Aug. 18 Gathering: “The Kingdom of Heaven Is Like…”


In Matthew Chapter 13, Jesus tells a series of parables about the kingdom of heaven. We know that’s what they’re about because they all start with “…the kingdom of heaven is like….”

The kingdom of heaven is like a man who planted seeds.

The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed.

The kingdom of heaven is like yeast.

A treasure.

A merchant.

A net.

So what is Jesus getting at? Who was he talking to and why? What does he even mean by “the kingdom of heaven?”

This week at New Wineskins we’ll continue our summer series on the parables of Jesus with a discussion of the “kingdom of heaven” parables in Matthew 13 and the implications for how they can inform the way we exist and behave in our world today.

Please plan to join us this Sunday, Aug. 18, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company and bring your voice to the conversation!

Happy half-hour at 6:30pm, conversation starts at 7:00pm

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Aug. 4 Gathering: The Parable of the Wheat and the Weeds (with guest host Kevin Malcomb!)


In Matthew 13, Jesus tells a series of parables that have a unifying agricultural theme and start with “The Kingdom of Heaven is like….”

In the second parable in that series (Matt. 13:24-30), Jesus tells a story about the kingdom of heaven being like a farmer who planted good seeds in a field, but an enemy sowed weed among the good crop. The wheat and weeds grew together until the farmhands offered to clean out the bad stuff, but the farmer said to let both crops grow together until the harvest, when the harvester would sort the good from the bad. A little later (Matt 13:36-43) Jesus explains the parable to his disciples. And for ages since, we’ve interpreted the story as a tale of who gets to go to heaven and who gets sent to hell when they die.

But as with all parables, there is a deeper story behind the story. And this week, our own Kevin Malcomb will lead our discussion into the layers below the surface!

Join us this Sunday, Aug. 4, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company as we continue our summer series on the parables of Jesus!

Happy half-hour at 6:30pm, conversation starts at 7:00pm

July 21 Gathering: The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector


In Luke 18, Jesus tells a story about a Pharisee and a tax collector who both come into the temple to pray. The self-righteous Pharisee thanks God for all his power and influence. The tax collector begs for mercy. And Jesus uses the story to spin the difference between privilege and humility.

On the surface, we usually read this parable in the light of our own individual virtues and shortcomings. Will we be proud, like the Pharisee, or will we be humble, like the tax collector?

But, as usual, Jesus is painting on a larger canvas. His teachings are far more rarely about individual morality than they are about society and culture. The whole rather than the one.

Join us this Sunday, July 21, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company as we dig a little deeper into this familiar parable. We’ll listen to it through a couple of different translations and a contemporary paraphrase to see where Jesus may be saying something even more significant than we’ve come to expect.

Happy half-hour at 6:30pm, conversation starts at 7:00pm

June 2 Gathering: Active Nonviolence (or “War: What is it Good For?)


If there is anything constant in this world, it’s that human beings seem trapped in a cycle of violence. Disagreement leads to conflict, and conflict leads to violence. Despite our best efforts to strive for peace, we eventually resort to violence as a means to either get our way or defend ourselves.

But we’ve been given glimmers of hope. Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, St. Francis, and a Jewish carpenter’s son named Yeshua bar Joseph have shown what an alternative to embracing violence, even as a last resort, could look like.

This Sunday at New Wineskins, we’ll take a look at MLK Jr.’s six principles of non-violence. They were the core of his work for justice and the basis for training participants in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. We’ll discuss whether it’s actually possible to embrace an ethic of non-violence and what it might look like if we did.

Please join us this Sunday, June 2, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company for a conversation around how King’s principles of non-violence might reshape our own lives and world.

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Food service & Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

April 28 Gathering: Resurrection


Resurrection. Returning from the dead.

It’s an idea that Christians from the beginning have hung their collective hats on. The idea that somehow, death doesn’t get the last word. That there is some kind of life after death.

And the proof is in Easter.

Historically not just a one-day candy-binging holiday but a 50-day liturgical season of celebration of new life, Easter is our yearly reminder of the miracle of Jesus overcoming death on the cross and being raised to life.

But what if it’s really not a miracle at all? What if resurrection was the most natural thing we could possibly believe in? What if it’s the most natural thing we could experience?

This Sunday at New Wineskins, we’ll talk about the idea of resurrection, both as a future hope and a present reality. And we’ll unpack how we can begin to view resurrection less from a standpoint of overcoming disbelief, but seeing the cosmos for what it really is.

Pleas plan to join us this Sunday, April 28, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company for what we hope will be a fascinating conversation about resurrection and reality.

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Food service & Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

April 14 Gathering: Holy Week (and free food!)


Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, the days leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus which culminates in Easter.

For centuries, communities of people who follow the ways of Jesus have marked the days of Holy Week in special ways, especially Maundy Thursday (traditionally the day of the Last Supper), Good Friday (the crucifixion), Holy Saturday, and Resurrection Sunday.

This week at New Wineskins, we’ll pull some of those traditions together into a liturgical whole. This week’s format will be a little different than other gatherings, but we’ll still have plenty of time for reflection and conversation.

Oh, and this week, dinner is on us! We’ll provide appetizers for all including meatballs, chicken tenders, pretzel-wrapped franks, and veggies. Water & tea will also be provided. Other beverages are on your own.

Pleas plan to join us this Sunday, April 14, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company for a very special celebration of Holy Week with the New Wineskins community.

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Food service & Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

Dec. 30 Gathering: Watch Night


oil lamps

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In the early days of the Methodist movement, John Wesley gathered people together on New Year’s Eve to reflect and pray, and to give them an alternative to the drunken revelry that, even in the 18th Century, predominated the culture. The Watch Night service was also a time for people to renew their commitment to God, and many Methodist and Wesleyan churches today still hold Covenant Renewal Services at the turning of the year.

Watch Night took on special significance for the African American community on Dec. 31, 1862, as people anxiously awaited Lincoln’s enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation. Historians say that many slaves gathered in churches to pray together as they anticipated freedom from bondage. The Watch Night tradition remains strong in black churches as the struggle for equality continues more than 150 years later.

This Sunday at New Wineskins, we’ll close out 2018 with our own Watch Night observation as we take some time to reflect together on the past year and look ahead to 2019. Please join us this Sunday, Dec. 30, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company as we look back and look ahead together!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

*PLEASE NOTE: New Wineskins will be on hiatus during January 2019. We will resume our gatherings in February. Please watch here and our Facebook page for dates and details!