Monday, January 20, 2020

Continuing our exploration of perspectives on Jesus during the month of January, this week’s focus will be on the historical Jesus and what we know about him, and the minority viewpoint that Jesus did not actually exist and its implications.

We’ll be reading an article by Bart Ehrman, a New Testament scholar. For copyright reasons, I won’t post the article here but will bring it for you to read before our discussion tomorrow. But to give you an introduction to his work, you can read an excerpt from from the introduction to one of his books here on this blog:

See you at the pub!

Fiddlehead Coffee, 5:30-7:30pm


Monday, January 13, 2020

Continuing our exploration this month of different perspectives and portraits of Jesus, we’ll be taking up the theme of the cosmic Christ this week, a Christ whose concern extends not just to humanity but to all of creation, the entire cosmos. It is a theme that pops up here and there in the New Testament, especially in Colossians, Ephesians, and the opening prologue in John’s Gospel.

Read this article by Mark Longhurst, “Hymn to the Cosmic Christ (Why Christ is not Jesus’ Last Name).”

See you at the pub!

Fiddlehead Coffee Company, 5:30-7:30pm


Monday, January 6, 2020

January 6 is the festival of Epiphany, and the story that takes center stage on this day is the revelation of Christ to the Magi, the “wise men.”

In keeping with the revelation of Christ theme, our pub theology topics in January will be exploring different portraits or images of Christ. We kick this theme off this week, a bit tongue-in-cheek, with “Buddy Christ” from the movie Dogma. Check out this article by Matt Schneider:

If you really want to go down the rabbit hole this week, you can check out the links in the article and think about “theologies of glory” vs. “theologies of the cross.”

See you at the pub–Fiddlehead Coffee Co. Enjoy delicious food, great beverages, and fellowship at 5:30 pm, with discussion from 6:30 – 7:30 pm.

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