When it comes to control over the finances, some parishes like to be in direct control of what comes in. Directly operating your church’s merchant account may bring you financial gifts faster, but the process comes with some inherent risks.
Liturgical Publications was proud to support vibrant parishes in the Diocese of Phoenix by sponsoring this year’s Ascent Parish Leadership Conference on October 5th and 6th. This daylong event occurred in two locations and drew leadership from across the diocese. As parishes juggle programs in key areas: stewardship, discipleship, and evangelization, Ascent asked the question: how can these complement one another? The day featured an opening Mass with Bishop Thomas Olmstead and continued with inspiring keynotes and practical application sessions. Collaborative activities gave space for attendees to take inventory of their parish ministries and make plans for mission.
LPi’s sponsorship will continue throughout the year as the Phoenix Diocese launches it’s Pathfinder Program, an ongoing formation series to connect and equip parish leadership teams for their ministry.
Visit the Diocese of Phoenix online to learn more.
As the Church enters into a new era of technology and innovation, the practice of stewardship requires an ever-evolving perspective. The International Catholic Stewardship Council has been an authoritative presence in the field for 55 years. This September, over one thousand church leaders from parishes, dioceses, and foundations across the world gathered in Atlanta for the ICSC Annual Conference. As a Gold Partner with ICSC, Liturgical Publications was pleased to participate in this year’s conference in a number of ways.
Guest Post by Chuck Frost
“Purity of heart is what enables us to see.” ― Pope Benedict XVI
I’ve always been fond of a scene in the movie City Slickers, a story of three friends who go on a cattle drive adventure to New Mexico to help sort out their mid-life problems. Billy Crystal plays one of those friends, Mitch, and Jack Palance plays the trail boss, Curly. A turning point for Mitch comes in a scene where he and Curly are riding horseback together.
Curly says to Mitch: “You all come up here about the same age, same problems. You spend about fifty weeks a year getting knots in your rope and then you think two weeks up here will untie them for you. But none of you get it.” He continues: “You know what the secret of life is? Mitch replies, “No, what?” Curly then slowly holds up one finger and says, “One thing, just one thing. You stick to that and everything else don’t mean [nothing].” Mitch then asks, “What’s the one thing?” And Curly answers, “That’s what you’ve got to figure out.”
Everybody loves a good story. Stories of faith engage listeners differently than a list of facts or good ideas. When people share their faith journey with others, it offers powerful encouragement to both the storyteller and the recipient. I’ve been there too. We’re in this together. Parishes that limit their stewardship discussions to theological discussion and ignore the personal connection will have a difficult time fully engaging everyone. Finding and telling the right story is possible for every parish.
We all feel the pinch, don’t we? The relation of income to outflow is a tense conversation in many parishes. It feels like churches cost more than they used to, with aging facilities, competitive salaries for necessary lay ministers, and new programs to enliven faith amid a world where many find it easier to have none. Where does that leave the average Catholic parish? For many parishes, running an increased offertory program is the best solution to relieve the tension. Even so, a new name and new mailings isn’t quite enough.
This is a guest post from Edmund Mitchell.
I stood in St. Peter’s Square a few years ago and a friend said the Pope’s office window is the last light to turn off at the Vatican, communicating to everyone just how hard the Pope is working for his flock. “Pope’s Window Syndrome” hits people who work for the Church, as they put in grueling 50-60 hour workweeks, leaving lights on in their office long after everyone else leaves for the evening. And while putting in 60 hours a week may make you feel like you are working hard, not getting paid enough, and completely unappreciated, there is a lot of evidence that suggests the more hours you work, the less productive you become. (See this link, that article, and here.) Not to mention the huge negative impact on your family life if you’re married.
Enter Sheryl Sandberg and Parkinson’s Law.
St. Joseph Catholic Church made news in Hays, Kansas when they made a concerted effort to grow their online presence. How? Through WeShare online giving and LPi Parish App. The parish has big plans for using these tools to connect their parishioners to new information and to each other.
How Good Photography Reveals Beauty and Draws People to the Church
We live in a world where nearly everyone has access to a camera. It has never been easier to document and record our lives. With the click of a button, we can share the beauty of our faith with the world, a faith that is naturally beautiful on many different levels. Our human instinct to capture beauty is a direct reflection of God’s word when he saw all that he made and “found it very good.”
Photography matters in our world—and should matter to the Church—because it is the bridge or gateway of communication and storytelling. Statistics show that more and more people are visual learners, which shows that photography makes a difference. With the Instagram generation having a bigger impact in the world of communications and evangelization, taking a photo with purpose and reason can give someone a reason to stop, pause, and be curious as to what that photo can offer. Most importantly, it offers the story behind the photo.
Imagine if that same purpose and reason were applied to the way we approach photography within church communications. Here are five tips to help the photos you take leave a deeper impression.
Guest Post by Chuck Frost
We are all guilty of name-calling from time to time. It’s human nature when you are frustrated, angry, or have been mistreated to lash out with an insult. We like to label people too. We label people by political leaning, intelligence, attractiveness, personality, behavior…. Even our Lord had labels attached to him: glutton, drunkard, blasphemer.