Oct. 21 Gathering: Miracles (do they matter?)


Jesus Toast

We love a good miracle story. Jesus feeding the 5,000. Healing the sick.Walking on water. Raising the dead. Giving sight to the blind. Or our personal favorite, turning water into wine.

Maybe it’s because we need to know miracles are real. We need to hope that the impossible can happen.

So why is it that so often in biblical post-miracle dialogues, Jesus tells people to keep it quiet? To not tell what they have seen or experienced?

It begs the question…do the miracles really matter?

This week at New Wineskins we’re going to talk about miracles, what they are (and aren’t!), and whether or not we view them the way Jesus intends them to be viewed. Come on out and be part of the conversation this Sunday, Oct. 21, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

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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

June 17 Gathering: Salt & Light


Sea salt in sack

“You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its saltiness, how will it become salty again? It’s good for nothing except to be thrown away and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city on top of a hill can’t be hidden.Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on top of a lampstand, and it shines on all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so they can see the good things you do and praise your Father who is in heaven.”

Matthew 5:13-16 (CEB)

Salt flavors and preserves.

Light illuminates so all may be seen clearly.

Right here in the opening verses of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus makes this statement about salt and light. About identity and vocation.

Jesus is telling his listeners what they were made to be and what they are called to do.

This Sunday at New Wineskins, we’ll talk about what it means to be salt and light in the context of identity and vocation. How exactly do we go about being salt and light in our world today? And what does our community look like when we do?

Join us this Sunday, June 17, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company and join us in a conversation on one of Jesus’ most well-known (and maybe least fully understood) sayings…we hope to see you there!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

March 25 Gathering: Palm Sunday–Celebration or Subversion?


Holy Week Palm Sunday

We often view the scene of Palm Sunday through iconic eyes, imagining Jesus riding triumphantly into Jerusalem to take his rightful place as Israel’s true king on the back of a humble donkey. Our church services invite us to shout hosannas as we wave palm branches, usually led by our children.

It seems ironic in some ways that this raucous celebration leads us into Holy Week/Passion Week, which is arguably the time of Jesus’ greatest suffering and the church’s most somber observance.

So what if we’re missing the point of Palm Sunday. What if it’s less celebration and more subversion? Not so much a shindig as a scandal?

We invite you to observe this Palm Sunday with us at New Wineskins, where we’ll talk about the thoroughly subversive act of Palm Sunday and discuss where we might identify with and re-enact it in today’s world.

As always, we’ll meet in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company. Join us for what we hope will be a lively and informative conversation on the scandalous disruption that is Palm Sunday!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

March 11 Gathering: Faith or Fear?


Hellfire and Brimstone Preacher

The writer of 1 John claims that “perfect love casts out all fear.” (1 Jn. 4:18). But often, it seems our faith is motivated more by fear than by love. Fear of death, fear of the other, fear of the unknown. Fear of punishment. Fear of hell.

Why are we so quick to embrace a fear-based theology? Why is it so hard to live out of a motivation of love rather than fear?

This week at New Wineskins, we’ll talk about the sources of a fear-based faith narrative, the implications of it, and how we can combat it and even turn it into something more powerful and more beautiful.

Join us this Sunday, March 11, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company as we seek to understand the role of fear in faith and seek ways to overcome it.

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

Jan. 28 Gathering: What’s Our Story?


OnceUponATime

We may not think about it much, but we are a people of story. What we believe and the way we order our lives are based in the story (or stories) that seem to give us truth.

For those of us who follow the Jesus story, that means we hold to a particular set of assumptions. But even those assumptions are subject to interpretation.

But beyond just following stories, we actually live out stories of our own. Because a story really is nothing more than the narrative of a sequence of events involving characters. It is, according to one definition on dictionary.com, a report or account of a matter, statement or allegation.

As it happens, stories have immense power. And what we do with the power of our own stories in many ways defines who it is that we actually are.

This Sunday at New Wineskins, we’ll talk about the power of story, about how we view our own stories both individually and collectively, and how we can use story more effectively to bring love and life into the world around us.

Join us Sunday evening, Jan 28, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company for a story about stories!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

Jan. 14 Gathering: Active Listening


Listening

We Americans are good at talking. We revel in our right to share our ideas, positions, and opinions. Truth be known, it’s difficult for us to have an unexpressed thought.

What we are not good at, most of the time anyhow, is listening. Our habit is to hear only enough of what someone else is saying to formulate our own response. We avoid conflict by surrounding ourselves only with people and opinions we agree with, and we paint those who say things we don’t want to listen to as enemies at best and downright evil at worst.

The result of all of that is that we often talk past each other rather than with each other. Our dialogues just become multi-part monologues.

But what if we could be better listeners? Could it effect more than just our day-to-day conversations or civic discourse, but actually transform our neighborhoods and communities?

This Sunday at New Wineskins we’ll talk about the art of listening, how being better listeners can improve our relationships, and we’ll experiment with a couple of intentional listening practices through some exercises and guided meditations.

We hope you’ll join us this Sunday, Jan. 14, as we kick off 2018 with this important discussion around active listening. As always, we’ll meet in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing CompanyCome and kick off the new year at New Wineskins!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm