Thursday, February 21, 2008

Pub Theology, Pagans, Debates and Monks

On Tuesday night I held the first off what I hope to be many monthly Pub Theology groups. We met at The Old Spot on Essex Street in Salem. They have a few good ales on tap, and no one should attempt to do Pub Theology without good ales on tap. Halveston's Bitter and Twisted was my pint of choice. Okay 2 pints.

There were nine of us who eventually showed up. Five who were from The Gathering, or at least hung out with us occasionally, two Witches, and the rest were varying degrees of Christian in thought, but did not attend any church. Keiran who is studying at Harvard Divinity was there, and our nieghbor Sam, Christian Day and Leanne Marrama. Jorgelina was there, and myu friend who lives behind The Gathering - Tom, as well as Jeff Menasco, and Father Michael (Yes, the former Russian Orthodox monk has returned - I guess that's another post!)

So, we talked about how we come to decisions about the theological conclusions we make. What determines your theology was the question on the table. Father Michael lives in a perpetual state of spiritual warfare - Kieran and Jorgelina found that terminology disconcerting, and were vying for peace as the Christian Way. Tom feels strongly that Christians often live far too sad, and should have the victory of joy. Sam had his disagreeing thoughts with that as a standard for all people. Jeff added the Hindu illustration of the five blind men and the elephant, and that added some fuel to the fire of thought.

Then our Witch friends arrived, and we made a change in direction simply because it was now a more interfaith interaction. There was a moment in which Christian stated that he highly respected the Catholic Church. I stopped to note that this was a wow moment - Christians hearing a Witch respect the Church. This doesn't happen every day - we laughed. Then Father Michael gave an example of an exorcism prayer in the Russian Orthodox tradition. Christian and Leanne asked to see this, and Michael performed it over the both of the them with heir full accepting consent. This was enlightening for all, and slightly entertaining actually. It was complete with ritual prayers, holy water, the blessed host, and more.

Wow, this was a sometimes heated, fully entertaining, and great way to start our Pub Theology night. Life on the edge of adventure, and craziness is good. Everyone seemed to have a good time at the end of it all.

15 comments:

seithman said...

Sounds like an incredible night for everyone involved!

Kieran Conroy said...

It was uberfantastic! Tuesday's are busy for me, but I'm going to see if I can make these once-monthlies. :)

Pastor Phil said...

Hey seithy,

I certainly enjoyed it. I hope others had both the fun, and encouragement that I received.

Pastor Phil said...

Kieran,

It was great to have you there. Thanks for adding so much to it.

Kieran Conroy said...

*Chuckles* It was quite the adventure. Though technically it wasn't a full blown exorcism, more of a cleansing blessing/spot job, as I understood it. :P

I've already got a few friends from home curious, chance a friend from HDS might join me to check things out too Sunday. I really need to get a blog set up here at some point too, heh.

cern said...

Sounds like it was great. I would have loved to have been there. Another case of that pond getting in the way. :)

BB

Mike

Kieran Conroy said...

We really need to sneak over and fix that sometime. :)

Kieran Conroy said...

*Chuckles* my linking to this entry is stirring up all sorts of (good) trouble on my old livejournal too. People here are welcome to read/link to it, I may be creating a new blog based around Pilgrimage, Dialog and Emergent Ministry here too.

www.goatoverlord42.livejournal.com

Adam Gonnerman said...

Not sure why I can't get involved in cool discussions like that. These things always seem to happen far from where I live, and where I live always seems to be a bit dry on interest in these sorts of things.

Kieran Conroy said...

Where in NJ are you these days (if you don't mind me asking?). Those are my old college stomping grounds, I actually know the pagan communities best out there, but might be able to point you to a few interesting directions in the NY/NJ area.

hylander said...

Phil,

If you were still in San Diego, or if you ever come back to visit, here is a place I think you would find comfort. I have been to several of these "theological pub nights" and they are an absolute blast. Here is the linky to the place in San Diego to check out.

http://stagnite.org

I'm glad to hear that you and others are having a great time and reaching out with the love of Christ!

Blessings,
Sola Gratia

Pastor Phil said...

Hey HylandWill,

Good to see it happening there. This is occurring all around the US. I think the Catholics really have the jump on this with this kind of outreach with their "Theology on Tap."

Myrabeth said...

I have said that nothing could get me to live on the east coast again, but your Pub Nights are surely making me jealous!!

I'm so enjoying this site...I linked to Square No More in a recent blog post ('Holy Fool Wannabe') on the Virtual Tea House: http://virtualteahouse.com/blogs/beth/archive/2008/02/15/holy-fool-wannabe.aspx

Thanks for the great work you are doing to redeem the alreaday redeemed...
Beth, Virtual Tea House host

Pastor Phil said...

Hi Myrabeth,

I saw your link to my post, and tried to reply a week or so ago, but it would not allow me to do so. Thanks for popping in and saying hi here - Gwyn dy fyd!

Steve Hayes said...

Last week we had a similar gathering here where Roger Saner spoke on the New Monasticism. Onl;y it was in a coffee bar at 6:30 am rather than in a pub. I think I'd prefer a pub and some decent beer to that o0verbrewed force-cooked coffee (coffee de foie gras?). But Roger's talk was interesting and we hung around for some interesting conversation afterwards.