Dec. 17 Gathering: Christmas Traditions – Finding Sacredness in the Ordinary

Holy Family in the tradition of Christmas

Every family has them. Time-honored traditions of the Advent and Christmas seasons. The things we do, the places we do them, and the people we do them with are all deeply integral parts of how we celebrate the holidays.

And while most of those traditions are special to us, many of them comprise fairly common elements. Things like decorations, foods, family rituals are deeply rooted in our psyches, but are mostly more sentimental than sacrosanct.

Or are they?

What if we began to recognize the sacredness in our ordinary routines? To find that behind the garland-covered mantles, the overbaked sugar cookies, the elves on assorted shelves, and the inside family jokes was something deeply holy?

This Sunday at New Wineskins we invite you to come and share your stories of holiday traditions and talk about where we can find sacredness in the ordinary routines of our Christmas customs. And maybe we’ll even start a few new traditions of our own!

Join us Sunday, Dec. 17 in the 167 Side Room of the  Marietta Brewing Company for Christmas storytime at New Wineskins!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm


Dec. 3 Gathering: Advent, Incarnation & Expectation

Advent Calendar

It seems like when we were kids, December was the longest month. The lead-up to Christmas was full of eager anticipation for the big day as we opened our Advent calendars to reveal new treasures day after day after interminable day, and in our impatience for the payout, time seemed almost to stand still.

And then something changed. With maturity and the responsibilities of adulthood, it now seems like the season just sneaks up on us and is gone before we know it. In our frantic busy-ness we hardly get to enjoy the weeks leading up to what is arguably the most popular, if not most theologically important, day of the year.

Maybe consumer culture really has won Christmas. Or maybe we really can recapture that sense of excitement and anticipation as Advent unfolds.

And maybe the secret is incarnation.

This Sunday at New Wineskins, we’ll talk about how viewing Advent through the lens of incarnation can help us focus more, rush less, give more meaningfully, and truly enjoy the lead-up to Christmas.

Join us Dec. 3 in the 167 Side Room of the  Marietta Brewing Company as we celebrate this first Sunday in Advent together by sharing stories of incarnation.

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

Dec. 19 Gathering: Shaped by Gratitude 

Gratitude Attitude Word Cloud

What are you grateful for?

It may seem like a cliché kind of question as we head into the week of Thanksgiving, but have you thought about how formative a sense of gratitude is to your spirituality ? Could you really have a healthy spiritual life without gratefulness somewhere at its root?

And it’s not just the big things in life where gratitude shapes us…sometimes it’s in the seemingly ordinary that we find our deepest sense of gratefulness. Everyday sights, smells, and sounds that trigger something deep within us that foster a a rich sense of thankfulness in our very core.

This Sunday at New Wineskins we’ll talk about how gratitude forms us to be more Christlike by sharing stories of the ordinary things we’re all grateful for. Come ready to share your story of gratitude!

Join us Nov. 19 in the 167 Side Room of the  Marietta Brewing Company to share your story and hear from others!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

Nov. 5 Gathering: Living Dislocated

Bible: Jacob is fighting with the angel

In Genesis 32, we encounter a story where Jacob, returning to his father’s lands in Palestine, engages in a cosmic wrestling match as he prepares to face his brother Esau in what seems surely to be shaping up into an epic battle between the brother of privilege and the brother of promise.

As the story goes, Jacob spends all day preparing to meet Esau, sending gifts out ahead, dividing his company into smaller parts in hopes some would be able to flee should a battle break out, and finally sending his family and household possessions away, leaving him alone in the night.

It’s there that the text tells us he wrestles with “a man” all night (some translations identify the man as an “angel of the Lord”). As daybreak nears, neither combatant is able to gain an advantage. It’s then we read in verse 25 that the man “touched the socket of his (Jacob’s) thigh; so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him” (NASB). Jacob, still unwilling to concede, begs his opponent for a blessing…at which point the man tells Jacob, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed” (Gen. 32:28, NASB).

Is there something in our struggle to know and be known by God that dislocates us?

This Sunday at New Wineskins we’ll dig a little deeper into Jacob’s story and explore our own stories of struggling with God and what holy dislocation might look like.

Join us Nov. 5 in the 167 Side Room of the  Marietta Brewing Company to share your story and hear from others!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

Oct. 22 Gathering: Is God gendered?

God in Heaven Set

Oh, those masculine pronouns! Imagery of God as a (white) father figure. “The Big Man in the Sky.”

Even if we don’t believe God is technically male, all the language we use appropriates certain cultural contexts of male-ness.

But is God really male or female? Is God beyond gender? Or is God somehow mysteriously both gendered and not gendered? And does it really matter?

This week at New Wineskins we’ll talk about the issue of God and gender, discuss how patriarchy affects our perceptions of God, and consider the history and importance of the Divine Feminine.

Join us this Sunday, Oct. 22, in the 167 Side Room of the  Marietta Brewing Company for what should be a lively and interesting conversation!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

Oct. 8 Gathering: Living Eucharistically


Last Sunday (Oct. 1) was celebrated by many denominations worldwide as World Communion Sunday. And in what is becoming a New Wineskins tradition, we will celebrate the Eucharist as a community, officiated by Fr. Steve Peck and Rev. Joe Webb.

Prior to taking communion together, we’ll have a discussion around what it means to be a people of the Eucharist. We’ll also discuss sacramental theology, some of its history, and its place in the church and our lives today.

We hope you’ll join us this Sunday, Oct. 4, for what we hope will be a deeply meaningful conversation and time of community together. As always, we will gather in the 167 Side Room of the  Marietta Brewing Company.

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

Sept. 24 Gathering: Spiritual Gifts, Personality Types, Call, and Vocation

Hands providing light

Most everyone who’s been around church for any period of time has probably been exposed to the idea of “spiritual gifts,” mostly rooted in 1 Cor. 12. We have classes, retreats, tests, surveys, assessments, and all manner of “discovering” our gifts and learning what they mean.

Sometimes we go a little deeper and talk about personality types. Whether it’s our Myers-Briggs score, Enneagram number, or some other measurement, we seem fascinated with these tools that tell us more about who we are.

Often, these tools are used for little more than figuring out what committee at church we should be serving on. But what if they can unlock something more powerful?

This Sunday at New Wineskins, we’ll talk about how our unique giftedness and personalities can intersect with our talents and passions for the good not just of our individual churches, but our communities and the world. We’ll talk about how those things connect with our sense of calling, and how vocation fits into the mix.

You won’t want to miss this fascinating look into who–and how–we’re made to be!

Join us Sunday, Sept. 24, in the 167 Side Room of the  Marietta Brewing Company to join in the conversation!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

If you want to know more about how your own gifts and personality fit into the mix, here are some resources you may want to check out (links do not imply endorsement):