May 31 Gathering: Listening to the Prophets

The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.

Ephesians 4:11-13 (NRSV)

Contrary to popular belief, the main job of the biblical prophets was not to predict the future. Their primary purpose was not to make seemingly nonsensical statements that could only be understood in their later fulfillment through the gift of hindsight.

The role of the prophets was first and foremost to be a critic in their own time and place. To point out where Israel had wandered from its purpose, to show the way back, and to warn of the inevitable consequences of following an ultimately destructive course. Only then did they communicate God’s promises to restore the nation following a period of exile and suffering.

We tend to think of the prophets as people from an ancient time who no longer speak into our lives today. And yet, the apostle Paul insists that God gifts some to be prophets within the church. Does that still hold true today?

If so, who are the modern-day prophets? What are they saying? How can we listen to them?

This week at New Wineskins we’ll take a look at the tradition of prophecy in the church and discuss how the prophetic voice is still speaking to us as we navigate our current times and circumstances. Bring your questions and be prepared for a lively discussion!

Join us in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company this Sunday, May 31, and be part of the conversation!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

May 17 Gathering — Less = More: A story of abundance

Photo courtesy of Ginny McKinney
Photo courtesy of Ginny McKinney

We’re all about story here at New Wineskins, and this week we’re thrilled to welcome a great storyteller with an amazing story to tell!

Ginny McKinney, a recent newcomer to the New Wineskins family, will be our guest speaker at this week’s gathering. You won’t want to miss her incredibly inspiring (and really, really interesting!) story.

Ginny was born and raised in West Virginia. She has spent her adult life first in England for two years then Colorado for the last forty. In March 2013, she and her husband (whom she affectionately refers to as Mr. Virgo) set out to buy a travel trailer for some retirement fun. They were standing in the fourth one, picking out which one they wanted, when he had a heart attack and died.

Within two years, Ginny has sold her Colorado house, purchased a 24′ camper and a pickup truck, sold or given away 95% of her possessions, and hit the road. She documents her journey daily on her Facebook blog, Marshmallow Ranch, with a growing number of devoted followers. She speaks to groups about empowering widows to live adventurous lives with the premise that “Just because HE died, doesn’t mean YOU did!” Her book should be published within the year.

Ginny divides her time between WV, CO, and someplace warm with sand and little umbrellas in the drinks.

We hope you’ll plan to join us to hear Ginny talk about living through tragedy, downsizing life, and living abundantly. It’s sure to be a dynamic topic for discussion!

Join us in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company this Sunday and be part of the conversation!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm


May 3 Gathering: Future Past–How can church history show us where we’re going?

Creative Commons
Creative Commons

The new testament writers describe the early church movement as one that happened in homes among small communities centered around the story of Jesus.

As the church grew and became more and more structured, it also metamorphosed from a counter-political movement to a place where the church and state were virtually indistinguishable.

So how did we get to where we are today, with an institutionalized church headquartered in buildings, properties, systems, and structures? More importantly, what are the implications of our early history for our current context? How can looking at our past help us understand who we are in the present? And, perhaps most importantly of all, how can it help us imagine our future?

This week at New Wineskins we’ll explore some of the “hidden years” of the early church movement, talk about how Christianity went from persecuted to prescribed, and think about how God might be shaping the church to come.

Join us in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company this Sunday and be part of the conversation!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

April 19 Gathering: Disagreement and Unity

Conflict, it seems, is all around us. In the media, in politics, and, of course, in the church.

Conflict itself may be unavoidable. But does our rhetoric in the face of conflict make things better or worse? Can we disagree without being disagreeable? Can we achieve unity without uniformity?

This week at New Wineskins, we’ll talk about how we talk about the things over which we disagree. Our focus will be less on specific issues and more on strategies for loving our neighbors in the face of contention and sharing grace amidst the tension.

Will the world see us as just one more arguing faction, or as kingdom people who can rise above the rhetoric?

Join us in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company this Sunday and bring your perspectives to the conversation!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

Next Gathering: Sunday, April 19

New Wineskins will be on a brief hiatus for the next few weeks. Our next gathering will happen on Sunday, April 19.

If you have ideas for a topic, a story or an artistic expression to share, or just general comments, please feel free to use the comment section here or visit our Facebook page and post your thoughts.

Enjoy your Holy Week and Easter celebrations!


March 22 Gathering: “God has a plan…” ??


“God has a plan for your life.” It’s one of those phrases we hear over and over again.

And while the statement may be true enough, discovering just what that plan is and how to live into it may be one of the most daunting, troubling, confusing things we poor humans have to deal with. From career decisions to choices about families, dating, church selection and more, we’re constantly seeking to figure out just what it is God wants us to do.

This week at New Wineskins, we’ll talk about how we discern God’s will and how we make decisions consistent with it. We’ll also see how our understanding of this mystery plays out across the wide generational diversity in our group.

Join us in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company this Sunday and add your voice to the conversation!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

March 8 Gathering: Open Forum

Background of questionsIt’s Open Forum week at New Wineskins!

Our March 8 gathering will be open to whatever topics you’d like to discuss. So what’s on your mind? What questions are you struggling to answer? What issues need deeper conversation? Where do you need hope? Where do you see hope happening?

As always, the only ground rule is to keep it classy. Where we agree, let us agree honorably. Where we disagree, let us do it respectfully and charitably.

So come with your friends, your ideas, and whatever inspiration you’d like to share!

See you Sunday!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm
Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

Feb. 22 Gathering: Spiritual Practices

Prayer. Meditation. Study. Worship. Fasting. Silence. Sabbath. Service.

Our spiritual life brings with it many opportunities for activities that help us grow closer to God and one another. Many bring us deep joy and satisfaction, but others sometimes seem to be difficult.

Join us this Sunday, Feb. 22, at The Marietta Brewing Company as we talk about the various practices and disciplines we employ in our spiritual journeys, what barriers get in our way, and perhaps even encourage each other to find new and engaging ways to grow deeper in our faith.

Come ready to ask questions and share your own practices, as well as to openly and honestly discuss the things we wish we were better at!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm

Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

Feb. 8 Gathering: Enslaved by Freedom?


As Americans, we enjoy the idea that we have broad guarantees to wide-ranging personal freedoms. In fact, there’s little we can imagine doing that we can’t do. Our individual rights are deeply ingrained in our psyches and our culture.

But is it possible that our very freedoms are actually enslaving us? Is a social ethic that champions the sovereign self as our highest value actually hampering our ability to be truly free?

Is a social/political system based on individual rights truly ethical? Does it come at the explicit expense of someone else’s rights?

And for those of us who seek to follow Jesus, how do we reconcile individual rights and freedoms with a call to die to self, serve the poor, and love our enemies? Has freedom become our idol?

Join us this Sunday, Feb. 8, at The Marietta Brewing Company as we discuss the intricacies and implications of being enslaved by our freedoms. It promises to be a lively conversation!

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm
Conversation Begins: 7:00pm

How we do what we do when we do what we do


There are so many different styles and elements to worship today that it’s hard to keep track. Trends rise and fall, and with them, often tensions.
So what’s the difference? What is it about all the different ways we “do” worship that causes such anxiety? What’s the point in it all?
Join us tonight as we explore questions of worship and have a conversation about what works, what doesn’t, and why.

Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm
Conversation Begins: 7:00pm