If you’ve been on the web recently, you may have noticed a little orange icon next to the social media buttons — the RSS feed. Short for “Really Simple Syndication,” it’s a standardized system for the distribution of content from an online publisher to internet users. We see these types of feeds for nearly all kinds of online content — from blogs to podcasts to news articles from high-end news organizations. It’s an easy way to get content delivered in a fast, professional, and free method without much effort on your part.
As a parish, you may be hard-pressed to find reliable content to update your website on a regular basis. That is why an RSS feed is so valuable to parishes wishing to make their website a place where people can go to be formed in the Catholic faith and stay up to date about their faith community.
LPi has some blogs available as RSS feeds that can be used as content for your parish website.
Located on the blog section of www.4lpi.com, there are four categories that are extremely relevant to the Catholic faith, with two being perfect additions to your parish website. Vibrant Parish Toolkit and Catholic Tech Talk are short yet substantial blogs that help parish leadership teams learn the latest trends in Catholic ministry. Whether that be the best automated email systems to use for your parish or fun and exciting ways to celebrate Lent, your staff can utilize them to keep up to date on the latest Catholic trends.
While these types of blogs are considered to be more “insider” information and not for public consumption, LPi also produces two regular blogs that are meant to be shared within your faith community and beyond — Connect! Sunday Reflection and Everyday Stewardship.
Connect! Sunday Reflections bring the transformative power of the Gospels to the realities of daily life. This blog seeks to reach people by providing current cultural context for the Sunday Mass readings and is a great resource to include on your parish website. Be sure to tie it in with your weekly bulletin by asking people to check it out on your website, and asking them to share it with others. Written by a variety of authors who lend their own thoughts and opinions, it’s a wonderful way to involve parishioners and website visitors in the faith.
Tracy Earl Welliver’s Everyday Stewardship blog invites readers to encounter Jesus Christ, cultivate their own unique gifts, and live as disciples of Christ. These brief, authentic, and highly personal reflections are also available for publication in your bulletin through a subscription for early access. It’s a great read for those who are looking to dive deeper into the meaning of stewardship, and how we can all lend our talents to the Church.
While there are similar aspects to any website platform — homepage, tabs, links to content, and the like — many are different with how to best add an RSS feed. LPi’s platform, WeConnect, has an area on the backend that allows users to add a snippet of code, so that every time a new blog is published, the feed is automatically updated and is added to your parish website. For instructions on how to do this, please contact your WeConnect manager.
Have you used RSS feeds on your parish website?