Four Reasons Churches Don’t Change (Even When They Need To)

Posted on January 12, 2016 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

ChurchThere’s one difference between God and the Church: God doesn’t need to change. But, the most effective and successful churches are constantly changing. The message and the mission never change- that’s a God thing- but the methods and techniques we use to communicate that mission/message are in constant need of re-shaping to reach the ever-changing identity of the lost in every time and place.

Here are four real-life obstacles every church leader needs to be prepared for if you’re trying to transition your church.

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Pope Francis: “What is love?”

Posted on January 8, 2016 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

popeLove was the center of Pope Francis’ second daily homily after taking a break for Christmas, and is a word he said has become so casual that we no longer know exactly what we mean when we say it.

“This word ‘love’ is a word that is used so many times and when we use it we don’t know exactly what it means. What is love?” the Pope said during his Jan. 8 daily Mass in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse.

Click to read the full post on Catholic News Agency

Pope Francis’ Ten New Year’s Resolutions For You

Posted on January 5, 2016 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

We’re already a few days into the New Year, but it’s not too late to make your resolutions. If you need some help, here are some ideas from the Holy Father himself.

Here are ten things Pope Francis called upon Vatican employees to do in a meeting held before Christmas:

Pope Francis1. “Take care of your spiritual life, your relationship with God, because this is the backbone of everything we do and everything we are.”

2. “Take care of your family life, giving your children and loved ones not just money, but most of all your time, attention and love.”

3. “Take care of your relationships with others, transforming your faith into life and your words into good works, especially on behalf of the needy.”

4. “Be careful how you speak, purify your tongue of offensive words, vulgarity and worldly decadence.”

5. “Heal wounds of the heart with the oil of forgiveness, forgiving those who have hurt us and medicating the wounds we have caused others.”

6. “Look after your work, doing it with enthusiasm, humility, competence, passion and with a spirit that knows how to thank the Lord.”

7. “Be careful of envy, lust, hatred and negative feelings that devour our interior peace and transform us into destroyed and destructive people.”

8. “Watch out for anger that can lead to vengeance; for laziness that leads to existential euthanasia; for pointing the finger at others, which leads to pride; and for complaining continually, which leads to desperation.”

9. “Take care of brothers and sisters who are weaker … the elderly, the sick, the hungry, the homeless and strangers, because we will be judged on this.”

10. “Making sure your Christmas is about Jesus and not about shopping.”

 

Photo credit: Getty Images

Community Spotlight: Batman Rosary Signals Prayer In A Dark Night

Posted on December 4, 2015 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

RosaryIf Batman were Catholic, you’d no doubt find this in his utility belt. However, this Batman-themed Rosary can be found on the wall of the cafeteria of St. Pius X Catholic School in Greensboro, NC. The Rosary was designed for graduate, Matthew Basel. Matthew was recently diagnosed with cancer- Ewing’s Sarcoma. Matthew is now a sophomore in college, but St. Pius does not forget its own.

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Remembering Our Brothers and Sisters in San Bernardino

Posted on December 4, 2015 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

This past Wednesday, our brothers and sisters in San Bernardino endured an unspeakable tragedy and so many innocent lives were cut short. In response, LPi created a free bulletin cover so that any church who wanted to could honor those fallen in thoughts and prayer.

PC040029-smThe Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary in Duluth, MN, took that image and has put it on display at their entrances as a reminder of those lost and as a reminder that even when tragedies occur, God is our ever-present help and our stronghold.

If your church is also doing something special, please share your stories so that we can all stand together as one to embrace the community in San Bernardino.

Fun Advent Activities and Resources for Your Family

Posted on November 24, 2015 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

Advent is that time of year where we long for the coming of our Lord, the arrival of something and someone bigger than ourselves.

As we enter into Advent this coming Sunday, here are some ways to celebrate and enjoy the gift of the season:

Activities for Families

  • OrnamentsRead the Christmas story in the Bible together as a family and ask everyone to talk about what the gift of Jesus means to them.
  • Visit a “live” Nativity scene and talk about how incredible it is that God came to us as a baby to save the world.
  • Write a letter together to troops stationed overseas wishing them a Merry Christmas.
  • Print and download these Advent saint ornaments and use them to decorate your tree. Click here.
  • Serve a meal together at your local homeless shelter.

Ways to Serve

  • Get a group together and go Christmas caroling at a retirement home. Ask the residents to join and spend time visiting with them afterwards.
  • Chances are that there are organizations in your town that take meals out to the homeless. Find one near you and volunteer to cook or deliver a meal.
  • Donate or volunteer with an organization like Angel Tree or Salvation Army that provides gifts and aid to the less fortunate during the holidays.

Free Printable Advent Calendars

  • Advent CalendarThis Nazareth to Bethlehem Advent Calendar serves as a great reminder of Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Click here and print one for your family.
  • This Advent Calendar lets you create your own activities for each day, which keep you focused on celebrating all Advent long. Click here for print and assembly instructions.
  • This Advent Calendar features simple, beautiful, red and white designs, and can be filled with activities and treats. Click here for print and assembly instructions.
  • Need more ideas? Click here for thirty more Advent Calendar ideas to inspire you.

Follow our Advent Activities Pinterest Board for more ideas all month long!

Getting Connected

Posted on November 18, 2015 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

Getting Connected

Technology has become the medium in how we primarily communicate with each other. For many parishes, what is the norm for society in general isnt necessarily the modus operandi for passing on information to its parishioners. Using technology is a paradigm shift from the way things have always been done.

Download the full article and learn how to use technology best practices to communicate with your parishioners.

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