New Wineskins

Strategic Planning Meeting


Interactive Process

Follow-up Sessions:
Saturday, April 22, 2017, 9:00am - 11:00am
Saturday, April 29, 2017, 9:00am - 11:00am
Meet in the Nursery / Conference Room

Have a say in the future of Saint Gregory the Great!

"As the Church moves into a new liturgical year it is an ideal time to build or restore our foundations of faith.  Too often, as with anything in life, we can get bogged down with routine, doing the same thing over and over.  When anything lacks proper stimulus we tend to go through the motions. Instead of having a sense of purpose in life we simply maintain the day to day routine.  This can happen as a person, as a spouse, as a parent or a friend.  It can happen as a family, a community, a country or as a Church. Slumping into a mode of maintenance deadens our minds, our hearts, and our souls.  It affects our relationships and can erode our own sense of worth.  We can even fall into depression and self-judgment of being unloved by others and God.

Recently I have been exposed to several events that have affected my awareness of the importance of stimulus, of having a purpose, a mission, living intentionally.  Living intentionally, let’s call this our mission, takes change and perhaps doing things different.  If we want things to be different, if we want to be fully alive it requires we think new things or do old things in new ways.  At one of the events I attended a scripture passage jumped out at me dealing with this issue: Mark 2:22 - “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.”

As a Church our very nature requires us to be a people of “MISSION” while maintaining a certain base.  When we do the same things over and over we deaden our sense of mission and become distracted with maintenance pouring all our energies into the same old things.  Mission requires that we pull together thoughts and ideas from one another, to stimulate one another, to identify what is working and what is not working.

As a community, the Catholic community of St. Gregory the Great it is important for us to come together time to time to put our heads together as a community to identify and define our MISSION, to plan pastorally the future.  It is time to do just that, keeping in mind the past, looking at the present, and dreaming of the future.

The staff, the lay leadership along with our pastor, Fr. Nicholas Clavin, is planning such an event set for Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 8:30 AM here in the parish hall.  The Pastoral Planning will be facilitated by author and popular Catholic speaker, Dr. Dan Ebener.  Dr. Ebener was with us a few years ago presenting a morning workshop on Servant Leadership.

Our morning of Pastoral Planning is a time to share ideas, to brainstorm, to dream what we want for the future, to focus on that, which will stimulate new life in our community and how we can stimulate the larger community of Scripps Ranch and beyond.  It’s a time to think outside the box, of how we do what we do, while staying inside the circle of our Catholic faith.  It will be pulling together new wineskins for new wine.  You are an important part of this process!"   Deacon Ron

Contact:  Deacon Ron Diem • 858-653-3582 •

Dr. Dan Ebener

Dr. Dan R. Ebener has been practicing leadership and developing leaders for churches, businesses, and community organizations since 1976.  He served as director of Catholic Charities in Davenport from 1986-2006.  He now teaches leadership full-time for the Masters of Organizational Leadership (MOL) program at St. Ambrose University and serves as director of stewardship and parish planning for the Diocese of Davenport. 

Dan has presented at conferences, in classrooms, in churches, or at community forums in forty-three states and fourteen countries.  He is author of many fine books & publications, including "Strategic Planning:  An interactive Process for Leaders".

Strategic Leadership

Jesus warns his disciples about the problem of the "closed mind" that refuses to learn new things.  He used an image familiar to his audience - new and old wineskins.  In Jesus' time, wine was stored in wineskins, not bottles.  New wine poured into skins was still fermenting.  The gases exerted gave pressure.  New wineskins were elastic enough to take the pressure, but old wineskins easily burst because they were hard. 

What did Jesus mean by this comparison?  Are we to reject the old in place of the new?  Just as there is a right place and a right time for fasting and for feasting, so there is a right place for the old as well as the new.