April 8 Gathering: Myth, Legend, and Scripture


medieval-stained-glass-god

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

Advertisements

Nov. 5 Gathering: Living Dislocated


Bible: Jacob is fighting with the angel

In Genesis 32, we encounter a story where Jacob, returning to his father’s lands in Palestine, engages in a cosmic wrestling match as he prepares to face his brother Esau in what seems surely to be shaping up into an epic battle between the brother of privilege and the brother of promise.

As the story goes, Jacob spends all day preparing to meet Esau, sending gifts out ahead, dividing his company into smaller parts in hopes some would be able to flee should a battle break out, and finally sending his family and household possessions away, leaving him alone in the night.

It’s there that the text tells us he wrestles with “a man” all night (some translations identify the man as an “angel of the Lord”). As daybreak nears, neither combatant is able to gain an advantage. It’s then we read in verse 25 that the man “touched the socket of his (Jacob’s) thigh; so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him” (NASB). Jacob, still unwilling to concede, begs his opponent for a blessing…at which point the man tells Jacob, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed” (Gen. 32:28, NASB).

Is there something in our struggle to know and be known by God that dislocates us?

This Sunday at New Wineskins we’ll dig a little deeper into Jacob’s story and explore our own stories of struggling with God and what holy dislocation might look like.

Join us Nov. 5 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

Oct. 22 Gathering: Is God gendered?


God in Heaven Set

Oh, those masculine pronouns! Imagery of God as a (white) father figure. “The Big Man in the Sky.”

Even if we don’t believe God is technically male, all the language we use appropriates certain cultural contexts of male-ness.

But is God really male or female? Is God beyond gender? Or is God somehow mysteriously both gendered and not gendered? And does it really matter?

This week at New Wineskins we’ll talk about the issue of God and gender, discuss how patriarchy affects our perceptions of God, and consider the history and importance of the Divine Feminine.

Join us this Sunday, Oct. 22, in the 167 Side Room of the  Marietta Brewing Company for what should be a lively and interesting conversation!

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

Aug. 27 Gathering: “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”


074613741-develop-our-mind-ability

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)

Paul’s letter to the first Christians in Rome is packed to the gills with rich theology. And as he reaches the climax of his instructions to the Roman church, he drops this little gem about not conforming to the pattern of this world, but being transformed by the renewing of your mind.

So what exactly does the apostle to the gentiles mean by this statement? How does the renewing of our minds lead to transformation? What exactly are the patterns of this world we should avoid conforming to? And what does it look like to be a “living sacrifice?”

This Sunday, we’ll unpack a bit of the context around this statement and see what new insights we might gain from Paul’s exhortation.

Join us in the 167 Side Room of the  Marietta Brewing Company this Sunday, Aug. 27, to join in the conversation!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

July 2 Gathering: What brings you here?


cropped-wineskinphoto.jpg

As churches everywhere struggle to attract and retain people, one of the questions we’re eventually forced to ask is what makes people want to come in the first place.

Now a little over 3 years into what started as an experiment to create a “third space” for people who were interested in Jesus but maybe didn’t trust the church, it’s a good time for the New Wineskins community to ask itself that same question. Why are we here? What keeps us coming back? What compels us to invite others? What kind of community are we creating?

Introspection is good for the soul. And for the community. This Sunday we will reflect on where we’ve been, why we come, and where God may be taking us.

Join us Sunday, July 2, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company to talk about why you attend New Wineskins, hear from others, and share ideas for our future!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

June 18 Gathering: God as Father? (a Fathers Day conversation)


medieval-stained-glass-god

Referring to God in masculine terms has drawn plenty of examination in recent years. And it’s certainly clear that the creator of humanity transcends gender.

But much debate exists as to whether it’s appropriate to refer to God–or at least the first person of the Trinity–as “Father.” We have to ask ourselves whether such identity is harmless, or if it may actually make God less accessible, especially for people for whom their families of origin have left less than favorable impressions of what a father is.

This Sunday at New Wineskins we’ll talk about why we identify God in masculine terms, what our alternatives might be, and why it may or may not matter.

Join us Sunday, June 18, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company for what promises to be a fascinating Father’s Day conversation!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm