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Here’s who we are…

Relationship: Church
Status: It’s complicated.

Is your relationship with “church”—or Christianity in general—like, you know…complicated?

For many people, “church” has become an uncomfortable place. A place where people have been misjudged, mistreated, and misunderstood.

Where the story of life and the story of the Divine is a story that hurts instead of helps. That robs people of joy. That confronts our deepest needs with demands we can never meet.

But what if that’s the wrong story? What if there’s a better story? One that heals, one that overflows with joy, and one that meets your needs with love and compassion?

We invite you to be part of that story.

Online Pub Theology? Yes please.

New Wineskins is a conversation in community in the progressive Christian spiritual stream. It’s people coming together online once a week to share a meal, a drink, and ideas.

Born as a pub theology group in Southeast Ohio in 2014, our community of spiritual exiles migrated online in 2020 during the height of the global coronavirus pandemic, gathering every Sunday evening via Zoom.

We welcome people from all backgrounds, faiths, cultures, orientations and experiences. While our conversations tend to center around expressions of the Christian faith, we understand that, for many, Christianity has been presented as a religion of oppression and exclusion. Our hope is to create a safe space for people to ask hard questions and express themselves freely.

We may not have a lot in the way of answers. But we really, really love good questions.

We also like to cuss a little. And some of us enjoy a drink or two while we gather.

We hope you’ll join us.

A Note from Joe, our Head Instigator & Theologian In Residence

Hi, I’m Joe. I’m an ordained United Methodist deacon, but my true passion is helping ”spiritual exiles” like me connect with other people in a spiritual community that doesn’t really look much like what most of us think of as “church.”

My deconstruction started in 8th grade, and I’ve been moving against the grain ever since. Now I get to hang out with my fellow spiritual misfits every week, and we’re forming a community that cares deeply about justice, liberation, and each other.

Our community creates a counter-cultural vibe in our online gatherings, focusing on shared vulnerability and keeping things organic.

Key to our community’s ethos is this: don’t be afraid to lose what you have to grow something new. Our risk-taking culture allowed us to move online, while still holding onto our theological edge and commitment to justice. Everything is always an experiment, all the time.

“New Wineskins is about love expanding to people on the margins. That’s my jam and these are my people. Oh, and we cuss a lot. “


Commitment to Liberation

Regional Reconciling Community of the
Reconciling Ministries Network

We are proud to be a Regional Reconciling Community of the Reconciling Ministries Network. Everyone is welcome at God’s table, no matter what.

Some of the initiatives we’ve participated in include fundraising for Erase Medical Debt, and helping fund wheelchair accessible vans through the Rolling Nation Network.

We actively encourage members to attend local Pride Events, and represent God’s love in the world for all people.

And we don’t avoid the hard topics – liberation from oppression is an active, daily struggle. Some things that are tackled during our weekly conversations and on our content platform Accidental Tomatoes:

  • Mental illness
  • Systemic racism
  • Finding ways to dismantle hateful theology
  • Greed
  • Materialism
  • Colonialism
  • Patriarchy
  • Mistreatment of people with disabilities… and more.

“This community has been life-changing. We can throw out all kinds of things, no matter what your upbringing and beliefs.


Want to learn more?

photo of a laptop with a picture of the newsletter sign up page

If you still want to learn more, we recommend you subscribe to our newsletter so we can get connected to you! You can always reach out to Joe or stop by a Sunday evening conversation and get involved (Zoom information and times above)!

There are things I only know because I’ve been a part of this community. You can’t get this stuff anywhere else.”

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