By Colleen Rowan
WEST VIRGINIA—The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston’s PACE (Pastoral Administration & Collaborative Education) Conference will be an opportunity for interaction and dialogue between diocesan staff and parish staff members and volunteers, said Chad Carter, chancellor of the diocese. The conference will be held April 27-28 at St. John XXIII Pastoral Center in Charleston and is specifically for clergy, parish secretaries, bookkeepers, development directors, directors of religious education and volunteers. “We hope that the PACE Conference will become a vehicle for the ongoing training and formation of parish staff members and volunteers as it relates to parish life, parish administration and technology,” Carter said. “The conference promises to provide beneficial and practical information to the attendees on a wide range of topics.” Diocesan staff will present various sessions during the conference relating to the following tracks: Financial Management & Reporting; Marketing & Technology; Development & Mission Advancement; Pastoral & Formational; ParishSOFT & General Administration. “Basically, PACE is intended to be a collaborative effort between the diocese and the parishes to allow a better sharing of information regarding a variety of topics,” Carter said. “We are hoping to highlight and explain new technologies, new processes, new reporting tools, et cetera with the parish staff members who are responsible for managing such areas within the parish.” Drawing on the conference’s title, Carter said PACE gives the faithful the opportunity to: “Participate in training and informational sessions; Advance our understanding of new opportunities and processes; Celebrate our faith through prayer and worship; Enjoy networking opportunities with diocesan and other parish staff members.” In feedback from parish staff that attended the ParishSOFT training sessions, Carter said, they noted their desire for more regular training to assist them in doing their jobs better and more efficiently. “Some parishes have had very dedicated staff members who have worked there for years and might not be aware of new opportunities that could save them time and energy in their work and better their parish administration efforts,” he said. “Other parishes might have brand new staff members who are in need of training on the many facets and tasks related to working in a parish office. With information and processes ever evolving, this is a great opportunity to share information with our parishes and to dialogue with them in person.” Carter said it is also an opportunity for diocesan staff to hear what’s going well in parishes and where there are struggles. “Together, in collaboration,” he said, “we can celebrate the successes and share this wisdom with other parishes as well as work to assist those who are struggling with certain administrative tasks, et cetera.” The registration fee for the conference is $25 per person which includes meals at the pastoral center. Travel and lodging reservations and expenses are the responsibility of the attendees/parishes. Lodging is available at the pastoral center by calling (304) 342-0507 or e-mailing email@example.com. A full schedule with a listing of all sessions and descriptions along with an online registration form will be available within the next few weeks.