Dec. 11 Gathering: Liberate

Advent:Reimagined Week 3

He has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations.
    He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones
        and lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things
    and sent the rich away empty-handed.

Luke 1:51b-53 (CEB)

What does liberation mean to you?

For much of recent Christian history, liberation has come to be associated with delivery from sin and death and the postmortem disposition of our disembodied souls.

But that rather whitewashed interpretation comes largely from reading scripture through the lens of privilege. From the side from which many others are seeking liberation.

The problem, of course, is that the Bible is literature by the oppressed for the oppressed. People for whom liberation was an immediate, material need rather than a future, spiritual desire.

This week at New Wineskins we celebrate the third Sunday of Advent:Reimagined by examining liberation through the context of The Magnificat, Mary’s song of praise found in Luke 1:46-55 that boldly declares God’s timeless preference for the poor, the exploited, the marginalized…those without power or privilege in society on whose backs empires are built.

For our Advent candle lighting liturgy, our own Drew Willard will offer his interpretation of Luke’s accounting of the annunciation and Mary’s song. We’ll also experience a visual and musical version of The Magnificat by Phuc Luu from The Work of the People.

Please join us in the New Wineskins Virtual Theology Pub powered by Zoom this Sunday, Dec. 11, for an Advent conversation about the biblical call to liberation and our part in bringing the divine vision for liberation to life.

Click here to view this week’s video treatment of The Magnificat.

6:00pm EDT: Happy Half-Hour (informal meet & greet time)
6:30pm EDT: 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? Our online giving platform makes 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!

Dec. 4 Gathering: RENEW

Advent:Reimagined Week 2

Can we have peace without first having renewal?

And can renewal come without repentance?

This week at New Wineskins we’ll celebrate the second week of Advent:Reimagined by talking about how living repentantly opens the door to renewal of relationships and allows us to conspire freely from all our various perspectives to embody the Beloved Community.

Our video this week will feature anti-apartheid activist and Anglican priest René August with a challenging message about repentance by both oppressors and the oppressed, and how our collective redemption is always wrapped in reconciliation.

We’ll also have a brief reflection and candle-lighting liturgy led by Steve and Carol Peck based on this week’s gospel text from the Revised Common Lectionary, Matt. 3:1-12. Please feel free to have a candle or Advent wreath handy to participate in your own space.

Please join us this Sunday, Dec. 4, in the New Wineskins Virtual Theology Pub powered by Zoom for what promises to be a deeply meaningful conversation about repentance and renewal.

6:00pm EDT: Happy Half-Hour (informal meet & greet time)
6:30pm EDT: 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? Our online giving platform makes 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!

Nov. 27 Gathering: Guest speaker Dr. Thomas Jay Oord

We are beyond thrilled to begin our Advent:Reimagined season together by welcoming Dr. Thomas Jay Oord as our special guest speaker this Sunday, Nov 27, for a conversation about open and relational theology and its relationship to community formation!

Dr. Oord is an ordained Nazarene elder and an award-winning author with more than 25 books to his credit. He directs the doctoral program in open and relational theology at Northwind Theological Seminary and is also the director of the Center for Open and Relational Theology.

We hope you’ll join us this Sunday in our New Wineskins Virtual Theology Pub Powered by Zoom to be part of our dialogue with Dr. Oord!

BONUS: Click here to download a FREE sampler of Dr. Oord’s work! This sampler includes partial chapters from five of Dr. Oord’s most popular titles.


Advent:Reimgagined Week 1 — EXPECT

In addition to welcoming Dr. Oord this Sunday, we’ll begin our Advent:Reimagined season with a reflection on the Revised Common Lectionary Gospel Text from Matt. 24:36-44 for our Advent Candle Lighting Liturgy. If you like, you may have a candle or set of Advent candles handy to light as part of our shared experience.

6:00pm EDT: Happy Half-Hour (informal meet & greet time)
6:30pm EDT: 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? Our online giving platform makes 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!

Advent:Reimagined

For many of us, Advent is a season of anticipation. Our churches focus on the coming of Christmas and the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Every year, we tell and re-tell the stories that are central to our faith, focusing on the central themes of hope, peace, love, and joy.

And then Christmas comes and goes, and we put Advent away for another year.

This year at New Wineskins, we want to try something different. Together, we want to reimagine what this season of anticipation can look like if we focus less on emotional sentiment and more on practical action. Rather than looking forward simply to the baby in the manger, we want to think about how we ourselves embody the cosmic Christ that breaks into humanity with the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.

We hope you’ll join us this year for Advent:Reimagined.

  • Nov. 27 — EXPECT [Matt. 24:36-44] (Guest speaker: Dr. Tom Oord): What does it mean to be both free and expectant?
  • Dec. 4 — RENEW [Matt. 3:1-23] How do we renew relationships by living repentantly?
  • Dec. 11 — LIBERATE [Luke 1:46b-55] None of us is free until all of us are free.
  • Dec. 18 — LOVE [Matt. 1:18-25] Real love always costs something.
  • Dec. 24 — INCARNATE [Luke 2:1-14] Christmas Eve collaboration with Justice & Jubilee
  • Dec. 31 — COMMUNITY SABBATH No gathering.

Every Sunday a member of our community will lead a brief reflection based on the week’s theme and Lectionary Gospel text. If you like, you may have a candle or set of Advent candles handy to light as part of our shared experience.

6:00pm EDT: Happy Half-Hour (informal meet & greet time)
6:30pm EDT: 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? Our online giving platform makes 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!

Nov. 20 Gathering: Reign of Christ Sunday for Spiritual Exiles

Traditionally referred to as “Christ the King” Sunday and more recently labeled “Reign of Christ” Sunday, the final Sunday before Advent points us toward Jesus’ authority in the world.

But what do we really mean when we say “Christ is king?” What does it mean to grant authority to Jesus?

And do those two statements even mean the same thing?

This week at New Wineskins, we’ll explore those questions and more as we discuss Alexander John Shaia’s video, “The Christos and the Messiah” and unpack how the coming of Jesus as the Christ both reveals a reality that has always existed and releases us to create new contextual realities in the various spaces we occupy in the world.

Please join us this Sunday, Nov. 20, in our New Wineskins Virtual Theology Pub powered by Zoom for a nontraditional celebration of Reign of Christ Sunday for Spiritual Exiles!

Click here to preview this week’s video, “The Christos and the Messiah.”

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


Dr. Thomas Oord to join New Wineskins Nov. 27

BONUS: Click here to download a FREE sampler of Dr. Oord’s work! This sampler includes partial chapters from five of Dr. Oord’s most popular titles.

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Thomas Jay Oord will be our special guest speaker Sunday, Nov 27, for a conversation about open and relational theology and its relationship to community formation!

Dr. Oord is an ordained Nazarene elder and an award-winning author with more than 25 books to his credit. He directs the doctoral program in open and relational theology at Northwind Theological Seminary and is also the director of the Center for Open and Relational Theology.

Please plan to join us Nov. 27 to meet Dr. Oord and ask your questions about theology and community!


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? Our online giving platform makes 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!


Feature image by Lucas Vimieiro on Pexels.com

Nov. 13 Gathering: God is Love (period).

“God is love.”

It seems like such a simple phrase, and yet we can’t seem to help making it more complicated than necessary.

So what exactly does the writer of 1 John mean with such an audacious claim? And what do we mean when we repeat it today?

As we continue our pre-Advent conversation on Process Theology this week, we’ll take some time to think about what it means to say ”God is love” by viewing a short video featuring author and speaker Brian Zahnd. We’ll also experiment with a kind of prayer exercise where we substitute the word “Love” for words like “God,” “Lord,” etc. and discuss how it makes us feel about a particular passage of scripture. (Below is an example taken from this week’s Lectionary reading from the prophet Isaiah:)

Isaiah 12
12:1 You will say in that day: I will give thanks to you, O LOVE, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, and you comforted me.

12:2 Surely LOVE is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for LOVE is my strength and my might; LOVE has become my salvation.

12:3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

12:4 And you will say in that day: Give thanks to LOVE, call on LOVE’S name; make known LOVE’S deeds among the nations; proclaim that LOVE’S name is exalted.

12:5 Sing praises to LOVE, for LOVE has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth.

12:6 Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy LOVE of Israel.

Please join us in the New Wineskins Virtual Theology Pub powered by Zoom this Sunday, Nov. 13, as we take a deep dive into the phrase “God is love” and how it becomes a foundational premise for our co-participation with the Divine in creating a more just, more equitable, and more fully liberated world.

Click here to preview this week’s video, “And All Shall Be Well.”

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


Dr. Thomas Oord to join New Wineskins Nov. 27

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Thomas Jay Oord will be our special guest speaker Sunday, Nov 27, for a conversation about open and relational theology and its relationship to community formation!

Dr. Oord is an ordained Nazarene elder and an award-winning author with more than 25 books to his credit. He directs the doctoral program in open and relational theology at Northwind Theological Seminary and is also the director of the Center for Open and Relational Theology.

Please plan to join us Nov. 27 to meet Dr. Oord and ask your questions about theology and community!


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? Our online giving platform makes 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!


Feature image by Nothing Ahead on Pexels.com

Nov. 6 Gathering: Process Theology and the Nature of Love

What is the nature of love? And what might it tell us about the nature of the Divine?

Love means a lot of things to a lot of people. But far from being merely an emotional exchange, love is a power, a force, an energy that has the ability to transform lives and to continually recreate itself. It’s that notion that is central to many who embrace and practice Process Theology.

This week at New Wineskins we’ll continue our conversation on Process Theology with a video from professor, author, and Nazarene pastor Dr. Thomas Jay Oord titled, “God, Jesus, Love, and Hope.” Our discussion will center on what love does, what it doesn’t do, and—perhaps most interestingly—what love can’t do.

Scroll down for a special announcement about Dr. Oord and New Wineskins!

Join us this Sunday, Nov. 6, in our Virtual Theology Pub to be part of our conversation on the nature of love!

Click here to preview this week’s video, “God, Jesus, Love, and Hope.”

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


Dr. Thomas Oord to join New Wineskins Nov. 27

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Thomas Jay Oord will be our special guest speaker Sunday, Nov 27, for a conversation about open and relational theology and its relationship to community formation!

Dr. Oord is an ordained Nazarene elder and an award-winning author with more than 25 books to his credit. He directs the doctoral program in open and relational theology at Northwind Theological Seminary and is also the director of the Center for Open and Relational Theology.

Please plan to join us Nov. 27 to meet Dr. Oord and ask your questions about theology and community!


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? Our online giving platform makes 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!


Feature image by Frank Cone on Pexels.com

Oct. 30 Gathering: Shoutout to the Saints!

Who are the saints in your life?

With the traditional observation of All Saints Day coming up next week, we at New Wineskins want to pause for a moment and reflect on the ways people in our past and our present influence our lives and compel us to keep pursuing justice, liberation, and the Common Good.

This week at New Wineskins we’ll observe All Saints Day with a short video by Diana Butler Bass and a time for each of us to recognize the saints whose witness to unconditional love inspire us to keep showing up, keep doing the work, and keep spreading hope.

Join us this Sunday, Oct. 30, in our Virtual Theology Pub for a New Wineskins Celebration of the Saints!

Click here to preview this week’s video, “The Saints.”

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


Coming soon…

We have an exciting guest speaker coming soon to New Wineskins! Stay tuned for our official announcement to kick off our Advent season!


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? Our online giving platform makes 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!


Feature image by Julia Volk on Pexels.com

Oct. 23 Gathering: Introduction to Process Theology

Over the past few months, we’ve talked a lot about unity, interrelatedness, and even dipped our toes into quantum physics and chaos theory.

In the weeks leading up to Advent, we’re going to start bringing all those themes together by talking about how they relate to a field of philosophy known as Process Thought—or, in spiritual terms—Process Theology.

Process Theology is a way of thinking about and experiencing the divine through a thoroughly interdependent web of relationships wherein we participate in reality alongside of, rather than apart from, “God,” or as we like to say at New Wineskins, Divine Presence.

Our video this week from The Work of the People features Tripp Fuller of the Homebrewed Christianity Podcast introducing the basics of Process Theology. (For another brief primer, you might enjoy this YouTube video.)

Please join us this Sunday, Oct. 23, in our New Wineskins Virtual Theology Pub Powered By Zoom as we begin a journey into exploring a type of open and relational theology that resonates with many in the Spiritual Exile community.

Click here to preview this week’s video, “Honoring All of God.”

6:00pm EDT: Happy Half-Hour (informal meet & greet time)
6:30pm EDT: 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? Our online giving platform makes 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!


Feature image by Andre Moura on Pexels.com

Oct. 16: 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 Oct. 23. See you then!

Our next Community Sabbath will be in December.


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? Our online giving platform makes 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!