According to Martin Luther, “it’s better to think of church in the ale-house than to think of the ale-house in church.” Faith and Brews (or F&B) provides an opportunity to take this fine advice, as a group of us come together at Donahue’s in Watertown to meet over soda, cider, and yes, brews to discuss the topic of the week provided by Wired Word. Topics vary from current events such as the Syrian refugee crisis to more conceptual topics, such as healing through prayer illustrated by a less-publicized story. Like anything that involves a church or a bar, we have a group of “regulars” who attend as well as those who attend less frequently. One of the nice things about F&B is that because each week is independent from the others, it's easy for someone to join at any time or with any frequency.
We’re a very friendly group and particularly welcoming towards diversity in perspective. I think part of being a Lutheran is being challenged and seeing the grey in issues, even when it can be hard. There are topics that I find myself reflecting back on weeks later, as well as ones in which I find resolution more readily. Within our group, we bring a variety of past experiences and present conditions, which add depth to what we share and the understanding that we can build together.
As someone who is away on weekends a lot during certain times of year, I’m especially glad to have a midweek community opportunity. (As a licensed rowing referee, I spend a lot of Sunday mornings promoting safety and fairness.) On these weeks in particular, I really appreciate being able to connect with St. Paul-ians during the week.
For me, Faith and Brews provides a forum to reflect and connect within a community that shares some of my values, but may apply them differently and interpret the topics differently. I enjoy our conversations, as well as being challenged to think more deeply about what’s going on in the world and how I respond to it. There’s a lot of negativity and despair in the news and F&B offers the opportunity to consider some of these stories from multiple perspectives. Sometimes the guided questions lead inspire other questions, other times they inspire tangents. Actually, tangents are inspired pretty much every time. Lots of tangents.
As a child, my mom once told me, “God gave you a brain, so use it.” Faith and Brews provides a forum for me to use my brain to think deeper and about issues from Biblical, moral, and practical perspectives.