God on Tap Blog

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God Down Under with Special Guest Bradon French

God Down Under with Special Guest Bradon French

God on Tap resumes this coming Tuesday, September 19th at 7:30pm upstairs at Gypsy Blu with a very special guest that comes to us all the way from Australia.

Our special guest for this month's God on Tap will be Bradon French, who is from Australia and currently on a two-week tour in the US learning from churches here, including UDLC and God on Tap!

Oftentimes our perspective on faith can become quite narrowed. It can become focused on just our own spiritual lives, our faith communities, or our country. We are delighted that Bradon can join us. He'll share more about his work and the spiritual landscape in Australia, and his learnings from his trip to the U.S.  

Here's some more about Bradon:

Bradon is the Next Gen Consultant with the Uniting Church in Australia. Bradon grew up in Western Sydney, trained as a special-ed teacher, is married with 2 kids (who are very jealous of his US trip) & loves good coffee with good friends. His role seeks to build intergeneration faith communities, plant new communities (temporary/digital/common-cause) & train ministry agents working with children, youth & young adults. Bradon’s in the US to listen & learn from churches & communities (and is enjoying surfing 300+ TV channels).

Hope to see you Tuesday the 19th!

 

GoT Tomorrow: Nurturing Friendships , Combating Loneliness, and Emotional Hangs

GoT Tomorrow: Nurturing Friendships , Combating Loneliness, and Emotional Hangs

 Join us tomorrow night, July 25th, at 7:30pm upstairs at Gypsy Blu for a conversations about nurturing friendship, combating lonlieness, and emotional hangs.

Recently, I’ve been reflecting on two articles by Billy Baker that appeared early this year in the Boston Globe Magazine: “The biggest threat facing middle-age men isn’t smoking or obesity. It’s loneliness.” And the follow up “My two weeks as America’s No. 1 middle-aged loser.” In these articles Baker reflects on the challenges of maintaining friendships and what some have called an epidemic of isolation and loneliness in our culture today, which has profound consequences. Baker writes, “Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general of the United States, has said many times in recent years that the most prevalent health issue in the country is not cancer or heart disease or obesity. It is isolation.” And, “Loneliness has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke and the progression of Alzheimer’s. One study found that it can be as much of a long-term risk factor as smoking.” I know that for me it can be hard to take the time and feel like I have the time to keep up with friends and nurture those relationships.

Just last week I had to make a conscious decision—an act of will, really—to keep a date for beers with buddies. After reading these articles I told myself, “Its good for you. You should go.” Has it come to that? I have to tell myself to go hang out at the brewery with some good friends? Anyway, I went and of course had a great time.

Please tell me I’m not the only one. What role does friendship play in your life? Do you struggle with maintaining and nurturing those relationships? Do you ever struggle with isolation and loneliness?

(If you are interested in thinking more on this topic, you might check out the podcast Emotional Hangs, in which "Grown men Kurt Braunhohler and Joe DeRosa explore the intricacies and conundrums that come along with true friendship after thirty, all while maintaining the enthusiasm and vulnerability of two baby boys.")

Join us tomorrow night. I promise you’ll be glad you did. It’s good for you! :)

Programming note: God on Tap always takes August off. We'll be back this fall on the following dates: September 19, October 17, November 21, and December 19.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo

God on Tap Thursday June 22nd: What ought to be the role of religion in public life? with special guest Will Fuller

God on Tap Thursday June 22nd: What ought to be the role of religion in public life? with special guest Will Fuller

Join us on Thursday, June 22nd (note the new date) at 7:30pm upstairs at Gypsy Blu in Ambler for a timely conversation "What ought to be the role of religion in public life?" with our special guest, Will Fuller

So much of our public life revolves around questions of religion. Some say that the church should stay out of politics and public life. Others feel their religious faith compels them and should compel the church into the public sphere. Is church a place of refuge and sanctuary, or a place that works for social change? Is it both and what is the balance?

Our special guest is someone that lives these questions. Will Fuller, a friend of mine and the Organizer for POWER Interfaith in the Philly Metro area.

wfullerA son of western Kentucky, Will originally joined POWER Interfaith in the fall of 2016 to complete a Community Organizing Fellowship through Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE). He currently organizes full-time for POWER’s suburban counties. A 2010 Teach for America alumnus, he is dedicated to the causes of educational equity, faith-based social justice, theological education reform, and racial reconciliation. He holds a Masters of Education from Lipscomb University and an M.A. in Theological Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

I hope you can join us for this important conversation on June 22nd! - Keith

God on Tap Tomorrow: Steve Jobs and The Road to Emmaus

God on Tap Tomorrow: Steve Jobs and The Road to Emmaus

Join us for God on Tap, Tuesday, May 23rd at 7:30pm, upstairs at Gypsy Blue in Ambler for our topic: Steve Jobs and The Road to Emmaus.

This is a season for celebrating graduations and milestones, and every year around this time inspiring videos college commencement addresses fill the interwebs.

One of my favorite speeches is the one the late Steve Jobs, legendary founder of Apple, gave at Stanford University in 2005. It has over 26 million views. Personally, I’ve listened to it many times, especially at times of transition, questioning, and what turned out to be turning points. Here’s the whole video:

 

(If you are reading this on email, you may need to click this link to view.)

My favorite part of the speech is when we says, “you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

Sometimes we try to line up the dots of our lives looking forward. We want to know what will happen and how things will turn out. But life doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes its only when we look back that we can see and appreciate how the dots connected.

Have you ever had a moment when you’ve looked back and seen how the dots of your life connected?

Hold that thought.

There’s a story in the Bible (one of the my favorites) called The Road to Emmaus. The story goes that two disciples were walking down a road when another person joins them and walks alongside them. It’s Jesus but they don’t know it. The last thing they heard, Jesus had been crucified and buried, dead and gone.

So, they are talking with this guy for literally miles but don’t recognize its Jesus. It’s only when they have dinner with him in Emmaus that he realize its him—and then, poof, he’s gone.

They turn to each other and say, “Weren’t our hearts burning within us while we talked to him on the road?”

It was only in retrospect that they connected the dots. God can be like that. We want answers and solutions and assurances, but ultimately walk by faith, hope, trust, into the mystery of life.

Have you ever had an Emmaus moment, when you looked back and said, “wasn’t my heart burning,” or “God was in this place and I didn’t know it?”

Hope to see you tomorrow night and we can connect the dots together.

program note: This conversation with Will Fuller, originally scheduled for tomorrow, has moved to June 21st:

What ought to be the role of religion in public life? with special guest Will Fuller

What should be the role of religion in our public life? So much of our public life revolves around questions of religion. Some say that the church should stay out of politics and public life. Others feel their religious faith compels them and should compel the church into the public sphere. Is church a place of refuge and sanctuary, or a place that works for social change? Is it both and what is the balance?

Our special guest is someone that lives these questions. Will Fuller, a friend of mine and the Organizer for POWER Interfaith in the Philly Metro area.

wfullerA son of western Kentucky, Will originally joined POWER in the fall of 2016 to complete a Community Organizing Fellowship through Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE). He currently organizes full-time for POWER’s suburban counties. A 2010 Teach for America alumnus, he is dedicated to the causes of educational equity, faith-based social justice, theological education reform, and racial reconciliation. He holds a Masters of Education from Lipscomb University and an M.A. in Theological Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

"Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire." - St. Catherine of Sienna

Join us on Tuesday, April 25th at 7:30pm upstairs at Gypsy Blue four our next God on Tap and our conversation inspired by Catherine of Siena's quote, "Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire."

fireBut how do you know what you are meant to be and meant to do? It's not just a question when we are starting out in life. It's a question we return to time and time again. How do we discern our purpose and life, and what happens when we get that feeling like that purpose is shifting our changing. It can be disconcerting, exciting, and worrisome. But when we find it we feel as if we can set the world on fire.

Some questions to get us thinking:

How did you discover your purpose in life, who you God made you to be? Did it happen in a moment? Was it an evolution?

Have you had times when those things have shifted in our life? How did you know, navigate it, and come through on the other side?

Have you helped others figure out their purpose, their calling? How did you help them?

What difference does it make, or could it make, if you felt as though you were what God intended for you to be?

What gives you joy?

Looking Ahead to May
May 23rd God on Tap: What ought to be the role of religion in public life? with special guest Will Fuller

What should be the role of religion in our public life? So much of our public life revolves around questions of religion. Some say that the church should stay out of politics and public life. Others feel their religious faith compels them and should compel the church into the public sphere. Is church a place of refuge and sanctuary, or a place that works for social change? Is it both and what is the balance?

Our special guest is someone that lives these questions. Will Fuller, a friend of mine and the Organizer for POWER Interfaith in the Philly Metro area.

wfullerA son of western Kentucky, Will originally joined POWER in the fall of 2016 to complete a Community Organizing Fellowship through Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE). He currently organizes full-time for POWER’s suburban counties. A 2010 Teach for America alumnus, he is dedicated to the causes of educational equity, faith-based social justice, theological education reform, and racial reconciliation. He holds a Masters of Education from Lipscomb University and an M.A. in Theological Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

God on Tap TONIGHT: Conversations that Can Change the World

God on Tap TONIGHT: Conversations that Can Change the World

Join us for God on Tap tonight, Tuesday, March 28th at 7:30pm at our new location upstairs at Gypsy Blue for our topic, Conversations that Change the World.

A note about our new location: We have moved our spring and summer gatherings for God on Tap to the upstairs room at Gypsy Blue (34 East Butler Avenue in Ambler) simply because we've grown too large for the upstairs room at Forest & Main. We had a great experience at Gypsy Blue last month and we're looking forward to gathering there tonight and months to come.

Now onto our topic: Our last couple meetings we have discussed difficult conversations and how to have them with the help of Carly Cubit. Carly will be joining us again tonight for the final session in our "Having Difficult Conversations" Series.

We want to shift our conversations into action by talking about the actions we need to take to have these conversations and how to help other people have those conversations. Carly asks, "You have the skills, what conversations should we (and the world) start having?"

We hope you can join us tonight! 

ICYMI, the following was the description of our previous "difficult conversations" gatherings.

We are living in polarizing times and many people are finding it difficult to have conversations with family and friends with differing political, religious, or cultural points of view. It is really tough. Relationship are being strained and tested. But we know that if we are to bring more healing, understanding, and love into the world we need to be able to have difficult and courageous conversation.

Our special guest helps people do just that.

Carly is a small group facilitator and facilitation trainer, meaning that she brings people together to have radically-open conversations. She was trained and employed at a center at Penn State called World in Conversation: Center for Public Diplomacy, where she facilitated conversations on contentious social issues including race, gender, western-middle eastern relations, and climate change. She also developed the curriculum for three courses at Penn state in group facilitation. While her work was focused on local conversation between diverse groups, she eventually worked on a grant with NATO and facilitated virtual conversations between Afghan civilians and military cadets. She says she is still consistently challenged by tough conversations, especially with the people closest to her – and that’s just human!

God on Tap, we like to say, is about conversations at the intersection of life and faith. We believe in the power of conversation to learn, grow, and bring people together. This will give us more and better tools to have those conversations together and with the people in our lives.

Get in Touch

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