One drink, one question, one hour. At the intersection of PoP and culture. Digging deeper into questions that affect the ways in which we see the world. Listening to others in practice to our faithful response. If you’ve never attended, you are especially welcome to join us for this month’s conversation. Theology on Tap usually gathers at 7:30pm on the first Thursday of every month. Currently, rather than meeting in-person, we’re continuing to meet virtually in our virtual pub room on Zoom.
The next Theology on Tap is Thursday, May 5 @ 7:30pm.
This link will be live 15 minutes before the scheduled event time.
These are the questions we’ll be asking this year…
|May 5||God & Country Edition|
This month’s question: How do we respond to the increasing threat of Christian Nationalism?
Further… Our most recent Sunday Forums have focused on the growing momentum behind a movement to define political identity in religious terms, often couched in racism and exceptionalism. Rev. Rolf Olson and Dr. Nancy Koester offered two thought-provoking sessions which highlighted the challenges we face as God’s people in a world increasingly divided along political lines. How does religious ideology influence public discourse, governance, relationship, and the Christian calling to love and serve our neighbors? Are our responses limited to the individual or is their something for the church to do as well?
|April 7||Lessons Learned Edition|
This month’s question: What practices picked up during Covid are worth keeping?
Further… While there are plenty of things we’re ready to forget about the past two years, so much of life has been undeniably altered in response to this global pandemic. As some aspects of life return to pre-Covid practices, some of us may have picked up habits that are likely to stick around. What lessons have we learned that might be worthy features of life in a post-pandemic world?
|March 3||Pray for Ukraine Edition|
This month’s question: How do we pray for peace in a world that thrives on discord?
Further… Setting aside our more typical conversation, we’re feeling a need to respond to the crisis and conflict in Ukraine. How do people who live so far away from the trouble respond in some substantive way? How might our prayers for peace accomplish even a small part of what we would wish for our neighbors and for ourselves?
|Feb. 3||Only Six Guesses Edition|
This month’s question: “Is there something divine about playing a game?”
Further: The rise of “Wordle” signals another momentary craze about a simple puzzle game that seems to be scratching an important itch. Spelling Bee, Words with Friends, Sudoku, captured the spotlight in earlier days. What does this say about the people who make time to play? Do these puzzles provide an antidote to the greater struggles of our days or are they mearly a distraction? How might the communities formed around gaming be a window into the kingdom of God? Or are we giving these obsessions too much credit?
|Jan. 6||A Sad Anniversary Edition|
Is there still a place for God in a democracy?
Further… Are religion and politics still able to be in conversation with one another? On this auspicious anniversary, we pause to reflect on the state of this country’s on-going experiment with a government “by the people and for the people.” The violence that took place a year ago reverberates still today and is shaping public discourse in profound ways. How might people of faith, who hold to divine truths and a vision for the world that pre-exists this young country, consider the shifting paradigms of how to live in relationship with and responsible to our neighbors?
|Dec. 2||Where is the Light? Edition|
Where are you seeing light in the darkness this year?
Further… It is far too easy to sink into despair as the days grow shorter. Let’s take some time to bring forward a counter-narrative. Bring your stories of where the light is shining in the world – where love is flowing, where peace reigns, where joy abounds, and where hope remains. If you don’t have a story to share, then come and listen for one that will illumine your world, even for one more night.
These were the questions we asked in the past year…
|Nov. 4||The Truth & Reconciliation Edition: How do we respond to a shameful history?|
Further… The statues of Confederate generals are being removed, names of public places are being changed, hurtful truths about atrocities inflicted upon indigenous populations are coming to light. A recent confession of the ELCA has declared that, within the church, “the ongoing legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery and the sinful acts of racism in North America are rarely if ever taught in our school systems or churches with the fullness and import that is necessary and just.” So what do we do? How are we responsible for the sins of those who came before? How do we “make good on our promises as churches and, together across borders, to seek truth and healing for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples”? What is our role in response to the systems that have oppressed other neighbors for so long?
|Oct. 7||The Border Crossing Edition: What is so scary about immigration?|
Further… God’s command to welcome the stranger is a common refrain both in the stories of the Old Testament and in the witness of Jesus’ life and teachings. Yet, the the public concerns and the policies created in response suggest that abiding by this command just isn’t so simple. Why is it that fear of the other is such a motivating force in our world? Why are the partisans so adept at using immigration policy as a wedge issue that keeps us from responding in a collectively life-giving way?
|Sept. 9||The Longest War Edition: War, what is it good for?|
Further…20 years ago, the US was attacked in a coordinated terrorist assault by foreign extremists in the most dramatic of ways. As part of the response, our country began a war in Afghanistan, a chapter of US history that has just come to a close. Or has it? Has 20 years of hindsight given us a different perspective on the costs of war? Will the nation respond differently when faced with similar threats in the future? What have we learned and how will we encourage future generations to be shaped by these experiences?
|June 17||The Emanuel Nine Edition: We are called to repent for the sins of racism; how are we doing?|
Further…Six years ago, on June 17, 2015, Clementa C. Pinckney, Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel Lee Simmons, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Myra Thompson were murdered by a self-professed white supremacist while they were gathered for Bible study and prayer at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (often referred to as Mother Emanuel) in Charleston, South Carolina. ELCA congregations like PoP are encouraged reaffirm their commitment to repenting of the sins of racism and white supremacy which continue to plague this church, to venerate the martyrdom of the Emanuel Nine, and to mark this day of penitence with study and prayer. Let’s take this moment to check in on how we’re doing.
|May 6||Click Here for More Edition: Is there such a thing as responsible use of social media? |
Further…Whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other of the countless social media platforms, chances are the news you digest is shaped greatly by this digital landscape. What responsibilities do these media heavyweights have for the content that is being shared? How about for groups and organizations (like churches) or individual users like you who want to use these seemingly ubiquitous tools? Is there any way to limit the bad without causing harm to the good?
|April 8||Infrastructure Edition: How does investing in infrastructure create social, economic, and spiritual changes we seek?|
Further…There is a lot of hype concerning proposed investments in “infrastructure” and how making certain improvements will bring about needed societal changes. But how does this actually happen? And what lessons from trillion dollar proposals might influence the decisions we make every day at the personal, family, and community level?
|March 4||When Will It End? Edition: How do we find patience in an impatient world?|
Further…Just this week, the governors of Texas & Mississippi have lifted restrictions to individuals and businesses that had been used to stem the spread of Covid-19 within their borders. But we also know that the risks of this virus are far from disappearing. Is there light shining from the end of this long tunnel and what might that light be enabling us to do now? If it’s still too dim to see, how do we keep the faith?
|February 4||Shot in the Arm Edition: Who should be receiving the Covid vaccine and when?|
Further: Several versions of a vaccine for Covid-19 are available for use and here in the US we’ve been dispersing them for six weeks now. But the demand is so much greater than the currently available supply. What are the ethics that should be used to determine who and when should receive this potentially life-saving boost? How do we consider love for neighbor as we balance our own needs? And in classic Jesus-follower tradition, don’t we also need to ask, “who is our neighbor?”
|January 7||New Year’s Edition: What’s most in need of being made new?|
Further: It’s a new year and an opportunity for starting fresh, resetting your priorities, and remaking the same old thing into something new. This is a chance for change on all fronts, personal, communal, spiritual, global. What should our focus be and where should our efforts go?
|December 10||Best of the Best Edition: What were the best experiences of the year?|
Further: We can all agree that 2020 was filled with plenty of miserable experiences but as this year closes out, let’s uncover and shine a light on what will be worth remembering. What was the best thing you watched on a screen? What was the best view you took in? Who was the most interesting person you spoke with? What was the best meal or drink that you enjoyed? What other superlatives deserve to be highlighted?
|November 5||Election Results Edition |
Given the results of Tuesday’s election, how are people of faith to respond?
Further: Election seasons are seasons of heightened anxiety, fear, and division. Following Jesus’ model of caring for the most vulnerable, we believe God calls us to stay attentive to the policies and leadership changes that impact our collective well-being. We believe God calls us to use our vote to work toward building God’s beloved community on earth. But once our votes are cast and the results are announced, how will we live even more fully into the being the church God is calling us to be?
We will take time this month to carve out some space for reflection, listening, and connection—in the midst of staying active and engaged for the weeks that follow this election season. Together, we’ll engage a special liturgy to help frame our time, our conversation and our work.
|October 8||The Roof Over Our Heads Edition |
What sort of housing can we afford, for the church and for our neighbors?
Further: Prince of Peace needs to replace portions of our roof and many of our neighbors don’t have one. Let’s explore how God might be working through these challenges to help us be the church God is calling us to be