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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.

Going Further With "How to Have Difficult Conversations"

Going Further With

Our last God on Tap on having difficult conversations with family members and friends (and each other) was one of our biggest and best gatherings ever. Thanks to everyone that came out and special thanks to Carly Cubit for facilitating our conversation and giving us practical tools to have these important conversations at home.

Many people wanted us to continue this conversation and open it up to more people, and that is just what we are going to do at our next God on Tap, this Wednesday, February 22nd at 7:30pm.

First, Carly Cubit is returning to facilitate our discussion and share additional practical tools.

Second, we have secured a larger gathering space—the newly opened large upstairs room at Gypsy Blue in Ambler (the former Finn McCools and Wyndam Hotel, 34 E Butler Ave, Ambler). The upstairs at Gypsy Blue can accommodate larger groups more comfortably and has its own bar, bartender, and comfortable seating. This should be better and more conducive to conversation than squeezing in knee-to-knee and having people listen in from the hallway.

When you arrive at Gypsy Blue, the hostess will direct you upstairs. Come up straight away. The upstairs bar will be open.

In addition to the regular on-street parking in Ambler, the Cavalier Drive municipal parking lot is conveniently located to Gypsy Blue. (No need to feed the meters after 6pm.)

The following was the description of last month’s gathering. We will try to take it further and deeper on Wednesday. I really hope to see you then. Feel free to invite friends.

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.

How to Have Difficult Conversations

How to Have Difficult Conversations

Join us for our next God on Tap, Tuesday, January 31st at 7:30pm upstairs at Forest & Main. Our topic: How to Have Difficult Conversations with our special guest Carly Cubit.

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 conversations.

Our special guest helps people do just that.

carlycubitCarly 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.

God on Tap Tonight: Christmas and Being God-bearers Today

God on Tap Tonight: Christmas and Being God-bearers Today

Join us tonight for a Christmas edition of God on Tap, 7:30pm upstairs at Forest & Main. Our theme is Christmas and how we, like Mary, can be God-bearers today.

On many levels 2016 was rough year—the divisiveness of the presidential campaign, heartbreaking images from Syria, an outbreak of hateful acts and speech in our country, and the death of some beloved public figures, musicians, and more. 2016 is leaving us with a collective, "Ugh!"

John Oliver summed up the feelings of this exhausting and challening year for many people when he literally blew it up on his TV show: 

 

via GIPHY

 

In such difficult years and challenging times, the message and promise of Christmas feels all the more important and poignant. Jesus himself was born into a difficult and challenging time—under Roman oppression in first-century Palestine, born in a stable, greeted by lowly shepherds. His mother, Mary, is a symbol of faith and hope for the way she accepted God's call to bear God's Son, and for the way she brought Jesus into the world. Jesus was the light shining in the darkness, which the darkness could not overcome.

Two questions:

Given this year we've experienced together, what are you looking for in this year's experience of Christmas? Is it hope, peace, promise, reconcilation, time with family? How does the Christmas story speak to you this year? Is it different from other years, or the same message that you need to hear afresh?

And how can we be God-bearers in our world today? How can be bring to birth the justice and joy, the love and peace of God in our world?

Centuries ago, the German mystic, Meister Eckhart, wrote, "What good is it to me that Mary gave birth to the son of God fourteen hundred years ago, and I do not also give birth to the Son of God in my time and in my culture? We are all meant to be mothers of God. God is always needing to be born.”

How is God being born in you this year? How will you bring that to birth in our world?

You know, we usually wait until January to make our new year's resolutions, but for some reason this year, this Christmas feels like a much better time to it. What are your Christmas resolutions for next year and beyond?

See you tonight!

 

Get in Touch

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