June 26 Gathering: Objectifying God

One of the issues we have with understanding the doctrine of the trinity is that we don’t have a frame of reference for understanding a “3-in-1” being. The fact that our trinitarian language refers to the Godhead as “three persons” probably doesn’t help.

Essentially, our problem is that we’re trying to know God as an object. And it’s from that objectification that we create all sorts of theological problems that manifest in all kinds of interpersonal and social problems.

But what if there’s another way to think about the Divine? What if, instead of anthropomorphizing (assigning human qualities to) God, we began to accept that God really is love? And that love is that relational energy “in between” the parts of the trinity that really matters?

This week at New Wineskins, we’ll conclude our 3-week session on Trinitarian Spirituality by discussing the ways we objectify God and the spiritual practices that help us break down our dualistic thinking habits to embrace the idea that God cannot be known, only loved.

Join us this Sunday, June 26, in our New Wineskins Virtual Theology Pub as we talk about the ways God reveals Godself that lead us away from objectification and toward an entire cosmos created, sustained, and redeemed by love itself.

NEW! Preview our video for this Sunday! Want to prepare ahead for this week’s discussion? Can’t make our gathering but you want to see the video for future conversations? The Work of the People now allows limited video sharing without a subscription! You can watch the video anytime between now and next Monday (6/27). Just follow this link and enter your email address to view Fr. Richard Rohr’s video on The Self Limiting God.

6:00pm EST: Happy Half-Hour (informal meet & greet time)
6:30pm EST: Presentation & conversation begin


Coming up

July 3: Quarterly Community Sabbath (no gathering) — Once every 3 months we take a break from our weekly gatherings to provide space for rest and renewal. It’s one of the spiritual practices that are part of the rhythm of our community. We’ll reconvene for our regular Sunday night gatherings on July 10. Our next Community Sabbath will be in October.


Invest in our community!

Want to invest in our community for Spiritual Exiles and our work to create and support online micro-communities focused on justice and liberation? New Wineskins has partnered with Affirm Fundraising to manage a new online giving platform to make it easy for you to support the work we do! Just click the link below to give. Recurring gifts support the community over the long-term…your assistance helps us grow and sustain the important work we’re doing together!

June 19 Gathering: The Pattern of the Trinity

For many people, one of the greatest challenges with the doctrine of the Trinity is trying to rationalize the idea of a single being that is actually made up of three distinct beings. That’s one of the reasons that so many of our metaphors for the trinity are so unhelpful.

But what if we’re trying to explain the wrong thing? What if it’s not so much the three parts of the trinity that are important, but the relationship between them?

This week at New Wineskins we’ll continue our series on trinitarian spirituality by considering the relational pattern of the trinity and how that pattern is evident from the smallest particles to the most distant galaxies.

Join us this Sunday, June 19, in our New Wineskins Virtual Theology Pub for week 2 of our 3-week examination of the trinity as we discuss the relational nature of trinitarian spirituality and how it informs our theology and the way we interact with other people and the universe we’re part of.

NEW! Preview our video for this Sunday! Want to prepare ahead for this week’s discussion? Can’t make our gathering but you want to see the video for future conversations? The Work of the People now allows limited video sharing without a subscription! You can watch the video anytime between now and next Monday (6/20). Just follow this link and enter your email address to view Fr. Richard Rohr’s video on The Pattern of the Trinity.

Coming up

June 19: The Pattern of the Trinity
June 26: Objectifying God
July 3: Quarterly Community Sabbath (no gathering)

6:00pm EST: Happy Half-Hour (informal meet & greet time)
6:30pm EST: Presentation & conversation begin


Invest in our community!

Want to invest in our community for Spiritual Exiles and our work to create and support online micro-communities focused on justice and liberation? New Wineskins has partnered with Affirm Fundraising to manage a new online giving platform to make it easy for you to support the work we do! Just click the link below to give. Recurring gifts support the community over the long-term…your assistance helps us grow and sustain the important work we’re doing together!

June 12 Gathering: Everything Has Meaning

Introducing a 3-part (what else?!) series on a progressive theology of the Trinity

The doctrine of the Trinity may be one of the most mysterious, difficult, and misunderstood concepts in all of Christianity. Besides not appearing specifically anywhere in Christian or Hebrew scriptures, it’s an idea that seems so open to interpretations and mostly un-helpful metaphors (eggs, pizza, shamrocks, etc.) that it becomes more confusing than constructive for most people.

But what if we looked at it through a larger lens? What if we saw trinitarian spirituality not just through the filters of religious tradition, but as a foundational concept in which all of reality is rooted?

Starting this week and continuing through the rest of June, we’ll explore trinitarian spirituality through a series of videos from The Work of the People featuring Fr. Richard Rohr as he unpacks some of the synergy between Trinitarian theology and philosophy, sociology, and even quantum physics.

Sunday June 12 (Trinity Sunday): Everything Has Meaning

What does it mean to say that everything has meaning? Where & how does dualistic thinking cause us to miss divine meaning and divine presence? How does a deep Trinitarian spirituality lead to the kind of radical inclusiveness Jesus appears to model but our churches so often reject?

Join us this Sunday, June 12, in our New Wineskins Virtual Theology Pub as we launch our 3-week series on Trinitarian Spirituality with a conversation about how a trinitarian worldview always leads us to more open, more inclusive, more diverse experiences of the divine, of humanity, and of the cosmos.

NEW! Preview our video for this Sunday! Want to prepare ahead for this week’s discussion? Can’t make our gathering but you want to see the video for future conversations? The Work of the People now allows limited video sharing without a subscription! You can watch the video anytime between now and next Monday (6/13). Just follow this link.

Coming up

June 19: The Pattern of the Trinity
June 26: Objectifying God
July 3: Quarterly Community Sabbath (no gathering)

6:00pm EST: Happy Half-Hour (informal meet & greet time)
6:30pm EST: Presentation & conversation begin


Invest in our community!

Want to invest in our community for Spiritual Exiles and our work to create and support online micro-communities focused on justice and liberation? New Wineskins has partnered with Affirm Fundraising to manage a new online giving platform to make it easy for you to support the work we do! Just click the link below to give. Recurring gifts support the community over the long-term…your assistance helps us grow and sustain the important work we’re doing together!

June 5 Gathering: Pentecost for Spiritual Exiles

What does it mean to be fully alive in the Spirit?

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Acts 2:1-4, NIV

How do you experience the presence or influence of Divine Spirit? Is it strictly a personal, private encounter that makes you feel loved, safe, and comforted? Or is it something that inspires you to action, seeking justice and liberation for our marginalized and exploited neighbors?

Can it be both?

This week at New Wineskins, we’ll mark the traditional observation of Pentecost Sunday by examining both the personal and communal implications of what Christianity often calls “life in the Spirit.” We’ll consider the various experiential ways we encounter Spirit and discuss how those experiences are often paradoxically both particular and universal.

Join us this Sunday, June 5, in our New Wineskins Virtual Theology Pub (powered by Zoom) for a deep and insightful conversation on what Pentecost means for Spiritual Exiles.

6:00pm EST: Happy Half-Hour (informal meet & greet time)
6:30pm EST: Presentation & conversation begin


Join us for Pride in the Park!

We hope to see you at our tent at Pride in the Park LGBTQIA+ Community Celebration this Saturday, June 4, in Parkersburg, WV! If you can help with setup, please meet us by the City Park band shell at 10am. We’ll also need help staffing our tent throughout the event (Noon-4pm) and with tear-down at 4:00. Come for an hour or spend the whole day with us!


Invest in our community!

Want to invest in our community for Spiritual Exiles and our work to create and support online micro-communities focused on justice and liberation? New Wineskins has partnered with Affirm Fundraising to manage a new online giving platform to make it easy for you to support the work we do! Just click the link below to give. Recurring gifts support the community over the long-term…your assistance helps us grow and sustain the important work we’re doing together!

May 29 Gathering: A lament for the victims of gun violence

Another senseless mass murder happened this week. Less than 2 weeks since the last one.

We’re all hurt. Sad. Angry. Frustrated. Disillusioned.

We feel trapped in a system that is so broken that it values guns over the lives of children (the same children, in many cases, that so-called “right to life” advocates insist have the value to be born but apparently not to live if it means surrendering their precious weapons).

How do we move beyond this impasse? How do we turn “thoughts and prayers” into concrete actions for change?

And maybe more importantly, exactly what kind of change is necessary in such a time? Is it merely legislation? Or does it require something more substantial? Something, dare we say, more theological?

For our gathering this Sunday, rather than our typical Q&A format, we’re going to engage in a time of lament. To express our cries of anguish, and—most importantly—to allow them to move us toward actions that both transcend and transform the broken times in which we live.

Together, we’ll read a “Litany in the Wake of a Mass Shooting” compiled and regularly updated by Bishops United Against Gun Violence, an activist group of bishops in the Episcopal Church.

Please sign up here to be one of our readers for the evening.

6:00pm EST: Happy Half-Hour (informal meet & greet time)
6:30pm EST: Presentation & conversation begin


Get ready for Pride in the Park 2022!

New Wineskins is proud to once again be a sponsor for OutMOV‘s annual Pride in the Park celebration happening Saturday, June 4, at Parkersburg City Park in Parkersburg, WV. We’ll need folks to staff our tent during the day and items for the gift basket we’ll be giving away during the event. Contact us to let us know how you can help!


Invest in our community!

Want to invest in our community for Spiritual Exiles and our work to create and support online micro-communities focused on justice and liberation? New Wineskins has partnered with Affirm Fundraising to manage a new online giving platform to make it easy for you to support the work we do! Just click the link below to give. Recurring gifts support the community over the long-term…your assistance helps us grow and sustain the important work we’re doing together!

May 22 Gathering: Resurrection from “The Tyranny of the Now”

What makes it hard for you to be hopeful?

What circumstances seem to make it difficult to believe that a better tomorrow is possible?

In a time when our news feeds and public discourse seems filled with hatred, violence, and victimization, how can we not only imagine a better future, but become agents of that future?

Are we doomed to hopelessness, or is resurrection possible?

This week at New Wineskins, we’ll wrap up our Eastertide series on resurrection and atonement with a conversation about what it takes to move beyond historic moments of conflict and strife into full flourishing for all human beings. Our video this week will feature Dr. Robyn Henderson Espinoza talking about “The Tyranny of the Now” and how oppressive systems and structures are destroying marginalized communities through greed and exploitation…and where hope can still be found.

Join us this Sunday, May 22, in our New Wineskins Virtual Theology Pub by

6:00pm EST: Happy Half-Hour (informal meet & greet time)
6:30pm EST: Presentation & conversation begin


Get ready for Pride in the Park 2022!

New Wineskins is proud to once again be a sponsor for OutMOV‘s annual Pride in the Park celebration happening Saturday, June 4, at Parkersburg City Park in Parkersburg, WV. We’ll need folks to staff our tent during the day and items for the gift basket we’ll be giving away during the event. Contact us to let us know how you can help!


Invest in our community!

Want to invest in our community for Spiritual Exiles and our work to create and support online micro-communities focused on justice and liberation? New Wineskins has partnered with Affirm Fundraising to manage a new online giving platform to make it easy for you to support the work we do! Just click the link below to give. Recurring gifts support the community over the long-term…your assistance helps us grow and sustain the important work we’re doing together!

May 15 Gathering: Resurrection as the pattern of life

What do you think about when people talk about “resurrection?”

For most of us, it probably means something along the lines of “life after death.” When applied specifically to the biblical narratives about Jesus of Nazareth, it likely invokes the notion that Jesus was raised from the dead, either as some kind of proof that death is not “real“ or to support a preferential brand of theology wherein “God” promises “eternal life” to those who believe the right things, think the right thoughts, and, by extension, go to the right churches.

But what if there’s something deeper going on? What if resurrection stories are meant not for some kind of postmortem evacuation from reality, but for a clearer representation of the reality in which all things—including us—exist?

What if theologians like Richard Rohr are right when they insist that resurrection is actually the observable pattern of all life, and that we get to participate in that pattern at the very deepest, most existential levels?

What if it’s not about escaping death, but about our role in the most elemental designs of life?

This week at New Wineskins we’ll take a deep dive into the theology of resurrection. We’ll talk about the things we’ve always been taught to believe, the options we might consider, and the implications of what that could mean for the way we live in the bodies we have in the here and now.

Join us this Sunday, May 15, in our New Wineskins Virtual Theology Pub as we continue our Eastertide series on resurrection and atonement by asking the question, “What is resurrection?”

6:00pm EST: Happy Half-Hour (informal meet & greet time)
6:30pm EST: Presentation & conversation begin


Invest in our community!

Want to invest in our community for Spiritual Exiles and our work to create and support online micro-communities focused on justice and liberation? New Wineskins has partnered with Affirm Fundraising to manage a new online giving platform to make it easy for you to support the work we do! Just click the link below to give. Recurring gifts support the community over the long-term…your assistance helps us grow and sustain the important work we’re doing together!

May 8 Gathering: Running from Resurrection?

Many of us likely found ourselves “doomscrolling” through our social media feeds this week in the wake of the leaked Supreme Court draft ruling regarding the overturning of Roe v. Wade. We’ve probably experienced similar reactions to other news stories in recent years that seem to perpetually keep us in a state of anger, confusion, and unrest.

Neurological science is now telling us that our brains train our neural pathways to obsess or fixate over negativity in a way we seem unable to do with joy and positivity. In a very real sense, conflict and pessimism can easily become our default setting, while delight and happiness require a constant, conscious choosing.

And yet, people of deep faith—especially those who embrace contemplative practices—seem to be able to overcome these “natural” patterns.

So what makes the difference?

This week at New Wineskins, we’ll continue our Eastertide discussion on resurrection and atonement by taking a deep dive into the ways our spiritual practices influence the ways we see and interact with the world. Specifically, we’ll talk about the influence of resurrection on our ability to break long-ingrained habits and choose love.

Join us this Sunday, May 8, in the New Wineskins Virtual Theology Pub as we interact with a video featuring Fr. Richard Rohr on how embracing a theology of resurrection enables us to be people of transformation and life in a world that too often seems to be moving toward stagnation and death.

6:00pm EST: Happy Half-Hour (informal meet & greet time)
6:30pm EST: Presentation & conversation begin


Invest in our community!

Want to invest in our community for Spiritual Exiles and our work to create and support online micro-communities focused on justice and liberation? New Wineskins has partnered with Affirm Fundraising to manage a new online giving platform to make it easy for you to support the work we do! Just click the link below to give. Recurring gifts support the community over the long-term…your assistance helps us grow and sustain the important work we’re doing together!

May 1 Gathering: What do we mean when we say “Jesus died for our sins?”

human standing beside crucifix statue on mountain
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It’s the definitive bumper sticker slogan of all Christendom: ”Jesus died for our sins.”

Traditionally most of us have been taught that Jesus’ crucifixion was an act of atonement to a God who despises sin so much that it required a blood sacrifice to reconcile us pitiful, sinful humans to God’s perfect love.

But could there be a deeper meaning? What if Jesus’ death has less to do with atoning for our individual wrongdoings, but for the systemic sins of exploitation and dehumanization?

This week at New Wineskins we’ll begin our Easter Season with a discussion about the phrase “Jesus died for our sins” and what it means through a lens of liberation.

Join us in the New Wineskins Virtual Theology Pub This Sunday, May 1, and be part of the conversation!

6:00pm EST: Happy Half-Hour (informal meet & greet time)
6:30pm EST: Presentation & conversation begin


Invest in our community!

Want to invest in our community for Spiritual Exiles and our work to create and support online micro-communities focused on justice and liberation? New Wineskins has partnered with Affirm Fundraising to manage a new online giving platform to make it easy for you to support the work we do! Just click the link below to give. Recurring gifts support the community over the long-term…your assistance helps us grow and sustain the important work we’re doing together!

April 24: Community Sabbath — No Gathering

About once every quarter our community takes a Sunday off for a collective Sabbath…a time to rest, re-calibrate, and re-focus. As we begin this Easter season we invite you to take a break from the routine this weekend. Spend some time with family or friends, enjoy the outdoors, cook a great meal for someone you love, or just take a nap!

We’ll be back on Sunday, May 1, to begin a month-long series on the links between atonement and liberation, and how resurrection plays out in communities of justice.

Enjoy the week off and join us in our New Wineskins Virtual Theology Pub powered by Zoom on May 1!


Invest in our community!

Want to invest in our community for Spiritual Exiles and our work to create and support online micro-communities focused on justice and liberation? New Wineskins has partnered with Affirm Fundraising to manage an online giving platform to make it easy for you to support the work we do! Just click the link below to give. Recurring gifts support the community over the long-term…your assistance helps us grow and sustain the important work we’re doing together!