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

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Nov. 27 Gathering: Google Hangout with Tomeka Robinson


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We love it when our New Wineskins friends do awesome things in the world. Tomeka Robinson, who was part of our charter group when we started meeting back in May 2014, certainly fills the bill. Now coaching debate at Hofstra University in New York, Tomeka spearheaded a forum back in September on Islamaphobia, seeking to raise the conversation around its role in the election cycle.

This Sunday, Tomeka will join us via Google Hangout to talk about the forum, her experiences around Hofstra’s hosting of the first presidential debate, and more!

Please join us Sunday, Nov. 27, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company to welcome Tomeka back (even if it’s just virtually!) and be part of the conversation!

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 10 Gathering: The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)


Creative Commons

Creative Commons

This Sunday we’re starting a new summer series where we’ll focus on the Gospel readings from the common lectionary for each week of our gatherings. This week’s text is Luke 10:25-37, the story of the Good Samaritan.

While this is certainly a familiar story–both within the church as well as within the culture–it bears some examination. At the heart of the story is the question of what it means to love our neighbors. But there are also questions about how to apply the original cultural/historical context to our present time, what truly loving our neighbor really looks like in a practical way, and how we move beyond theoretical love to active love.

During this summer series, we’ll examine each week’s passages in our usual facilitated discussion format (as opposed to a more formal “Bible study” format), which means lots of room for questions. This should be not only an exciting time for our community to deepen our spiritual formation together, but also a great opportunity to invite new folks who want to learn some new and deeper ways of looking at scripture.

Join us Sunday at the Marietta Brewing Company as we discuss this week’s passage and kick off our new series!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

June 5 Gathering: What will the church of the future be?


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The evidence is plain: church attendance and participation are in decline in America. It’s been that way for a few decades now, and some trends project that as few as 30 percent of Americans will receive their primary spiritual direction from a local church by 2025. In fact, some data indicates that as many as 2,000-3,000 churches close every year (source).

As fewer and fewer people participate in church activities, the church itself has tried many different approaches to stem the tide. Google “Church Growth Strategies” and marvel at the number of (mostly very expensive) programs that are available. We have mega churches, micro churches, house churches, restaurant churches, warehouse churches, and, yes, even pub churches.

But are we just trying to feed an irreparably broken model for what the church is and how it works? Are all our “new” ideas really just ways of pursuing the Einstinian definition of insanity, trying to do the same thing to achieve different results?

Or are there ways to redeem the church? To reinvent it for new generations of people who view the world through much different lenses than those who came before?

This week at New Wineskins we’ll look into our collective crystal ball and talk about what a new kind of “church” might look like, act like, and feel like. We’ll look at the question from each of our unique local contexts, and discuss ways we might begin to spark the conversations that will lead us forward.

Join us this Sunday, June 5, at the Marietta Brewing Company as we think about what the next incarnation of the church could be and what we can do to bring it about!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm