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List Special Occasions in Your Church Directory to Build Community

May 1, 2021 jill Blog
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As we’ve learned throughout the long pandemic, special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries are important to celebrate—no matter the method.

Even when physical distancing protocols mean extra creativity is required, friends and family enjoy wishing one another well at life’s important milestones. That’s one reason drive-by birthday parades and virtual parties have lifted spirits so memorably during lockdown.

People who are marking birthdays and anniversaries appreciate being remembered and acknowledged, whether in big ways or small. Just knowing that someone is thinking of you adds cheer to a special day.

Your church’s photo directory can play an important part in making sure everyone’s milestones are celebrated. That spirit of celebration, in turn, plays a key role in building community among a family of faith.

How a Church Directory Creates Connections

By using a photo directory software program, you can include each church member’s birthday and wedding anniversary (if applicable) next to their name and contact information.

Whether members access a printed copy of the directory or an online, password-protected version, they’ll be able to easily locate special dates so the celebrations can commence.

Here are some ideas for using your church directory to facilitate celebrations:

  • Dedicate a Birthdays Page in the directory for listing church members’ birthdays in order by month.
  • Create teams of volunteers to send greeting cards to church members. One team can send birthday cards while the other focuses on anniversaries. Either team buy cards in bulk or print them yourself using customizable templates.
  • On the first day of every month, email a list of that month’s birthdays to congregants. Also include the list in your church’s printed or online newsletter, as well as in bulletin announcements.
  • Though people may not want their age publicized, your church office can maintain lists of birth years and wedding years. That way you’ll know when it’s time to celebrate extra-special birthdays—especially those ending in 0—as well as silver (25th), ruby (40th) and golden (50th) anniversaries…and beyond!
  • Your church’s fellowship or social ministry committee can plan monthly receptions to celebrate birthdays, plus parties for certain milestone occasions. Contact people and couples ahead of time to make sure they’re okay with the plans. Note: Sometimes family members take the lead with at-church parties and want them to be a surprise; however, they might enlist the church’s help to spread the word about the get-together.
  • If a party isn’t practical or possible, use your church communications to publicize a card shower. People who are celebrating birthdays while homebound will be thrilled to receive a stack of warm greetings in the mailbox.

However your church marks birthdays and anniversaries, a church directory puts key information at people’s fingertips. Just don’t let these special occasions slip by!

This information is provided courtesy of Instant Church Directory, a small team of dedicated folks working hard from home to build a simple tool for connecting church members. Visit their website at to learn more about their online church directory solution.







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