Gigs, Geeks, and God: Milwaukee’s G3 Conference

Posted on January 15, 2018 by - LPi News

G3 conference

What happens to your parish brand identity when your parish collaborates or clusters with others? LPi’s Vice President of Marketing, Carin Winghart, shared best practice tips at the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s G3 conference on Thursday, January 11th.

The conference was held at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Milwaukee, WI and drew attendees across ministerial lines, from pastors and DREs to business administrators and IT professionals. A changing religious landscape across the United States requires adaptability and collaboration on the part of the average parish.  (more…)

Mindful Living

Posted on January 14, 2018 by - Everyday Stewardship

mindful living

 

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

Have you ever been somewhere public and days later others said they saw you there? You can find yourself surprised that they saw you and didn’t say hello. However, at least they saw you. You, on the other hand, didn’t even have any idea they were around you. You may have been oblivious to what was going on or those crossing your path on that day. You may have been forsaking that moment thinking about another time to come down the road.

Imagine being one of those who first encountered Jesus as he began his ministry. (more…)

New Year, New Dreams: Living Personal Hospitality

Posted on January 11, 2018 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

personal hospitality

 

I am so happy for 2018. I love fresh starts! My calendar is new — no crossed-out appointments, no rescheduled meetings — just fresh new days and empty pages ready to be filled. I spent an afternoon getting my new planner all set for the year, adding meetings and things I knew were coming up. It’s now waiting for everything that comes my way. Hopefully, the calendar will tell a story in December of how I spent my time, energy, gifts, and strengths. I have a goal for a messy, full calendar with notes and pictures, scribbles, and ideas.

I have a presentation in my calendar for later this month, and it has me thinking about goal setting, which is a very January thing to do. I will be talking with ministry leaders about professionalism. I am looking forward to the day and thought I would share some of the message with you. First, a concept I need to break open: personal hospitality. (more…)

Speak, Lord. Your Servant Is Listening

Posted on January 10, 2018 by - Connect! Sunday Reflection

Connect! Sunday Reflection: Speak, Lord. Your Servant Is ListeningFor Sunday, January 14, 2018
Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19
1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20
John 1:35-42

Now that the Christmas season is officially over, my family and I are slowly trying to get back into the daily grind of life. It’s amazing how a couple weeks of presents, staying up late, and sugar can deconstruct even the best home routine and make everyone a mild form of a post-Christmas Grinch. Our biggest hurdle this new year has been an ever-present night coughing from a current cold strain making the rounds in our neighborhood. For the past two weeks, I’ve been up for at least two hours each night tending to sick children.

Reflecting on the first reading this Sunday, where we hear Samuel’s call from the Lord, I’m brought to an odd state of gratitude for the coughs and sniffles. What strikes me the most about Samuel is that when God called him, he missed the point a few times before finally discovering who was beckoning him. And what’s more, he needed help coming to that discovery.

So often in my vocation, God has called me in mysterious ways much like Samuel. I have the heart of a champion and want to believe I could do heroic feats for the sake of Christ. I imagine God asking me to start a kitchen to serve the poor with my family or maybe write a book. But instead, in the deep of my slumber I’m woken with “hack hack hack hack, Mommmyyyy!”. It doesn’t sound like the Lord. I’m disoriented and tired and daydreaming of grand ways I could be serving God if only I had enough sleep at night. The readings remind me that God’s ways are not our ways.

The third time he’s called, with Elijah’s help, Samuel finally understands who is calling him. He is no longer confused and wandering about in the night. God has made the first move, and patiently called him, and now Samuel answers, “Speak, Lord”. The past two weeks, I’ve been reminded that God is indeed calling me, only I’ve not been truly listening to recognize it’s Him, hidden in the tasks of my vocation. With each night of coughs, I’ve slowly come to hear His voice.

The wonderful thing is that God is a patient lover. If we feel He isn’t listening or our prayers aren’t being answered, we can be assured it’s not because He doesn’t hear us, but perhaps because we don’t hear Him. In the Catechism, we’re reminded that God always makes the first move and we respond.

The second reading from St. Paul gives us a pragmatic game plan when we step up to follow the will of God. Everything we do ought to be pure and give glory to God. This upcoming Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Martin Luther King is one example of this as he fought to bring light to dark parts of our nation’s history. He wasn’t perfect by any means, but without his influence and bravery, countless more people would have been violated and abused in our nation’s history. King saw a call to do good, and he rose to action.

The past two weeks of illness have taught me to see those suffering right in front of me and to use my body to glorify God by doing something about it, even if imperfectly. Once we realize God is calling us, we have the courage to say, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.”

The Gospel shows us this reality as Jesus beckons his disciples and names Peter. He is reaching out; they are searching and intrigued even if they don’t fully understand what the call means. Much like Samuel, the words hit their ears, something stirs in their hearts, and as they answer back, they begin experiencing communion with Christ. This is the beauty of conversion—finding that God has called us in places we may have never expected and moving away from sin toward Christ as we respond. We are called to glorify God with our whole selves, whether that means tending to sick children, sitting at a parish office desk, or speaking to the crowds. God is calling each of us by name … do we hear it?

Angie Windnagle

PRAYER

Father, I abandon myself into your hands;
do with me what you will.
Whatever you do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures.
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul;
I offer it to you
with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord,
and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands
without reserve
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.
Amen.

Prayer of Abandonment by Bl. Charles de Foucauld

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The Greatest Gifts

Posted on January 7, 2018 by - Everyday Stewardship

epiphany

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the Epiphany of the Lord

My mother-in-law was the best gift-giver I ever knew. One could say my parents spoiled me growing up, but there was something about her gifts to me that made me feel overwhelmed. I guess it was that after several years I still was surprised that she would think enough of me to get me something no one else would. She was able to make me feel special every time. Of course, I believe she honored me in this way because I accepted her greatest gift to me, her daughter.

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Church Technology Trends in 2018

Posted on January 4, 2018 by - Catholic Tech Talk

church technology trends

 

In St. Augustine’s Confessions, he refers to God’s beauty as “ever ancient, ever new.” As Catholic churches, we pass on our rich heritage of tradition to the next generation. But in an ever-changing world, the Church challenges us to a New Evangelization, “new in its ardor, methods and expression.” We know that while technology isn’t the solution, it’s certainly an incredibly effective tool for engaging parishioners and inviting them to greater discipleship. So as we look ahead to 2018, here are some key Church technology trends to keep an eye on.

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Seekers of Truth

Posted on January 3, 2018 by - Connect! Sunday Reflection

Connect! Sunday Reflection: Seekers of TruthFor Sunday, January 07, 2018
The Epiphany of the Lord

Isaiah 60:1-6
Ephesians 3:2-3A, 5-6
Matthew 2:1-12

We Three Kings of Orient are bearing gifts, we traverse afar…”. So goes the popular song we’ll likely hear this Sunday. Each verse highlights one of the gifts the Magi bring. Homilies sometimes include a symbolic breakdown of each of the gifts and how they point to Christ’s kingship, priestly role, and his death. Most of us won’t see much gold in our lifetime, and we probably need to Google “frankincense ” and “myrrh”. At Epiphany, we often focus on what the wise men brought. All too rarely do we reflect on what brought them.

(more…)

Saying “Yes” to God

Posted on January 1, 2018 by - Everyday Stewardship

mother of god

 

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God

Pope Francis said in an address from 2013, “Mary, whose “yes” opened the door for God to undo the knot of the ancient disobedience, is the Mother who patiently and lovingly brings us to God, so that He can untangle the knots of our soul by His fatherly mercy.”

Mary is the Mother who lovingly brings us to God, the one who turns human “yes’s” into miracles. Mary not only gave birth to the Son of God, she gave birth to our hope. By our own affirmative reply to God’s calling in our life, we trust that God will comfort and care for us as His own. Our Lady is then not only the Mother of God, but the Mother of Mercy, for without her, the pathway of mercy and grace does not break into our world.

We then must demonstrate our gratefulness for her answer to God by becoming vessels of God’s mercy for others. Just as He turned her “yes” into the Incarnation, God can turn our “yes” into a way for others to encounter Jesus Christ. God can untangle knots in others through our generosity and compassion. He can shower mercy upon a world in such desperate need of it through our actions and gestures of love. This is what it means to be a mature disciple and to live a stewardship way of life. Mary is the Mother of God, but she is our Mother as well. What better way to give thanks to the woman who made this possible with her gesture of love by offering that same love to the world.