Monday June 27th, 2022

[image via Larm Rmah, unsplash.com]

Resurrection blessings, dear Pub Theologians, on this Sunday evening.

We are gathering again Monday June 27th at 6pm at the Mayfield Winking Lizard. Come pull up a chair and bring a friend! The topic this time deals with a certain diversity in faith communities, specifically age diversity. I wonder: what does it mean to be an age-diverse church, especially one with younger children and their families?

Read this recent blog post to get the cogs turning: cbfblog.com/2022/05/20/why-bringing-in-young-families-is-not-a-magic-bullet-for-your-congregation/

See you at the pub.

-Pastor Paul

Monday June 13th, 2022

[Image: Josh Applegate, unsplash.com]

Hello friends,

We are gathering for Pub Theology Monday June 13th, 6pm, at the Mayfield Winking Lizard. Come pull up a chair and bring a friend!

The topic this time: What boundaries are there around the Communion Table? Should all who hunger have a place to eat the Bread and drink the Wine, or are there proper steps that must be followed before you can feast?

Perhaps reading this recent article will get the conversation started: https://thecorners.substack.com/p/on-communionSee you there.

-Pastor Paul

Reminder & Invitation

Hello friends,

We are continuing to meet the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month, which means we’re back on *next week*, Monday June 13th.

Between then and now, we’ve been invited to join Beer & Bible in Chardon Tuesday night June 7th at Maple City Taps, starting around 6pm. The topic is Pentecost. Here’s a 3 minute video to get the conversation rolling: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njKX1lNcgfo.

Hope to see you there.

Monday May 23rd, 2022

Dear Pub Theologians,

We are at it again this coming Monday, May 23rd, gathering at the Mayfield Winking Lizard starting at 6pm. The topic this time?

What did Jesus mean when he spoke of heaven? What did the Gospel writers mean when they wrote about heaven? And what does that line of the Lord’s Prayer mean, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”?

(This was inspired by a recent tweet from Pastor Josh Scott of GracePointe Church in Nashville…)

See you at the pub.

-Pastor Paul

Monday, May 9th, 2022

Greetings Pub Theologians,

We are back at the Mayfield Winking Lizard this Monday May 9th, for our next evening of thoughtful and engaging conversation. The topic this time? We’re talking the Church in the 21st Century, and why some of our institutional models may not be cutting it for the younger generations. Read Dwight Zscheile’s recent piece for Living Lutheran magazine, found here: www.livinglutheran.org/2022/03/my-take-they-may-not-come-back/.

See you at the pub! We’ll aim to begin around 6pm.

Pastor Paul

Monday, April 25, 2022 (No gathering)

Hello all,

No Pub Theology tonight (April 25th) — but I have an invitation for next week if you’re willing.

Paul Gochnour has invited us to gather on Tuesday May 3rd for Beer & Bible with our neighbors from Chardon(+). Find us at Brown Barn Tavern at 6pm – 10700 Mayfield Rd, Chardon OH 44024. The topic is below:

“Well, then, did the Father want Jesus to be crucified? And, if so, why? The answer as I see it is again: No. The mission of Jesus from the Father is not the mission to be crucified; what the Father wishes is that Jesus should be human. . . . And this is what Jesus sees as a command laid on him by his Father in heaven; the obedience of Jesus to his Father is to be totally, completely human. This is his obedience, an expression of his love for the Father; the fact that to be human means to be crucified is not something that the Father has directly planned but what we have arranged. We have made a world in which there is no way of being human that does not involve suffering.

“Jesus accepted the cross in love and obedience, and his obedience was to the command to be human. Let me explain what I mean. As I see it, not Adam but Jesus was the first human being, the first member of the human race in whom humanity came to fulfilment, the first human being for whom to live was simply to love—for this is what human beings are for. The aim of human life is to live in friendship—a friendship amongst ourselves which in fact depends on a friendship, or covenant, that God has established between ourselves and him. …

“So my thesis is that Jesus died of being human. His very humanity meant that he put up no barriers, no defences against those he loved who hated him. He refused to evade the consequences of being human in our inhuman world. So the cross shows up our world for what it really is, what we have made it. It is a world in which it is dangerous, even fatal, to be human; a world structured by violence and fear. The cross shows that whatever may be remedied by this or that political or economic change, there is a basic wrong, persistent through history and through all progress: the rejection of the love that casts out fear, the fear that without the backing of terror, at least in the last resort, human society and thus human life cannot exist. The cross, then, unmasks or reveals the sin of the world.”

—Herbert McCabe from “Good Friday” in his collection “God Matters”

Monday, April 11, 2022

[image: Tim Mossholder, unsplash.com]

Hello Theologians,

Pub Theology is on for tomorrow, Monday April 11th. Let’s gather again at the Mayfield Winking Lizard behind Eastgate shopping center, 6pm. The topic? Palm Sunday. What was happening in Jerusalem when Jesus arrived there mere days before his death? How does Luke’s Gospel reflect on these realities? What impact does a story like this have in our lives today?

To get the conversation started, read Diana Butler Bass’ Substack post from early this morning: dianabutlerbass.substack.com/p/sunday-musings-48f

Make sure you make it through the whole “Inspiration” section at the end, too — she includes some quotes that may be helpful in our reflections.

See you there!

Monday, March 28th, 2022

Pub Theologians,

Are you ready to earn some education credits towards your seminary degree this week? (Only partly kidding!) For Pub Theology this coming Monday, I’d like to delve into the question of how we interact with scripture together in our faith lives. To get the conversation going, I hope we might listen to an interview released yesterday on the Pulpit Fiction podcast: the Reverend Doctor Justo Gonzalez (author and scholar).

So here’s the assignment: take some time this weekend to listen to their conversation (www.pulpitfiction.com/notes/tns9-6-hjerh). Bring your notepad and see what catches your attention! There’s a ton of gems in the interview, from start to finish. Some of it gets a bit academic at times, but overall I hope it’s helpful for our gathering. The podcast is just over an hour long, but stick with it, because some key insights come right at the end.

See you at the Winking Lizard Mayfield Heights, 6pm.

-Pastor Paul

Monday, March 14th, 2022

[Image: the “Aqua” skyscraper in Chicago. It was the tallest woman-designed building in the world at the time of its completion in 2009. Photo by Sonder Quest on unsplash.com]

Hello Pub Theologians,

All around the world today, the Church hears Jesus refer to himself as a mother hen in his lament over Jerusalem (Luke 13:31-35 for the Second Sunday in Lent, Year C). This image is powerful and evocative, and perhaps stretches our minds beyond our usual concepts of God and divinity in the world.

How does this metaphor strike you?

There have been other representations of the “feminine divine” through the ages, including Lady Wisdom (“Sophia” in Greek), the Holy Spirit (“Ruach” in Hebrew, a feminine noun), and the God of rebirth (being “born a second time” as spoken of in John’s Gospel). Let’s dive in deeply with two guides this week:

See you on Monday at the Mayfield Winking Lizard around 6pm.

-Pastor Paul

Monday, February 28th, 2022

[image from Nghia Le, unsplash.com]

Transfiguration Blessings to you, Pub Theologians.

Today in churches around the globe, worshippers found themselves hearing the story of Jesus “transfigured” on the mountaintop with a mysterious divine visitation from Elijah and Moses. If you haven’t read through it in a while, check it out here: Luke 9:28-43 (bible.oremus.org/?ql=512998738). You may notice in the narrative that Jesus and the disciples ascend the mountain to go and pray. It’s this “getting into nature” theme that I want to focus on as we gather for Pub Theology this week. Do you have stories of nature trips that changed your perspective on things? That helped you sort through hard times? That connected you to God?

I’d like to expand the conversation with some insights from the scientific community as shared through an “Outside” magazine article published in 2019 titled “The Incredible Link Between Nature and Your Emotions”. Give it a read at www.outsideonline.com/health/wellness/nature-mental-health/ and see how it might connect with our practices of spiritual renewal as found in the Christian tradition.

Let’s plan to gather in person once again, at the same place we met earlier this year: The Winking Lizard Tavern in Mayfield Heights, beginning around 6pm. See you there!

Pastor Paul

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