July 29 Gathering: “Burn Down the Mission”

food donations

“Burn down the mission Lord
If we’re gonna stay alive
It’s our only chance of living
Take all you need to live inside”

-Elton John, “Burn Down the Mission”
Tumbleweed Connection, 1970

Sir Elton John’s performance of songwriter Bernie Taupin’s brilliant lyrics notwithstanding, “mission” has always been at the heart of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

But what exactly is “mission?” Is it something we do, or someone we are? Is it something we do across the world or across the street? Has Christian mission always been a positive influence in the world? Or is there a dark side, one we need to figuratively burn down, in order to recapture our call to the missio dei, God’s mission for God’s world?

This week at New Wineskins we’ll pick up where we left off in our last conversation about worship and how worship and mission can–or must–coexist.

Join us this Sunday, July 29, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company to share your experiences with mission, whether local or international, and explore what a theology of mission looks like as we reimagine church.

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

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): 

Sept. 10 Gathering: “Peace on Earth”

Peace and Multiracial concept

It’s something we sing about in Advent and Christmas. We call Jesus the Prince of it. We pass it to one another on Sunday mornings in church.

But what do we really mean when we talk about peace? Specifically, “Peace on Earth?” Is it just an absence of conflict? Or is there something more, something deeper, that we’re called to strive toward?

To be honest, “Peace on Earth” seems like a concept way too big for us to do anything about. Sort of like global warming or education reform.

But what if there actually is a path forward? How might we find it? Beyond cheap platitudes and religious-speak, is there really a way peace on earth could actually be realized?

This week at New Wineskins, we’ll try to unpack exactly what “Peace on Earth” means and what it might look like if it could actually be achieved. Rather than focusing on barriers, our dialogue will be more solution-oriented. So come with all your hard questions and crazy ideas!

Join us Sunday, Sept. 10, in the 167 Side Room of the  Marietta Brewing Company to add your voice to the conversation!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

Aug. 27 Gathering: “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”


Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)

Paul’s letter to the first Christians in Rome is packed to the gills with rich theology. And as he reaches the climax of his instructions to the Roman church, he drops this little gem about not conforming to the pattern of this world, but being transformed by the renewing of your mind.

So what exactly does the apostle to the gentiles mean by this statement? How does the renewing of our minds lead to transformation? What exactly are the patterns of this world we should avoid conforming to? And what does it look like to be a “living sacrifice?”

This Sunday, we’ll unpack a bit of the context around this statement and see what new insights we might gain from Paul’s exhortation.

Join us in the 167 Side Room of the  Marietta Brewing Company this Sunday, Aug. 27, to join in the conversation!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

June 18 Gathering: God as Father? (a Fathers Day conversation)


Referring to God in masculine terms has drawn plenty of examination in recent years. And it’s certainly clear that the creator of humanity transcends gender.

But much debate exists as to whether it’s appropriate to refer to God–or at least the first person of the Trinity–as “Father.” We have to ask ourselves whether such identity is harmless, or if it may actually make God less accessible, especially for people for whom their families of origin have left less than favorable impressions of what a father is.

This Sunday at New Wineskins we’ll talk about why we identify God in masculine terms, what our alternatives might be, and why it may or may not matter.

Join us Sunday, June 18, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company for what promises to be a fascinating Father’s Day conversation!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

April 9 Gathering: The Scandal of Holy Week


As Christian congregations the world over enter into Holy Week–the days leading up to Easter Sunday–we reflect on Jesus’ last moments on earth and their meaning in our lives.

But how did the first Christians view the stories of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Resurrection Sunday? Were these just feel-good reflections, or did they have deeper cultural meanings with social and political ramifications?

This Sunday at New Wineskins, we’ll reflect on the Passion stories that guide our worship of the resurrected Jesus and look behind the scenes to see what deeper significance they might have for us in our present contexts.

Join the conversation this Sunday, April 9, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm