E-Flame Newsletter November 2017
We warmly welcome you and thank you for subscribing to receive the  Ignite Your Faith  E-Flame newsletter. Each month, you will find information on current and past events, articles to cultivate your faith life, and a calendar of upcoming generosity, study, and prayer opportunities. We invite you to use this email as a one-stop resource center in Igniting Your Faith. 
Ignite Your Generosity!
8 Week Generosity Challenge 

"You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how 
soon it will be too late." 
-Ralph Waldo Emerson- 

Have you felt it? Can you see? Are the exciting voices in our parish inspiring you to do acts of kindness? We are three weeks in from the launch of St. Bart's 8 week generosity challenge and already we are seeing progress in the clear container filling with kindness tickets.

How are YOU doing with your own generosity? It is always a good time to reflect on what you are currently doing to help others and to challenge yourself to do it more often or to do it fervently. Take heart, being generous is a lifestyle not a one time event, therefore we all need practice and time to grow with how God is calling us to be generous in our day to day lives. 

Thus far into the challenge our community has responded with comments such as,

"I'm very excited about what God has done so far with the kindness I have been giving to others and I know He will continue to bless our whole parish!"

"The challenge booklet has been great! Very thought provoking and inspiring." 

"Our whole family, kids included, received a booklet and we are following each week's challenge together."

If you did not receive a challenge booklet, it's not too late to pick one up at the table next to the information desk and start challenging yourself to become a more generous follower of Christ.
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Author and speaker of  Ignite Your Generosity, Chris McDaniel, spoke at all masses and did an in-depth presentation here at St. Bart's back on October 8th. If you missed his take on generosity and want to know more about how Jesus is calling us to give, please check out the Ignite Your Faith resource page HERE.  
Calendar of Events
In his book, Matthew Kelly challenges us to be more generous.  He also tells us that growing in generosity must be intentional.  Life is busy and distracting, and unless we make generosity a priority, it will not happen. Take a look at the dates and events below and add them to your calendar! 
Monday, November 20, Room A14, 
7:00-8:00  p.m.
Talking Generosity with Deacon Rick Witucki 

As we have learned in this phase, generosity is not as simple as time, talent, and treasure. It is a lifestyle. It is intentional and must be a priority. Deacon Rick us a wonderful example of living a generous life. In his career as a social worker, as well as his job as our Deacon, he exudes generosity, authenticity, and a sincere regard for everyone. He gives willingly, and always with a gentle smile. We are thrilled to have him as our last speaker in the Ignite Your Faith Generosity phase. 

 Please plan to join us for an engaging evening with Deacon Rick!
Below are ways that St. Bart's is already being generous with local outreach centers. Come and be the hands and feet of Jesus along side other parishioners!

*Nov. 21
Interfaith Outreach Food Shelf Volunteer
*Dec. 2
Feed My Starving Children
RSVP by contacting Nancy Kralovec at 952-475-2970  or kralovec@msn.com

Check out the  Serve page of our website and click on Local Outreach to learn more about the volunteer opportunities that we help support!
Inspirational Quote
"I used to pray that God would feed the hungry, or do this or that, but now I pray that he will guide me to do whatever I'm supposed to do, what I can do. I used to pray for answers, but now I'm praying for strength. I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us and we change things." 

-Mother Teresa-
Meal Ministry 
I Don't See Meatballs and Mashed Potatoes, I See Love  
By Victoria Siedlecki

No sooner had I sent the text to him, did I get a short response back with the message, "I was up early this morning, I had to take my dad to the hospital." It was a Saturday morning and I was at home cleaning and getting the house back together again after a crazy busy week, and in the middle of my mess I was sadden by my friend's text and started to pray with the few details I had been told.
I was still on auto pilot when I took out the crock-pot, a bag of frozen meatballs, and our family's favorite barbecue sauce and as I was about to empty half the bag as usual, I noticed there was another bag in the freezer. I started to smile, felt a feeling of peace wash over me, and I knew what God was calling me to do. A half hour later, as the meatballs and mashed potatoes were just about done, I texted my friend back with a heartfelt prayer for his dad, but I bravely added that I had cooked dinner for my family and I had extra for his family. I say the word "bravely" because sometimes people say no to my offer because they don't want to put me out when I really feel called to help them. However, within minutes my friend texted back and invited me to stop by with the dinner. I had in tow meatballs, mashed potatoes, corn, homemade cookies, and a bouquet of flowers. To my surprise, his whole family was present when I stopped in and received my gift with much joy!

Meal ministry comes in all shapes and sizes. It could look like the example above or it could be simply feeding your own family on a Sunday night. No matter the size of the meal or how many people are fed, we are called to put our  whole heart into it, be generous, and love like Jesus.

Here are a few inspirational links to get you started thinking how you can be generous with, oh say... an extra bag of meatballs.

Inspirational Video 

Make A Impact Video
Make A Impact Video

Thoughts on Generosity   
Thoughts on Generosity 
By Dave Obermiller 

God is giving us chances to be generous every day, every moment.  The reason He does this is to be able to pour more graces upon us. For every prayer we pray, every act of kindness to someone else, every dollar we give, every volunteer function we participate in, and every thought raised to God, we are allowing God to bless us more.  We allow Him to put our good works towards our everlasting reward in Heaven.
This follows in line with the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy as taught by the Catholic Church.
Spiritual Works of Mercy 

-Counsel the doubtful  -Instruct the ignorant  -Admonish the sinner

-Comfort the sorrowful  -Forgive injuries  -Bear wrongs patiently

-Pray for the living and the dead

Corporal Works of Mercy

-Feed the hungry  -Give drink to the thirsty  -Shelter the homeless

-Visit the sick  -Visit prisoner  -Bury the dead  -Give alms to the poor


Jesus says in Luke 6:38:
"Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you."
He says in Matthew 6:19-21:
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be."
And again in Matthew 6:30-34 Jesus says:
"If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, 'What are we to eat?' or 'What are we to drink?' or 'What are we to wear?' All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil."
Being generous brings us closer to Jesus, it lets us feel the presence of Jesus in our lives. When we are close to Jesus we want to do His will and we learn to trust in Him. When we trust in Him we can reconcile with Him and this gives us true freedom. Jesus equals freedom.
For he says:
"In an acceptable time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I helped you." Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.  (2 Corinthians 6:2)

The One He Speaks Through 

Mandisa- The One He Speaks Through
Mandisa- The One He Speaks Through

"Don't ever underestimate the impact that you may
have on someone else's life."

Generous Saint 
St. Martin of Tours' Generosity to Jesus
It is fitting that the feast day of St. Martin of Tours is on November 11, Veteran's Day. Martin entered the military at the age of 15.  His father, a non-Christian, was a high-ranking officer in the Roman army. Some claim Martin voluntarily enlisted in the imperial guard; others report that he was pressured to join by his father.
There is a famous legend about Martin and his compassion and generosity. One cold, wintry day in 337, when Martin was 21, he was riding his horse into a village. There was an old beggar at the city gate, hunched over, and pleading for alms. The man was almost naked and shivering. Martin had no money to offer him. All Martin had was the clothes on his back, his armor, and his horse. He was wearing a large, heavy, frayed old cloak over his armor. In an act of compassion, he withdrew his sword from his scabbard and sliced the cloak in two, and handed one part to the beggar and kept the other half for himself, and then he rode away.
Later that night Martin had a dream in which he had a vision of heaven. Jesus was in the middle of a crowd of angels, and was wearing half of a worn out, old, frayed soldier's cloak. One of the angels asked Jesus, "Master, why are you wearing that battered old cloak? Who gave it to you?" And Jesus answered softly, "My servant Martin gave it to me!"
Martin's generous act, his compassion, and this dream proved what Jesus said, "Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me" (Mt 25:40).  Martin was ultimately able leave the army and he became a Christian.
Our country's service men and women make great sacrifices and generously serve our country.  Pray for them not only on Veteran's Day, but every day.  For us at St. Bart's, some of us may not have served in the military, but we too can be generous and share our cloaks and other items with those in need. Just a few of the opportunities to do so include, the Holy Rosary Coat Drive, Backpacks for Banyan, Feed My Starving Children, Interfaith Outreach Food Shelf, and Simpson Housing.  Wouldn't it be great to see Jesus in heaven looking well fed, wearing a warm coat, and carrying a backpack?
For more information about ways to generously serve in the community, CLICK HERE for the Local Outreach page of St. Bart's website.
For a two minute video about St. Martin, CLICK HERE.

**Stories! Stories! 
We Need Your Stories!**

Sometimes God speaks and calls us through the people around us. It would be an honor to hear YOUR story! We are looking for insights that you have gained from  Ignite Your Faith or any resources that you rely on that help support learning about the faith. If you would like to be a blessing to our faith community and would like to share, please let us know. You can email me, Victoria Siedlecki, at siedlecki0906@msn.com