Author: feminarian

Monday, December 16, 2019


How can we hold on to hope in the midst of the world’s troubles??

I won’t offer a list of the world’s troubles. I’m sure you know all too well what weighs on your heart and mind.  I will invite you to notice how it feels to read/hear these words from Isaiah and Maya Angelou, in light of the troubles you notice and experience.  With their help, we’ll think about how each of us may hold on to hope in our own lives.

Isaiah 58:9-14, NRSV

Still I Rise, Maya Angelou

I would highly recommend watching Maya Angelou deliver her poem “Still I Rise” herself:   Maya Angelou – Still I Rise (Youtube)

We are back at Fiddlehead Coffee Co. this week.  You’re welcome to enjoy delicious food, great beverages, and fun conversation at 5:30 pm.  Our discussion takes place from 6:30 – 7:30 pm.

Monday, December 9, 2019

First, please note a location change for this week: We will meet at the HyVee Market Grille on 37th Street. 

This week we will move to our second Advent theme of “wonder.”  In particular we are going to look at what Thomas H. Troeger calls “godly wonder,” which he contends is different than the wonder of childhood.  It is interesting how his description of godly wonder reflects much of the conversation we have had on binary thinking, and the difficulties we sometimes have holding two supposedly opposing things to be true simultaneously.  Troeger writes:

“In a state of godly wonder, religion and science, feeling and thought, imagination and reason, faith and knowledge dance together, and we gratefully discover that what one lacks the other offers.”

You’ll find the above quote (and more) in this week’s article:  Reclaiming Godly Wonder

LOCATION FOR THIS WEEK: HyVee Market Grille on 37th Street

See you on Monday at 5:30 pm for drinks, food and casual conversation.  Our discussion on the article will begin at 6:30 pm.


Monday, December 2, 2019

For the month of December, our Pub Theology topics are going to somewhat mirror the themes we will use in Advent at Mount Olive.  Which means we’ll be thinking theologically about consumerism, wonder and hope.

For this week, I encourage you to read one or both of the articles below about William T. Cavanaugh’s 2009 book: “Being Consumer: Economics and Christian Desire.”  Start with the first and if you want to dive a little deeper – the second article will help you do that.

Article 1: Greed and Consumerism

Article 2: Book Review

We will gather at 5:30 pm at Fiddlehead Coffee Co. for food, drink and conversation.  (All are optional, except perhaps the conversation part!) Then at 6:30 we’ll discuss the articles and bring our own questions and insights to the table.

See you then!
Pastor Lisa

Monday, November 25, 2019

This week we take everything we read, discussed, appreciated and struggled with from “Dear Church” and make some commitments about what we want to do about it.

Whether you read the book or not, you are welcome to join us at 5:30 pm at Fiddlehead for causal conversation, along with food and drinks if you wish.  Then at 6:30 we’ll share our hopes and plans for how we can make a difference moving forward.

Monday, November 18, 2019

We will wrap up our reading of Lenny Duncan’s “Dear Church” this week, discussing chapters 9-11.  The following week we will bring our ideas for how to put our reading into action – both in our own lives and within the church. It has become clear to many of us who experience privilege on a daily basis that we can’t return this book to the shelf without taking some action as a result of our study together.

We will return to Fiddlehead Coffee Co. this week, gathering at 5:30 to chat and enjoy food as desired, 6:30 for discussion.

I look forward to seeing you then!

Pr. Lisa

Monday, November 11, 2019

We will continue this week with our discussion of “Dear Church” by Lenny Duncan.

I heard some feedback from the last gathering that the group would like discuss all chapters.  We can chat more this week. For now. we’ll keep it open that we can talk about chapters 4-5 (last week’s reading) and chapters 6-9 this week.  Then we’ll decide if we want to add another 1-2 weeks of discussion.

Note a location change: For this week only we will be meeting at the HyVee Market Grille on 37th Street.  Fiddlehead was booked for another event quite a while ago and while we are still welcome to meet there, we may have more luck hearing each other at HyVee.

See you at 5:30 pm for casual conversation and 6:30 pm for our book discussion!

Pr. Lisa



As I reflect on our gathering this past Monday I continue to have this feeling that we were together on ‘holy ground.’  I was amazed by the care, love, authenticity, wisdom and courage of all who were gathered. Thank you for engaging with this important book and allowing it to disrupt your life in some way.

We will continue our reading and discussion of “Dear Church” over the next few weeks.  Here is an overview of how to prepare for our weekly gatherings.

Monday October 28: Discuss Chapters 1-3

Monday November 4: (NO PUB THEOLOGY) Optional: Read chapters 4-5

Monday November 11: Discuss Chapters 6-8

On November 11 we will decide together whether to continue one more week and discuss the final chapters of “Dear Church”  or if we feel ready to move on to another book/article.

MEETING LOCATION: We will continue to meet at Fiddlehead Coffee Co., located at 412 3rd Ave SE until the sun and warm weather beckon us to find a patio.  5:30 for casual conversation and food/drink, 6:30 – 7:30 for discussion.

At Fiddlehead we have been enjoying family style meals (like delicious pasta, salads and warm fresh bread) offered to us at $10/person.  Please know that purchasing a meal is optional each week. You are always invited to partake in the meal – even if more people show up than usual they will make it work!  It’s also perfectly acceptable to not partake in the meal but enjoy the fellowship of the dinner table all the same.  Our hosts at Fiddlehead have been clear that you are welcome and appreciated regardless of what your bill comes to at the end of the night.

Pr. Lisa


Okay fellow theologians, are you ready for a book study?

Over the next few weeks we will be reading and discussion chapters from “Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the U.S.” by Lenny Duncan.

If you still need a copy, we have a few left at Mount Olive.

We will start where many great books begin – with the Introduction.  These are 10 pages that set the stage for a compelling read.

If you read ahead, that is great – feel free to bring your own ideas of which other 2 chapters you would like to cover during our time together.

See you at Fiddlehead Coffee Co. on Monday, Oct 21 at 5:30 pm for food, drink and conversation. Our book discussion will take place from 6:30 – 7:30 pm.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Pub Theologians,

We meet again this Monday at Fiddlehead Coffee Co. where the hospitality is above and beyond!  5:30 pm is when we begin food, drink, and casual conversation, and 6:30 pm is when our discussion begins!

This week, our article is: “You Might Be a Political Theologican If…”  by Rev. Jan Rippentrop.

This is a topic we touched upon this summer when we discussed the intersection of faith and politics. I think this article provides great insight into what it might look like to be a “political theologian,” and helps us look at how both theology and politics are about “the whole” rather than the individual.

It’s a slightly longer article, but there are gems throughout. If you have limited time to read before we meet, choose which of the 5 points interest you most and focus there!

NOTE FOR UPCOMING PUB THEOLOGY SESSIONS: Beginning October 21, we will take a few weeks to discuss the book “Dear Church: A love letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the US” by Lenny Duncan.  The book is available online, and Mount Olive has copies available for a discounted rate of $10.  I’ll bring them with me this week.

Pastor Lisa




Monday, September 30, 2019

Hello Pub Theologians!

This week we’re going to take a look at a blog post by Micah J Murray entitled, church dread.  Read how this blogger who has attended church for most of his life feels after 207 days of not attending.

I personally haven’t experienced church dread at the level he speaks about, but I imagine I haven’t had the Bible used against me to the same extent either. (Sure, I still come across people whose biblical interpretation leads them to dismiss my identity as a pastor, or think that God wants them to have an opinion about my body/reproductive system. That’s violence too.)

This issue of church dread leads me to a few other questions I think we can explore.  Namely: What are the core aspects of ‘being the church’ that you think define us? If we start to strip away things that are problematic, do we risk losing our identity? When do we need to get out of the way so that people can have a healthy, authentic relationship with God that has nothing to do with church?

We will continue to meet this week, and for the month of October, at Fiddlehead Coffee Co.  Over the next few weeks we will experiment with different options for food and snacks to see what feels best for the group.  This Monday a family-style meal will be available for a suggested price of $10/person.

See you at 5:30 pm for conversation, with our discussion taking place from 6:30 – 7:30 pm.

Pastor Lisa

Click here for the article.