New Wine in Fresh Wineskins;How about Us?
“No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.” (Mark 2: 21-22)
It seems to me that Jesus was eminently practical; he used everyday examples in order to make a point clearly. This way of teaching made sense and most folks would nod with understanding.
Parishes are practical places and, for the most part, have been the place that Catholics come to get what the parish community offers. Mass, Confessions, faith formation classes, weddings, funerals, outreach programs, spiritual support, social gatherings and the like: these are all what make up an active parish. Many would think that the more the activities, the better the parish.
And now? Well, in this new reality of COVID time, our reality is very different. And I, along with our limited parish staff, are struggling to come to terms with the fact that we can’t do things as we have done in the past, and we must be open to new ways of ministering to the people of St. Timothy Parish whom we serve.
This new reality is especially challenging our ways of doing Faith Formation for every age group. Our newly established “Evangelization and Faith Formation Team” is realizing that we cannot do most of what we have done in the past, and the manner in which we have done it, in our present time.
Right now, we are finalizing our ‘guiding principles’ that will serve as the foundation for what we will propose to offer. We are constantly being challenged by our desire to go back to what is familiar and not to push forward with new ideas. I ask your prayers for us and for any insights you might have to offer to us. You can forward them to me at email@example.com .
Be assured that I will keep you informed as to our progress; we know the Holy Spirit is alive and well and is guiding our efforts to find the new wine and the new wineskins.