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.
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!
Join us for God on Tap on Tuesday, October 17th at 7:30pm upstairs at Gypsy Blu in Ambler for a conversation about the future of faith with two of my favorite people.
Our very special guests will be Lisa Kimball and Sarah Stonesifer both from Virginia Theological Seminary’s Center for the Ministry of Teaching.
I work with Sarah and Lisa as part of “e-Formation,” a learning community that teaches and trains ministry leader around the country about how digital technologies and social media can be used to share and form faith.
Lisa and Sarah are at the forefront of thinking about the future of faith, especially as it relates to our digital world (which is the world today), and they are amazing. You should come just to meet them, but I know we will cover some really interesting territory too.
Here's a little bit more about them both:
Lisa Kimball is the Associate Dean of Lifelong Learning, the Director of the Center for the Ministry of Teaching, and Professor of Christian Formation and Congregational Leadership.
Sarah Stonesifer is Digital Missioner and Learning Lab Coordinator in the Center for the Ministry of Teaching at VTS.
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!
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