Theology on Tap started in October, so perhaps this blog should be named “Closing Time”. Theology on Tap was not my idea—in fact, when I told a friend that this was one of the things I’d be doing this year, he laughed “but John, you don’t drink.” While it’s true I don’t drink very often, the prospect of meeting on a monthly basis with mostly young (and some young at heart) members was very appealing. By meeting at a restaurant or bar, it was thought, more natural conversation in a less formal or intimidating environment could occur.
This was definitely the case.
We had 13 people at our first meeting at the Chianti Grill and I had prepared a scripture passage and a bunch of leading questions to facilitate discussion. It turned out I didn’t need them. By asking the group to introduce themselves and to state the first website they go to each day, the two tables each got into some interesting areas, including observations about what people put for their religion on Facebook—which lead to whether or not denominations matter and questioning if we are raising kids to not go to church because of our choices of sports, music, or education groups that take precedence over church activities.
One of the most important things that Theology on Tap does is it brings us together in dialogue around fellowship and it starts with a disclaimer that all of us come together with different views and opinions, but we are to be open to each others ideas and respect one another.
What I learned is that the group came prepared to talk and was genuinely interested in dialogue with one another. We touched on inter-religious dialogue and the place of politics and how they function in the church. The upcoming meetings will go behind introductions and we will start to delve deeper into what it means to be Lutheran in the world and what we are up to when we aren’t in church. We will focus on scripture and apply it to our lives and the world around us.
If this sounds like a conversation you could feel comfortable joining, or even if it sounds like something that might push you out of your comfort zone, come to the table. Come join the discussion. Come with a friend, a co-worker, a neighbor. Come to O’Gara’s Bar & Grill on Wednesday, November 10th at 8 p.m. Come, you are invited.