April 22 Gathering: Cassie Kile and the Nerd Gospel!


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If this picture heats up your blood and makes you cringe a little, you might be a nerd.

This Sunday at New Wineskins, we dive into Narnia to arrive in The Shire. If we take a step back and look at the fantasy stories that make up our era, we see a mosaic of the Gospel.

Gospel comes from the word, ‘godspel’ and literally means ‘good-story.’ The stories we tell each other at the present time are a representation of where we are as a people. We are piggy-backing off of our last meeting when we talked about some of the Biblical stories possibly being myth and legend and being told and retold to “convey the deepest truths of existence.”

Humanity is still telling those stories, and adding more stories to the mix day by day. In this week’s conversation, we will delve into stories that are made up by humanity, highjacked by The Holy One, and tell us again and again the good news—the godspel—the Gospel.

Cassie Kile will be our guest presenter for this week’s conversation. Cassie is a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary where she earned her Master of Divinity. She also holds a Master of Fine Arts in Media Design from Full Sail University, is the owner and CEO of Lion Design Company, and specializes in static/dynamic graphics, music, & video for the Church. Cassie lives in Parkersburg, WV, with three fur-kids: Charlie, Sylvester, and Fonzie.

Join us Sunday, April 22, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company for what should be a lively conversation about the stories we tell!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

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April 8 Gathering: Myth, Legend, and Scripture


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In our age of certainty and literalism, it’s hard to imagine that we could use words like “myth” and “legend” to describe Holy Scripture. But for the people who lived within the oral traditions from which our sacred writings come, myth and legend were perfectly natural ways to convey the deepest truths of existence.

The Genesis narrative, for instance, begins with two separate accounts of the Creation story. For centuries, religious interpreters have tried to reconcile the differences. But what if the people who first compiled these stories into the scriptural canon were less concerned with historical fact than with relating more nuanced levels of meaning? What if stories like the Exodus, Jonah, and Ruth are really more legend than memoir?

This Sunday at New Wineskins we’ll dive into some of the myths and legends contained in the Bible and explore the truths behind the stories. Join us in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company for what should be a lively and enlightening conversation!

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

Feb. 11 Gathering: Vulnerability


View the video of Dr. Brené Brown’s TED talk on the power of vulnerabillty.

In the story of the Exodus, Moses encounters a bush in the desert that is on fire but is not being consumed by that fire. In his curiosity, he approaches, and hears a voice from the flames: “Moses. Take off your sandals, for where you are standing is holy ground. I am the God of your ancestors, of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

So Moses hides his face, presumably out of shame, or fear, or both. The voice goes on to tell Moses that the time has come to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, and that Moses is the man to do the job. And in his string of excuses why that can’t possibly be right, Moses finally gets to the key question: “Okay, suppose I do this. Suppose I lead the people out of Egypt. Why would they follow me? Who do I tell them sent me? What if they ask me your name?

And the voice from the bush answers, “Tell them ‘I Am’ sent you.”

Now, what’s lurking just beneath the surface of this exchange is a sociological norm that was true of ancient peoples but not in our world today, so we miss it. In those days, when you encountered a stranger, you never wanted to be the first one to state your name. It was a sign of subservience. By giving another your name was to give them power over you.

And so for God to give Moses the name, “I Am,” says something more about who this God is than just a name. It implies a level of vulnerability we don’t expect from a deity. It says that God is not afraid to be known.

Vulnerability is something we humans–and especially prideful, individualistic 21st Century Americans–mostly try to avoid. We want to be seen as strong, as independent, as self-sufficient.

But what if vulnerability is actually at the heart of what it means to be fully human? What if, without vulnerability, we are missing out on something that is at the core of our true essence?

This week at New Wineskins, we’ll talk about vulnerability and its place in our relationships with God and one another.

Join us Sunday evening, Feb. 11, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company as we unpack the power of vulnerability.

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

Dec. 3 Gathering: Advent, Incarnation & Expectation


Advent Calendar

It seems like when we were kids, December was the longest month. The lead-up to Christmas was full of eager anticipation for the big day as we opened our Advent calendars to reveal new treasures day after day after interminable day, and in our impatience for the payout, time seemed almost to stand still.

And then something changed. With maturity and the responsibilities of adulthood, it now seems like the season just sneaks up on us and is gone before we know it. In our frantic busy-ness we hardly get to enjoy the weeks leading up to what is arguably the most popular, if not most theologically important, day of the year.

Maybe consumer culture really has won Christmas. Or maybe we really can recapture that sense of excitement and anticipation as Advent unfolds.

And maybe the secret is incarnation.

This Sunday at New Wineskins, we’ll talk about how viewing Advent through the lens of incarnation can help us focus more, rush less, give more meaningfully, and truly enjoy the lead-up to Christmas.

Join us Dec. 3 in the 167 Side Room of the  Marietta Brewing Company as we celebrate this first Sunday in Advent together by sharing stories of incarnation.

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

Dec. 19 Gathering: Shaped by Gratitude 


Gratitude Attitude Word Cloud

What are you grateful for?

It may seem like a cliché kind of question as we head into the week of Thanksgiving, but have you thought about how formative a sense of gratitude is to your spirituality ? Could you really have a healthy spiritual life without gratefulness somewhere at its root?

And it’s not just the big things in life where gratitude shapes us…sometimes it’s in the seemingly ordinary that we find our deepest sense of gratefulness. Everyday sights, smells, and sounds that trigger something deep within us that foster a a rich sense of thankfulness in our very core.

This Sunday at New Wineskins we’ll talk about how gratitude forms us to be more Christlike by sharing stories of the ordinary things we’re all grateful for. Come ready to share your story of gratitude!

Join us Nov. 19 in the 167 Side Room of the  Marietta Brewing Company to share your story and hear from others!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm