A night at Theology Pub
The fireplace is on. The food is on its way. Mugs are filled with drinks of each person’s choosing. The din of conversation from the first floor at Front Street Brewery offers a comfortable background.
It’s St. Paul’s Theology Pub night at Front Street. Twenty people are gathered around tables, ready to talk faith and life. They come from all walks of life – all different ages, educations, work, and life circumstances – once a month to talk over one topic.
The ice breaker in January was to talk about a favorite winter activity. Smiles, chuckles, and knowing nods or shakes of the head affirm (or not) the responses as people talk about hibernating or
snow shoeing or reading or skiing. And then, Brett Hagen, who leads this monthly gathering, begins the more thoughtful conversation for the night. The topic: Resolutions.
“Each year many of us come up with a list of resolutions that we intend to adhere to throughout the next year, with some of us having success and some not,” said Brett, who stepped into the leadership role of this longtime and laid back event last year.
As the son of a pastor and the grandchild of a pastor, it’s a role he really loves – and it shows. Each month, Brett prepares the discussion topic and a list of questions to get the conversation going. What is it about a new year that causes us to create these resolutions? Do you come up with resolutions? Why? What benefit do they give you? Is there any difference between a New Year’s resolution and promising yourself something else? He asks others to read short transitions aloud to go deeper.
“In addition to resolutions, there are promises that we make to others. Sometimes they’re small promises and sometimes they are larger ones. We’ve all made promises to others and been promised things by others, but we’ve more than likely also had broken promises, either by ourselves or by others.”
Each person around the two tables brings a different perspective, a unique experience, a take on the world as they see it. The conversation is thoughtful, considerate, enlightening. The formal conversation on this particular evening closes with talking about covenants.
“In the secular sense, a covenant is an agreement or contract between two parties. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, a covenant is a promise made by God to God’s people, with the expectation that they follow God’s commandments.”
Can you recall any of the covenants that God has made with us? Do you see reminders of those covenants? As Christians, are grace and God’s love part of a covenant?
The next Theology Pub will be on Tuesday, March 14, 7 p.m., at Front Street Brewery.