Subject: O2: From Busy to Blessed: Igniting family and parish

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FROM BUSY TO BLESSED
STRAIGHT TALK: IGNITING YOUR FAMILY and PARISH

We're all busy. We don't have time for just another church activity. Been there, done that. What lasting difference did it make? We don't need another peak just to be dropped back to reality, to face an answer-less, "And then what?"

Thus, our churches are being vacated. More than 75% missing in action. And most of those who may be in the action are missing. Only 13% of these pray before meals.

Church events are populated by the same 8%. They do everything. They are a kind of subculture. To many they are an alien civilization. They're the "religious." More likely, they're "over the top."

The overall, year-after-year decline in most churches pronounces that they're really not taking territory. And if we're not taking territory, territory is being taken.

The current presidential election tells us something about culture around us. People in general are anti-establishment. They're tired of rudderless, impersonal systems whose prominent mission seems to be self perpetuation. As with politics, so with religion. Have we considered that perhaps these so-called "outsiders" have a kind of faith? Perhaps they don't want their faith to be reduced to a club, to mechanics, to mere rules of membership. They don't buy that the measure of their faith is simply occupying space in a pew at another event. 

Real people want real.

Here's the big challenge: Does the Holy Communion we receive correspond to a Holy Community we live? If we accept that receiving Holy Communion is, at least in part, a kind of declaration -- "with union" -- does this accurately reflect the reality of our parishes?  Really think about it. After any parish activity are those involved more alive in Jesus Christ? Is this fundamental purpose even proclaimed? Does it guide, drive and unite all the activity in the parish.

We all do our best to live our faith. We're good soldiers. But do we really believe in the transforming power of Jesus Christ? Are we experiencing daily growth in virtue and holiness? Are we actively engaged as His instruments in the same for others?

If only those outside our alien civilization understood that many inside are beleaguered. We're also yearning for the real relationship at the heart of religion and ritual. We're looking for alive, dynamic, purpose-driven pastoral leadership that specifies the road of discipleship... for more than a moment, but a life-movement. 

W
hile we are busy, we would make time for something that promises to makes a difference. A lasting difference.

I've had this daydream. Before a parish council or other parish meeting, the pastor or leader says: "We're grateful you're here, ready to give an hour of your time. Thank you. But I invite you to think about something: When was the last time you devoted an hour in your home to talking and praying as a family? If you haven't, why not? What's stood in the way? I invite you to think about what other commitments of an hour you've made as a family to sports, or entertainment? And I invite you to consider, what is the higher priority? And what is the value of what we do here, if we're not doing it there?"

"If you don't commit a minimal hour to talking and praying there above your commitment here, you're robbing from them. And if we're not doing it there, what can we really expect of anyone else in this parish?"

As my daydream continues, I imagine the pastor and leaders recommitting to becoming the difference they want to see in their parish.

I imagine them putting a flag in the sand for Jesus Christ-- first and foremost in their homes, in a way that overflows and dignifies their leadership in the parish. I imagine the Holy Spirit moving powerfully, breathing new life into their marriages and families. It becomes more than a good activity. It becomes life changing. It becomes a way of life. I imagine these sharing this life of ever-deepening transformation.

And I imagine this lived pouring over into the community, a living testimony, a Holy Community lived proclaiming the Holy Communion received.

If you share this imagining, it's because you share in the Image of God alive in Jesus Christ. This is the ultimate purpose for our existence. This is what Mass Impact is all about: Uniting people in personal, family and parish discipleship. 

If this speaks to you, what can you do right now? Become a Mass Impact Kingdom Builder. It is an occasion for priests and parishioners to be united in personal, family and parish discipleship. 

Also, if you want to ignite your parish, introduce your pastor to Core Mission. It's the open door to your entire parish being ignited as a community of missionary disciples.


Oh most Holy Spirit, come and ignite the great Fire of Your Love. Set it ablaze in our minds and hearts!

IGNITE EVENTS:

IGNITE RADIO LIVE!
Tuesday, 2/2 8pm
Lighting IT Up
Guest: Pastor "Beau" Beaufills

♣ IGNITE 6:30pm EVENTS
Thursday 2/4 St. Joan of Arc

PARISH IGNITION
IGNITE YOUR PARISH IN 2016 HERE


A Lenten Journey for Life: Seek the Face of Christ. St. Joseph Sylvania. Saturday, February 6, 8:30am- 1:30pm, Steph and I will be presenting. REGISTER: Larua Neary: 419-885-5791 or lneary@stjoesylvania.org.

Catholic Catholic Men's Conference Saturday, February 27, 2016. 8am-2pm Join other men (+I'll be bringing my teenage sons) from Toledo area at the Columbus Catholic Men's Conference,  (REGISTER). Speakers are Fr. Larry Richards, Hector Molina and David Karam. Please let me know of you register so we can arrange transportation and/or connect down there: Greg@MassImpact.us.

Men's Retreat Palm Sunday Weekend.
March 18-20, 2016 Columbus, Ohio. Last year a number of very much appreciated a men's (mostly) silent retreat over Palm Sunday weekend in Columbus, Ohio. Registration is not up yet. It fills fast. Let me know if you're interested: Greg@MassImpact.us.

CATHOLIC YOUTH SUMMER CAMP. Want to have a BIG impact on this region now and for many years to come? Invest in forming and engaging dynamic young disciples! See THIS VIDEO. We're supporting/partnering with Bishop Thomas in engaging High School youth for Session D (July 3-8) and Middle School youth for Session F (July 17-22). Bishop will be at Session F. A number of Toledo pastors are getting on board. Advocate to your pastor!

BOOKLET? "Evicting the Enemy at the Gates: Porn in Church" was featured in Catholic Exchange this past week (LINK). Based upon overwhelming response, we'd like to turn this into a short booklet, something easily handed out by pastors and parishioners while promoting CatholicCovenantEyes.com. The booklet will include some recommendations from Fr. Larry Richards, Fr. John Riccardo, Bishop Thomas Olmsted, Bishop Michael Burns, Al Kresta, Peter Herbeck, Tom Peterson, Justin Fatica and others (go and scroll down) .

We've never done this before. If you have any connections for donated or substantially discounted printing, or ideas to help cover costs of publishing and distribution, would you please contact us?

KINGDOM BUILDERS. LET'S DO THIS!

SHARE WITH US the tremendous joy of making the difference.

In addition to operating costs, a web overhaul and app will take this movement to a new level. It's needed. Estimated cost: $20,000. Would you please pray about helping? Thank you.

 
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NEWLY PUBLISHED
BY GREG SCHLUETER and GUESTS

Getting Personal: On Money and Mission LINK For anyone with any anxiety over money or your mission (they are connected), here is a personal testimonial for encouragement and perspective.

A Life Changing Story: 40th Anniversary
LINK We share with you a very stirring story of Stephanie's dad and mom, punctuating for each of us:
What God calls us to, He provides for.

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