Giving & The Power of Storytelling

Posted on April 6, 2018 by - Catholic Tech Talk, Vibrant Parish Toolkit

My Post (41)


The Finance Council meeting is upon you. Budgets are examined, compelling cases for more funding are reviewed, and special projects are discussed. When it comes time to increase your offertory or raise money for a particular project, all too often we focus on the numbers and the hard facts. These are true realities! Your church has staff to pay. Your church has a boiler that needs to be replaced. But your church also has a mission, and it has a story — hundreds of them, in fact! Learn why stories impact us, and discover ways your parish can harness the power of storytelling.



Hospitality as a Way of Life

Posted on March 22, 2018 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

hospitality as a way of lifeThe slumbering church is awakening. We are realizing that our pews are empty, our familiar way of doing things isn’t working, and we are facing an unexpected future. We are asking how we will be viable in the years to come. How will we bring back our young people, our Gen -Xers and a growing number of mature women who are finding the need for organized religion a thing of the past? The studies are telling and we aren’t sure what to do.

In all of the proposed solutions on the horizon – Intentional Discipleship, Divine Renovation, Alpha, Rebuilt, Strategic Coaching – the idea of hospitality is consistent.

From Visitor to Parishioner: Online Registration for Easter

Posted on March 8, 2018 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

parishioner registrationA young family is new in town and they found your Easter Mass times online. When Easter morning comes around, they arrive at your doors and are greeted warmly by your hospitality team. They look around to see the flowers and decorations. They are inspired by the music and dynamic homily. They’re moved by the joyful reverence of the liturgy. The family wants to become parishioners. Are you ready?


3 Things Your Church Can Learn From Hawaiian Hospitality

Posted on February 23, 2018 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

everyday hospitality

On a recent trip to Maui to visit family, I learned a word and fell in love with it! The word is ohana. According to the Urban Dictionary, “Ohana means nobody gets left behind. It can also refer to a close group of friends or class that resemble a family.” I was so happy to add this word to my vocabulary. As a parent of children who live far from home, this word gave me hope that they would find community no matter what.

Many of us have friends, colleagues or neighbors that are ohana to us. We just don’t have a word for them. They are people we call to share good news or invite for an impromptu dinner. They are the kind of people who don’t care if your house is messy, that you might have a horrible cold. They are the ones who comfort you after a loss or are included in celebrations and accomplishments. Beautiful, right?

This got me thinking about everyday hospitality and community and ways we can include, invite, and welcome in our parishes. (more…)

3 Lenten Preparation Tips for Church Employees

Posted on February 8, 2018 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

lent church staff

“Is Stations of the Cross in the bulletin?” “Who submitted the invoice for the parish mission speaker? “The confirmation retreat is the weekend after Ash Wednesday. We can’t order pepperoni pizza for Friday! Change the order!”

If these concerns sound familiar to you, you might be a church employee! Lenten considerations look a little different if you’re on a parish staff. It can be easier to feel like Martha rather than Mary. But the Lenten invitation to conversion and sacrifice is extended to every person, even – and perhaps especially – when faith is your job. Read on for a few ways to enter into the season of Lent in your heart, not just on your ministerial to-do list. (more…)

Your Parish Collaboration Needs a Brand

Posted on January 25, 2018 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

parish collaboration

We live in a changing religious landscape. Areas that once featured a Catholic Church on every block now find themselves unable to support the infrastructure while suburban parishes boom and expand. New immigrant arrivals mean ethnically and linguistically diverse parishes. Newly ordained priests don’t always replace the numbers who retire.

In many dioceses, this means adaptability and collaboration on the part of the average parish. These collaborations often bring tensions between staff and parishioners, even perhaps the fear that one day a beloved parish will close or lose it’s unique identity.


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…)

Make a Bulletin New Year’s Resolution

Posted on December 28, 2017 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

new year's resolution


Greeters at the door and public welcome from the pulpit will go a long way to making sure people feel welcome when they return to your parish. But what about when they walk out the parish doors? Most visitors will walk out with something in hand – your bulletin. You want them to open it, discover a new event, and get connected. In a media-driven world, including attractive visual elements in your bulletin can make a world of difference. Make a New Year’s resolution to add one new piece of art per week. We’re offering four tips to make your bulletin more eye-catching, more inspirational, and more organized. (more…)

Re-Think Your Christmas Parking Lot

Posted on December 18, 2017 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

christmas parking lot

Christmas is a week away! As Catholic churches around the world prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior, we remember that “the regulars” – Mary and Joseph – were not alone that Christmas night. While there was no room in the inn, there was space in the stable to welcome the shepherds.

Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Midnight Mass…tis the season for fuller pews. How can your parish best handle the influx and prepare an inviting celebration for all?