God on Tap Blog

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God on Tap Tuesday: How Does Your Garden Grow?

God on Tap Tuesday: How Does Your Garden Grow?

Join us on Tuesday, April 24th at 7:30 pm upstairs at Gypsy Blu in Ambler for God on Tap! Our topic, inspired by Earth Day, is "How Does Your Garden Grow?" with special guest Dyan Lawlor. Dyan writes: 

This week at God on Tap, follows "Earth Day", last Sunday. Remember the first day of Spring (March 20th) we were 'snowed in!". We are STILL longing for the sun-filled Spring days to come and stay! If you're like me, I can't wait to gather up the dead branches, the dried stalks of last year's daisies and peonies, and welcome colorful tulips and sunny daffodils. I keep buying packets of seeds and counting the days til May 15 when frost is no longer an option!

Being outside renews my soul. “The (blue)birds and the bees” slow me down and reminds me of the wonders and rhythm of God's creation. As favorite author, Barbara Brown Taylor writes, in her book, "Leaving Church"..."I know many people who find God most reliably in books, in buildings, and even in other people. I have found God in all of here places too, but the most reliable meeting place for me has always been creation.”

Let’s talk this week about where you find renewal and spiritual refreshment in nature? How does nature give credence to the resurrection of our bodies? Why is that? What projects to you have, (bee-keeping, etc.) that fulfill our calling to be ‘stewards of the planet earth.’?

And I’m inviting you, if able, to bring a cutting of a favorite plant, or a tiny seedling, or separate a few hostas to share with the rest of us!

PS…This season of Easter, recall Mary saw Jesus first at the tomb and thought he was the gardener. Barbara B. Taylor confesses, “…and I realize this gardener, Jesus, may be the only thing that keeps me holding onto faith; the idea that God plays in the dirt of my life and grows knockout roses and peonies where weeds would otherwise be.”

Who Is Jesus? This Tuesday.

Who Is Jesus? This Tuesday.

Join us Tuesday night, March 27th for God on Tap, 7:30 pm upstairs at Gypsy Blu. We'll be asking the question: Who is Jesus?

{Please also mark your calendars for our upcoming dates: April 24, May 22, June 19, and July 17}

God on Tap has been meeting for over five years, and while we've certainly talked about Jesus a lot, we've never had a full on conversation about Jesus himself. Weird.

It's probably an oversight on my part, but I think it speaks to something that is pretty prevalent in Christianity today where it seems like we talk about everything possible except Jesus himself. We debate about the Bible, we talk about particular spiritual practices, we talk about trying to live our Christian faith, but we don't always get around to engaging the person at the center of it all: Jesus himself. 

In recent months, I've been trying to reconnect with Jesus and reflect on what he means to me. I've been diving back into the Gospels and reading the stories—the miracles, the healing, the teaching, the way he called into question everything we thought we knew, the way he laid down his life, found hope when there was only despair, and shined light when there only seemed to be darkness. 

The Jesus I'm rediscovering took no prisoners when it came to standing up for the weak, the sick, the outcast and persecuted. The Jesus I'm encountering again refused to accept the way things were and pointed people to what could be. The Jesus I see in these stories demonstrates the true power of love. And he has a singular focus: the cross. 

What is it about Jesus that fascinates you or drives you crazy? What about Jesus confounds and confuses you? How do you think of Jesus: as a wise teacher, a revolutionary, a comforter, a healer, a savior, a friend, or all of the above? What is your favorite story, moment, parable, or verse about Jesus? 

I hope you'll join us on Tuesday as we meet Jesus again as if for the first time.  I'm interested to see where this conversation will go.

God on Tap Tomorrow: Reflecting on Lent with Courtney Smith

God on Tap Tomorrow: Reflecting on Lent with Courtney Smith

Join us Tuesday, February 28th for God on Tap at Gypsy Blu for a conversation about Lent with our special guest conversation host, Courtney Smith.

Lent is the time in the church year where we shift our hearts and minds from the birth of Jesus at Christmas to the story of his death and resurrection at Holy Week and Easter. It is a time where we remember the forty days Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness and confronting the temptations of the devil.

As we move through Lent, it makes sense to talk about what it means to each of us on a personal level. On Ash Wednesday we talk about fasting, preparation, reflection, and remembrance for the 40-day Lenten journey to Easter; but everyone interprets and embodies these instructions differently.

What does Lent mean to you and how do you embody it for forty-days? Do you give something up? Do you vow to make a change? Do you fast?

Lent is a journey to the cross, to the death and resurrection of Jesus. While for forty-days our paths may take different shapes and forms, we all end together in the same place.

Just as no two accounts of the death and resurrection of Jesus are the same, no two people celebrate and honor Lent in the same way. We look forward to seeing you at God on Tap and hearing your take on the meaning and expression of Lent!

Some questions to ponder: What does Lent mean to you? How does the season of Lent prepare you (or not) for the death and resurrection? How would Easter be different if we didn't have the season of Lent? What do you do for Lent and why? (give something up? fast? nothing?)

E-A-G-L-E-S: God on Tap Tomorrow Night

E-A-G-L-E-S: God on Tap Tomorrow Night

Join us for God on Tap tomorrow night, Tuesday, January 23rd at 7:30pm, upstairs at Gypsy Blu in Ambler. We are going to be talking about the Eagles amazing playoff run and the delight and meaning we draw from sports.

As we have seen first hand over the last few weeks, sports has the power to galvanize a community, bridge differences, unite strangers, and provide an outlet in a time when the world can feel so difficult and dark. What is it about sports and our hometown teams that connect so deeply for us? Does it help us feel connected to each other? Does it evoke memories of growing up and going to games as a kid? Is it just a pure moment of stress relief (or maybe trading one kind of stress for another)? 

Sports can also teach us valuable life lessons about playing as a team, working together, dealing with winning, losing, and adversity. Have you ever played a sport? What did it teach you?

Perhaps our feelings about sports, and football in particular, are complicated by what we know about concussions and the physical toll it takes on those who play the game, or because of the billions of dollars involved.

 

Sports have played an important role in my life. Some of my most vivid childhood memories are going to Orioles and even Colts games as I was growing up near Baltimore. When I moved to Boston, my first visit to Fenway Park was truly a religious experience. I also learned a great deal about life and about myself from playing individual and team sports growing up.

As we have seen this Eagles' season, you can't underestimate the power of sport. Let's jump in and share our excitement for the Super Bowl and share some stories about what sports mean to us.  

God on Tap Tomorrow: Christmas Movies and the Spirit of the Season

God on Tap Tomorrow: Christmas Movies and the Spirit of the Season

Join us on Tuesday, December 19th at 7:30 upstairs at Gypsy Blu for our final God on Tap of 2017! We’ll be talking about our favorite Christmas movies and how they illuminate for us the spirit of the season.

So, what are your favorite Christmas movies? Are there movies that you just have to see before Christmas arrives?

In my family we watch a ton of Christmas movies in the month of December, movies that run the gambit  from the completely ridiculous to the utterly sublime. Every year my wife and I watch It's a Wonderful Life together to remind ourselves of how much we have to be grateful for. We also watch The Family Stone for a good dose of holiday snark.  In what seems like an odd choice, we also like the very quirky A Very Murray Christmas on Netflix. And we watch the whole range of Christmas movies with our kids from Arthur Christmas, Elf, The Polar Express, Miracle on 34th Street, and more.

These movies have become an important part of how our family keeps the Christmas season. You could even say its become a ritual for us.

 They remind us to be grateful, to laugh, to look back on our own Christmases past, to reclaim some of the mystey and magic of Christmas. They make us laugh, cry, and feel some of the joy and love of the season. 

What are your favorite Christmas movies and why? Why are they important to you and how do they help you to keep the spirit of the season?

See you tomorrow night! 

God on Tap Tomorrow: Giving Thanks

God on Tap Tomorrow: Giving Thanks

Join us for our next God on Tap tomorrow, Tuesday, November 21st at 7:30pm upstairs at Gypsy Blu! This month we are talking about gratitude.

One of the great mystics, Meister Eckhart, once wrote, "If the only prayer we ever utter to God is 'Thank you" that is enough." Gratitude is one of the most important practices in the spiritual life, and yet we are so busy that we often stop to pause and give thanks. As we approach Thanksgiving, we begin to recall and recount how much we have to be thankful for. That's the invitation for this Tuesday's God on Tap: come and take time to give thanks - and be encouraged and inspired by others' stories.

In his first letter to the Thessalonians, St. Paul writes, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances." We don't give thanks for all circumstances in our lives, but we can give thanks in all circumstances. Even in the midst of our most challening times, we can still find things to be thankful for and it lets us know that there is still something good and right with the world. 

This month, the BTS Center Bearings blog, which I sometimes write for, has a series this month on different facets of gratitude: gratitude as healing, gratitude as resistance, and a beautiful reflection on gratitude in ordinary time by a hospice chaplain. 

How is gratitude expressing itself in you in this season? What facet of gratitude do you feel drawn to?

Some other questions to ponder: What are you grateful for? What are the barriers you find to practicing gratitude? Have you ever found yourself feeling grateful even in the midst of challenge or suffering? Do you keep a gratitude journal? What difference has it made for you? 

I hope to see you tomorrow, but if not, Happy Thanksgiving! - Keith

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God on Tap is hosted by members and friends of Upper Dublin Lutheran Church. Contact Keith Anderson for more information.