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

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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

 

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

April 23 Gathering: What difference does Resurrection make?


place of the resurrection of Jesus Christ

The resurrection of Jesus is a central point of Christian doctrine. It’s been said that without Easter, Christmas is just another prophet’s birthday.

But while it might seem like one of the more far-fetched claims Christianity makes, the idea of a resurrected leader was not all that unusual in the ancient world. Which leaves us asking, did it really happen? What if it didn’t? And, ultimately, what’s the difference?

So what do we really know about the Resurrection? What did it mean to the first followers of Jesus, and how does that impact our lives today? Does it matter whether it was an actual, historical event, or just a myth of the early church?

This Sunday at New Wineskins we’ll talk about the concept of resurrection, what we believe about it, and what we might be missing in the larger narrative of the cross and the empty tomb.

We hope you’ll join us this Sunday, April 23, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company for what promises to be an interesting and lively conversation!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

April 9 Gathering: The Scandal of Holy Week


holyweek

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