Jan. 29 Gathering: Living Through the Psalms


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Throughout history, people have turned to the Psalms for wisdom, insight, comfort, and healing. The church has used them in liturgy, hymnody, preaching, and prayer.

The Psalms give us some of the keenest insight into the human condition. Their topics and content range from celebration to lament, from gratitude to raw anger.  Some of David’s Psalms, for instance, walk us through nearly the entire range of human emotion from rage to repentance.

What is it about the Psalms that make them so universal to our spiritual experience? Why were they so important to the early Jews and the first Christians? And what do they still have to say to us–and for us–today?

Join us this Sunday, Jan. 29, as we explore some of our favorite Psalms, look for revelation from them, and see what God may still be saying to us through these ancient texts.

As always, we’ll gather in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing CompanyBring your favorite Psalm(s) and be part of the conversation!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

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Jan. 15 Gathering: Unity?


Multi-coloured hands joined around the world (nasa imagery)

The narrative arc of scripture reveals a clear call to unity of God’s people. But in today’s fractious society, unity seems further away than perhaps ever before.

So is unity really even possible? Is there a way to break down the walls we’ve built between us?

This Sunday, we’ll relaunch our New Wineskins gatherings with a discussion about unity–not just in the church, but in our society in general–and explore possible pathways toward it.

Join us Jan. 15 in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company for what promises to be an interesting exchange of ideas and perspectives!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

Dec. 11 Gathering: Have Yourself A Subversive Little Christmas


Mary and Joseph with the child Jesus in the Manger of the crib at Christmas

Mary and Joseph with the child Jesus in the Manger of the crib at Christmas

Ah, Christmas. Hymns and caroling, cocoa and candlelight. Baby Jesus lying in a manger. Angels singing. It’s the most wonderful night of the year.

In many church buildings around the world, people will gather in poinsettia-filled sanctuaries and nostalgia-filled pews with friends and families to celebrate the birth of Jesus. We’ll sing songs like “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” and “Joy to the World!” We’ll light candles and sing “Silent Night.”

But how many of us will tell the real story of Christmas? Not the one with the pastoral imagery of white-washed Nativities, but the one about the unlikely delivery of a child to an unwed couple in a filthy stable in a backwater town in a two-bit corner of the Roman empire? The one where shepherds–the nobodies who nobody would believe–are the first to hear the news? The one that upset static notions of who God favored and set in motion a revolution that is still changing the world more than 2 millennia later?

The Christmas story–the real Christmas story–is one of the most subversive stories ever told. So why have we wiped it clean of its rawness and messiness and replaced it with a cheap, sanitary imitation?

This week at New Wineskins, we’ll discuss the birth narratives from the gospels of Matthew and Luke, and try to rediscover a story that can still change the world.

Please join us Sunday, Dec. 11, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company as we seek to uncover a better way to live out the Christmas story!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

Nov. 13 Gathering: North Place Maternity House


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In a culture where being a young, unwed mother can easily trigger a cycle of poverty and ever-shrinking options, there is a place in our community offering hope and support to women and their children.

North Place Maternity House offers a safe, Christ-centered environment for young women who find themselves unexpectedly expecting. Through mentoring, support, and education, NPCH helps give their clients the tools they need for a safe, healthy, productive life.

This Sunday at New Wineskins, North Place’s Wendy Williams will join us to introduce us to the facility’s mission and vision and share how unconditional love is breaking through to transform the lives of new mothers and their children.

Please join us Sunday, Nov. 13, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company to learn more about North Place Maternity House!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

Oct. 2 Gathering: World Communion Sunday Instructed Eucharist


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For centuries, the celebration of the Eucharist has been of central significance to Christian communities. Whether it’s celebrated daily, weekly, monthly, or at less regular intervals, nearly all Christians participate at least occasionally in Holy Communion.

But have we lost some of the significance of this ancient and holy rite? Has it become little more than another ritual we methodically march through occasionally, more out of obligation than for transformation?

This week at New Wineskins, we will celebrate our first Communion together as a community in observance of World Communion Sunday. But since we are a people called to look beyond the ritual into the deeper meanings of Jesus, our service will be slightly different.

Led by Father Steve Peck (Catholic Universalist Church) and Rev. Joe Webb (Provisional United Methodist Deacon), we will participate in an “Instructed Eucharist.” This ceremony allows us to examine and reflect on the various elements of the Communion service in order to help us understand and recapture some of the deeper meanings behind why we do what we do, and to allow Jesus to encounter us in new and profound ways.

Please plan to join us, and perhaps invite a friend, to what promises to be a deeply meaningful New Wineskins Gathering this Sunday, Oct. 2, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

Aug. 21 Gathering: Luke 13:10-17 – Rescued by the marginalized


Creative Commons (Some Rights Reserved)

Creative Commons (Some Rights Reserved)

“He was teaching in one of the meeting places on the Sabbath. There was a woman present, so twisted and bent over with arthritis that she couldn’t even look up. She had been afflicted with this for eighteen years. When Jesus saw her, he called her over. “Woman, you’re free!” He laid hands on her and suddenly she was standing straight and tall, giving glory to God.

The meeting-place president, furious because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the congregation, “Six days have been defined as work days. Come on one of the six if you want to be healed, but not on the seventh, the Sabbath.”

But Jesus shot back, “You frauds! Each Sabbath every one of you regularly unties your cow or donkey from its stall, leads it out for water, and thinks nothing of it. So why isn’t it all right for me to untie this daughter of Abraham and lead her from the stall where Satan has had her tied these eighteen years?”

When he put it that way, his critics were left looking quite silly and red-faced. The congregation was delighted and cheered him on.”

Luke 13:10-17 (MSG)

He had done it again. “Worked” on the Sabbath. Appearing to all the “religious” folks to have broken the law he said he came to fulfill.

The synagogue leaders are understandably upset. After all, it’s their job to teach the law and enforce it. To maintain control. To defend the status quo.

So why does Jesus do it? Certainly, we’ve seen him poke the bear, as it were, any number of times in the gospel accounts. Is his goal simply to shame the religious/political leadership? To disprove their time-honored traditions? To make them look like fools?

Or is there something more happening here? Something bigger? Something that goes beyond the woman and her illness or the synagogue or even the Sabbath itself? Could Jesus be revealing something of his broader agenda in this relatively small gathering?

This Sunday, Aug. 21, we’ll continue our Summer Lectionary Series with a look at the multiple layers of meaning Luke presents in this passage and where it still holds meaning for our lives today. Join us in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company and be part of the conversation!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

 

July 24 Gathering: Scorpions, Snakes, and a Prayer


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Creative Commons: Some Rights Reserved

“Which father among you would give a snake to your child if the child asked for a fish? If a child asked for an egg, what father would give the child a scorpion? If you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”

Our summer lectionary series continues this Sunday with a look at Luke 11:1-13, which is Luke’s rendition of what we commonly call the “Lord’s Prayer,” also found in Matthew 6:9-13.

Why does Luke’s version of this prayer differ from Matthew’s, where it appears in the midst of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount? Is it the same prayer taught in a different context? Or is Luke’s agenda different? Why does it matter? And what’s all this about snakes and scorpions?

Join us this Sunday, July 24, at the Marietta Brewing Company as we discuss all this and more!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm