"The parish," according to Judith Ann Kollar, a columnist for Today's Parish for nine years, "does not exist in a vacuum. It is part of a neighborhood, a city or town, a state, a country, and ultimately, the world. It is a thread in the fabric of society. The user-friendly parish should be a vital part of what goes on where it exists."

In a time when millions of baby boomers and other seekers are looking for a church to call home, Christian congregations need to pay more attention to how they present themselves to strangers. Kollar covers all the bases in this down-to-earth workbook designed for ministers, parish leaders, staff, and committee members. First impressions are lasting and so she covers the "sign value" of proper lighting, the wise use of voice mail, and the accessibility of buildings to those who are physically challenged.

Kollar scores some poignant points on the need to make worship more welcoming and to create more ways for people to connect with others through church activities. Her ideas on the parish as a good citizen are right on target — community service is one of the best ways to communicate the mission of the congregation. This paperback is a handy resource.