April 14 Gathering: Holy Week (and free food!)


Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, the days leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus which culminates in Easter.

For centuries, communities of people who follow the ways of Jesus have marked the days of Holy Week in special ways, especially Maundy Thursday (traditionally the day of the Last Supper), Good Friday (the crucifixion), Holy Saturday, and Resurrection Sunday.

This week at New Wineskins, we’ll pull some of those traditions together into a liturgical whole. This week’s format will be a little different than other gatherings, but we’ll still have plenty of time for reflection and conversation.

Oh, and this week, dinner is on us! We’ll provide appetizers for all including meatballs, chicken tenders, pretzel-wrapped franks, and veggies. Water & tea will also be provided. Other beverages are on your own.

Pleas plan to join us this Sunday, April 14, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company for a very special celebration of Holy Week with the New Wineskins community.

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Food service & Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

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March 31 Gathering: Deconstruction


For those of us who grew up with our parents’ (or grandparents’) religion, a time usually comes when we have to appropriate our faith for ourselves. Generally, we have two ways to proceed: either stay on the path, or carve a new one.

For many, this can be a time of deep doubt and difficult questions. We often find that the pat answers we were given in childhood no longer make sense in the world in which we find ourselves. The simple faith with which many of us were raised might seem too simple or, even downright ridiculous.

Often, this angst can lead to existential crisis, a questioning of not just faith, but identity. And that can lead straight into deconstruction: the systematic taking apart of our inherited faith systems. (Read more here)

And that can be a good thing.

While deconstruction can feel stressful and anxiety-filled, it can also help us confront realities we might otherwise deny or ignore. And in its best forms, it can lead to a re-construction that brings us to a richer, more dynamic faith experience.

Join us this Sunday, March 31, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company for a conversation on deconstruction, the difficulties it can bring, and the better future it can bring to life.

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

March 17 Gathering: Celtic Spirituality


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Faith an’ begorah! It’s St. Patty’s day!

So what would our favorite snake-charming leprechaun think of what’s become of his tradition (notwithstanding the fact we just referred to him as a snake-charming leprechaun!)?

The Celtic tradition in Christianity is actually a deep and important part of our heritage, and is perhaps one of the most often overlooked in the 21st Century church. Marked by a deep connection with nature, an organic faith rooted in trinitarian theology, Celtic spirituality opens the doors for us to experience the Christ through contemplation and mysticism and its own unique liturgical movements.

Especially important to Celtic spirituality is the notion of “thin places:” those spaces (both physical and in relationships) where the realms of heaven and earth seem to be so near they almost overlap.

This Sunday at New Wineskins, we’ll hoist a glass (green beer if you like, although good St. Pat would firmly disagree!) to our Celtic ancestors and discuss ways we can add richness to our own practices by bringing some of theirs into our world today.

Please plan to join us Sunday, March 17, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by learning more about Celtic Spirituality!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

March 3 Gathering: “Reverse Lent”


Not for me, thank you

It’s almost upon us…Lent! That time of year when we put oil and ashes on our head and spend the next 6 weeks invoking some kind of personal misery in preparation for the glory of Easter Sunday. Giving up chocolate or coffee or diet soda or some other vice as a sign of sacrifice in unity with our Blessed Lord and Savior.

Okay, that may have been a bit snarky. But sometimes it seems the practice of “giving up something for Lent” can seem a little more self-serving than self-giving.

The practice of giving up something for Lent probably comes from ancient catechism practices, where new converts ended their long (up to 2 years in some cases) preparation with a 40-day period of personal sacrifice and cleansing as sort of a final initiation rite prior to their Easter morning baptisms.

But in a world where the personal Lenten fast has often become more about an individual show of perseverance than a sacrificial act of love, maybe we need some new practices.

This week at New Wineskins, we’ll talk about the concept of “Reverse Lent.” While it’s not a new idea by any means and has been practiced by Christians in some manner for a long time, it’s a way of adding some kind of meaningful practice to your life during Lent rather than taking something away (below are a couple of helpful links with ideas you might find interesting).

So please join us this Sunday, March 3, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company to hear and share some ideas about how “Reverse Lent” might bring some meaning to your season!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

*Check out these websites with ideas of how to do something different for Lent:

The Reverse Lent Challenge

Ask Sister Mary Martha

Atheism for Lent (not advised unless you are in the midst of deep spiritual deconstruction)

Feb. 17 Gathering: Time to go all “Old Testament”


It’s an enigma, wrapped in a mystery, buried in a quagmire: what on earth are we to make of the Hebrew scriptures, or, as we call them now, the Old Testament?

For modern-day Christians, not much is more misunderstood, misinterpreted, or mistreated than the Old Testament canon. We don’t know quite what to do with stories of God ordering genocide, or the ways the writers use myth and legend, or the work of the prophets. And what in the world is up with Song of Songs?

This week at New Wineskins, we’ll take a bird’s-eye view of the Old Testament, try to unpack some if its content and context, and see what it might still have to say to us in a postmodern, post-Christian world.

Join us this Sunday, Feb. 17, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company as we give some love to the Old Testament!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

Feb. 3 Gathering: What’s in a verse?


tears and eye

From King David to Dave Matthews, from the Psalms to beat poetry, there’s a way in which songs and verse speak to us in ways narrative prose cannot. They reach a different part of our brains and provoke us at different emotional levels.

This week at New Wineskins we’ll share some poetry and song lyrics with one another, and try to unpack the words behind the words that reach into those deeper places. And we invite you to contribute some lines that you find particularly meaningful for the group to discuss.

So look up your favorite lyrics or dust off that old college poetry book and join us this Sunday, Feb. 3, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company for our first-ever New Wineskins Poetry Slam and Lyric Party!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

Dec. 30 Gathering: Watch Night


oil lamps

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In the early days of the Methodist movement, John Wesley gathered people together on New Year’s Eve to reflect and pray, and to give them an alternative to the drunken revelry that, even in the 18th Century, predominated the culture. The Watch Night service was also a time for people to renew their commitment to God, and many Methodist and Wesleyan churches today still hold Covenant Renewal Services at the turning of the year.

Watch Night took on special significance for the African American community on Dec. 31, 1862, as people anxiously awaited Lincoln’s enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation. Historians say that many slaves gathered in churches to pray together as they anticipated freedom from bondage. The Watch Night tradition remains strong in black churches as the struggle for equality continues more than 150 years later.

This Sunday at New Wineskins, we’ll close out 2018 with our own Watch Night observation as we take some time to reflect together on the past year and look ahead to 2019. Please join us this Sunday, Dec. 30, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company as we look back and look ahead together!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

*PLEASE NOTE: New Wineskins will be on hiatus during January 2019. We will resume our gatherings in February. Please watch here and our Facebook page for dates and details!