Giving Tuesday 2016—Help Us Help Others

Posted on November 16, 2016 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

Giving Tuesday 2016 LogoGiving Tuesday is a global day of generosity and charity celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving that stands in contrast to days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The idea is simple—find a way to give back and share that idea with others on social media.

This Giving Tuesday, November 29, LPi will collect donations for various charities across the country and match each donation, dollar for dollar.

Your $5 donation becomes $10. Your $10 donation becomes $20. And so on.

Here are the organizations we’re supporting this year:

On Giving Tuesday, we will send an email with instructions on how to donate through our website, Facebook, or Twitter page. If you’re not currently on our email list you can sign up here or you can look for the post on our Facebook page.

It doesn’t matter what cause or charity you select, we encourage you to give from your heart to charities across the country or in your own community. Join us on Giving Tuesday to make a bigger difference to those in need.

 

10 Points on Good Stewardship for Students

Posted on August 17, 2016 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

The stewardship way of life is for everyone, even those who are young. As students go back to school as another summer has passed, it is a great time to reflect on how a student is called to live out his or her stewardship. Here are 10 things to focus on as the academic year begins.

    1. 10 Points on Good StewardshipGod has given you the gift of intellect and it should be used wisely.
      Do not try to just get by in your classes. Offer your best effort and cultivate your intellect so you can become the best student possible.
    2. The work you do in class is your gift to God.
      At this time in your life, you are called to be a student. What you do in class is your unique offering to God.
    3. Don’t waste the gift of time.
      For generations, students have put off studying or class projects until the last-minute. That is being a poor steward of one of God’s greatest gifts: time. Learn to manage this precious resource.
    4. CommunityAlways remember you are a part of a community, even if you don’t feel like it.
      Unless you are homeschooled, other students trying to make sense of growing up and the need for school surround you, and at that, even homeschoolers have communities that they see periodically. You are never alone in the jungle of school and there are peers, parents, and school staff that are willing to help you discern what is best for you.
    5. Be grateful for the chance to be in school.
      Millions of children all around the globe have had the chance to attend school taken from them. Their futures are severely compromised because they are missing the chance to learn basic knowledge that will allow them to prosper in the world. Never take your ability to attend school for granted.
    6. God is calling you today in your classroom.
      Perhaps it is through a classmate, a teacher, or a circumstance, but somehow God is asking something of you each day. Be aware and stay mindful of all those who cross your path each day. Something or someone very important might cross your path, never to return again.
    7. Cross Light BulbHold yourself accountable.
      Don’t fall into the temptation of slacking off, not doing your work, or even worse, cheating. Integrity is a precious gift that should never be tossed away. No one else is responsible for your actions except for YOU.
    8. Embrace the entirety of your life as a student.
      Growth in school is about more than books and subjects. God has filled this world with people to meet, sports to play, and moments to rejoice in life. Don’t let this time pass you by and get involved.
    9. Begin and end each school day with prayer.
      When you awake, offer the day and all your efforts of the day to God, and then when the day is over, spend time with God reflecting on how you succeeded and how you failed as a good steward and disciple of Jesus. Allow God to walk with you throughout your day by creating bookends of prayer for your day.
    10. Stay committed.
      The school year can be long. Make a commitment to stay focused and not fall behind. The good thing about the times we fail in that commitment is that we can recommit ourselves and begin again.

    Be sure to share with students, parents, teachers, and your parish family. Have an awesome school year and always keep God as the main thing.

    This list is also available as a downloadable PDF here.

Stewards of Our Strengths at the 54th Annual ICSC Conference

Posted on July 25, 2016 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

When my parish first began its stewardship journey, it was not uncommon to have conversations that began like this: “I understand the need to be a good steward of my time. Each of us only has so many hours in a day, and we never know when our life will end. I ‘get’ that we need to be stewards of our treasure.

StewardshipEven though I always feel I need more money, I can learn to separate my wants from my needs. But stewards of our talents? What are our talents? What does it mean to be a steward of talent?” For many years, we searched for ways to help people become aware of and grow as stewards of their talents. That is one of the many reasons why we were so excited when we discovered StrengthsFinder .

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5 Ways to Create a More Welcoming Parish

Posted on July 22, 2016 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

 

My wife and I have an area of our church where we like to sit with our two boys. We are not the people who have our “pew” but do have our section. Sound familiar?

For the past few months, our pastor’s homilies have centered on the theme of welcoming. One that stuck with me was called “pew hospitality” and the idea that parishioners should move to the center of their pews so others didn’t have to climb over them to get to their seats.

Since that Sunday, I have always moved the middle of the pew. It’s a simple idea, but can have a real impact on how visitors view your church.

 Create a More Welcoming Parish

 

 

 

 

 

NumberOneLeave the first few rows of parking open for guests

Ask parishioners to arrive a little early and park further away.

If someone hasn’t attended church for a while, they are more likely to leave if they can’t find somewhere to park.

 

NumberTwoRemove the doorstops
Ask a few parishioners on your hospitality committee to welcome your guests and hold the door for them when they enter the church. This creates a more personal, inviting experience for everyone.

For more tips on building a vibrant church greeter ministry, click here.

 

NumberThreeAsk families to be greeters

A parent and child can be a terrific greeting team, keeping it fun and lighthearted, while serving in a ministry together.

 

 

NumberFourInclude a note about welcoming children and babies into Mass
Let visitors and parishioners know that their babies and children are welcome at Mass. Last weekend, there were two babies in our pew and it brought smiles to people’s faces as they made sounds during Mass.

 

 

NumberFiveAsk people for feedback

Once you’ve taken some initial steps to become a more welcoming parish, ask some members of your family or friends who don’t attend your church to visit and give you their honest feedback. Take it to heart and make improvements when necessary.

 

Bring Your Bulletin to Life with Color

Posted on July 7, 2016 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, recently took advantage of the latest print technology offered by LPi and upgraded its entire bulletin to full color, transforming it into a beautiful, vibrant communications tool for the parish.

First, you need to know that LPi did not create this awesome bulletin transformation—the parish did. But you will never believe who on the parish staff created this engaging new design. It was Joe Kallenberger, Director of Administrative Services for the church.

Joe started with a strong overall color palette and organized their content into different color blocks. With the use of such vibrant colors, the white space stands out in greater contrast and improves the visual flow for the reader.

Here are a few changes that make this bulletin really stand out:

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Making Second Collections Easier

Posted on July 1, 2016 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

Sometimes it’s the Diocese. Sometimes it’s a mission parish that you support in another country. Sometimes it’s a local ministry.

Whatever the cause happens to be, Catholic churches have a variety of second collections where the basket comes around again. And your parishioners often need to write two checks and bring two envelopes that week.

Not the easiest way to handle second collections.

Image 2When LPi created our online giving tool WeShare, we made a commitment to our parish customers to build the easiest, most robust, and best online giving program available for the Catholic Church.

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Stewards Among Us

Posted on June 20, 2016 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

Inspiring Discipleship One Story at a Time

Take a moment to think back to the days when you weren’t so engaged in parish life. Remember how it felt to show up for Sunday Mass without knowing a soul or feeling any connection to your parish?

Now recall the specific instance when you were invited to join in a particular parish ministry or group. Why did you say yes?

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Bring Your Bulletin To Life With Color

Posted on June 15, 2016 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, recently took advantage of the latest print technology offered by LPi and upgraded its entire bulletin to full color, transforming it into a beautiful, vibrant communications tool for the parish.

First, you need to know that LPi did not create this awesome bulletin transformation—the parish did. But you will never believe who on the parish staff created this engaging new design. It was Joe Kallenberger, Director of Administrative Services for the church. Joe started with a strong overall color palette and organized their content into different color blocks. With the use of such vibrant colors, the white space stands out in greater contrast and improves the visual flow for the reader.

We love that Our Lady of Lourdes uses its weekly bulletin less for dates and times and more for communicating the good news of Jesus Christ. To see the parish’s most recent color bulletins online visit its website at www.ololmke.org.

Here Are A Few Changes That Make This Bulletin Really Stand Out
Original Bulletin

The limited color palette makes it difficult to highlight the most important content, even with an effective use of white space.

 

Click here to download this article as a PDF