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.
Isaiah 45:1, 4-6
1 Thessalonians 1:1-5B
Something somewhat unique about my family is that we have three boys pretty close in age. This means we have a lot of fun, a lot of energy, a lot of messes, and a lot of fighting each and every day. It’s a joy to watch them grow in community with each other, and in a lot of ways the littleness of their actions is a school of love for me as I tend to them.
One thing that really fascinates me is how particular they are about their possessions.
Growing up with four siblings of my own, I totally empathize and remember going through this phase. But being an adult spectator is something brand new to me. There have been many times when the boys receive the exact same gift from a family member, yet they can quickly identify the owner of each toy in a glance. The most recent objects of their affection are Minions placemats sent by my mom. Within seconds, each of the boys had their prized possession and no sooner than they put their hands on the mats they could easily tell me which was theirs (despite the fact they were all quite literally identical). This means if I try to give someone the wrong item or mix things up, there is always a heated quarrel as they take it upon themselves to find the proper owner of each item. (more…)
An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Art Buchwald, the longtime humorist for the Washington Post who died in 2007, is credited with saying, “The best things in life aren’t things.” As Christians, we know this statement to be true. Certainly the best things in our lives are not those items that money can buy or things we can create in the material world. Faith, hope, and love are more precious than anything we can see with our eyes. Yet, as humans we often find ourselves longing for the very things that we claim are not nearly as valuable. We lose sight of what is real and true.
The community I live in is a vacation destination. Today there are coach busses traveling up the highway filled with tourists looking at the fall colors, taking part in pumpkin festivals, and who knows what other fun! Every store, restaurant, winery, and farm stand is decked out with pumpkins, cornstalks, hay bales, and scarecrows. The fun and excitement is contagious. I feel like I need a caramel apple and some of those funky ghost pumpkins and lumpy gourds! Later.
People are coming for an experience. My town and all the others around are making sure people will leave with lovely memories. They are setting the stage for friends and families to have an unforgettable fall day with one another. It is important to set the stage for an experience or adventure of any kind, because those who participate will be touched, moved, and transformed. It takes us beyond the ordinary and into the extraordinary! Just why do we love fall rituals so much?
When you picture world missions, what do you imagine? Most of us might think of a remote village, building projects, and catechism lessons in one-room schoolhouses. Modern American life is disconnected on multiple levels from the everyday life of a foreign missionary. This World Mission Month, the team at Missio is trying to bridge that gap in an innovative way: a Papal ChatBot.
Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20
Wedding registries. Christmas lists. Return policies. Gift cards. No one can deny that these modern conveniences make our lives easier. What do they all have in common? Personal preference. In each of these things, we have a say over the gift we receive. It’s something to which we’ve become accustomed. But does God work that way?
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.
An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
You know how the story goes. Your son or daughter swears that while you were gone he or she only invited 2 friends over to watch a movie and eat popcorn. How those other 25 people got there with beer is still a mystery! They were not invited but your young host felt pretty uncomfortable just kicking them out. You did teach them about good hospitality after all.
Did you know October is the month of the rosary? Whether you grew up praying a family rosary every night or still struggle to remember the words to the Apostles Creed, there are always ways to grow. Here are a few practical ways for you and your parish to make the most of this powerful prayer.
Who’s Responsible for Your Church’s Online Strategy?
As technologists, we’re only one big piece in this puzzle. Many of the challenges we have with encouraging technology adoption aren’t rooted in the technology itself, but rather the adoption of it. Technology is just a tool. It’s how we use it that counts.