coordinate 2-3 weekly Acolyte schedules for 12-36 Acolytes. It was a difficult job that cost her hours of time.
Right after completing a schedule, Pamela found a postcard in the mail about Ministry Scheduler Pro. “Well, this must be for me!” she thought, so she decided to give the MSP a try.
Since transitioning to MSP, she’s found the time to refocus on connecting to her ministries. Pamela uses the software to strengthen her relationships with Acolytes and their families through personalized scheduling.
One way she’s created a more personalized experience is through the use of the Custom Fields feature in MSP, which allows schedulers to track any type of data. Schedulers can use the data to run reports, create filters, and use tokens. Tokens are a built-in feature of MSP, which allows schedulers to automatically populate an email with information that is relevant to each recipient, similar to how mail-merge fields work. For Pamela, this was crucial as she needed a way to connect with parents in her children’s ministries.
As the importance of protecting children’s information, especially online, increases every day, the need to communicate directly with parents via email is clear. This is one reason the MSP Custom Field is such a powerful feature. When parents are addressed directly, they feel more connected and in control of their children’s schedule, and their children’s information is shared online less often.
“When I send the emails, I’m usually sending it to the parents.... so I wanted to put the parent’s name in [the email] instead of the child’s name.” MSP allowed Pamela to create an email that seamlessly welcomed parents into the Acolyte ministry. “That’s why I love MSP!” she shared.
Pamela found out about MSP’s Custom Field feature through an online group of MSP schedulers, the MSP Google Group. In addition to the unlimited technical support provided with every MSP license, Pamela was able to reach out to the MSP Google Group to find out more about how to use custom fields as tokens.
The MSP Google Group provides a wealth of information for MSP users to ask questions and bounce ideas off each other. With over 850 members, the schedulers dive into a wide variety of topics, including how to phrase emails, create schedules, or use the program.
Once Pamela began using Custom Fields, she quickly expanded her use of them. She added her signature as a token and the signature of ministry leaders for schedules that are created and sent for their ministries, which helps with continuity as the contact information in the email matches the ministry leader.
Scheduling Acolytes with MSP was such a positive experience that Pamela began using it to schedule Readers as well. “Sending emails is a lot easier with MSP,” she shared. “I’ve been really happy with it!”
Now, with MSP, Pamela can create schedules with the click of a button and easily keep Acolytes and Readers fully in the loop. With each schedule, Pamela continues the important work of St. Paul’s in Indiana, where all the parishioners work hard to fulfill St. Paul’s mission “...to be a diverse, generous, and faithful community.”