Monday, December 12, 2005

Thirst for More Than Just Beer

This comes from a discussion list in which I have been active for several years, followed by a comment I made in reply. Are any other Continuers engaged in a similar ministry, and why not?

I receive the newsletter from the parish in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago where I grew up. They are doing great urban ministry there. On the first Friday night of the month, the curate goes to Jimmy's Woodlawn Tap, that's right, a bar, and holds forth about theology ... This has been so well received that it has been expanded to another night each month.


One of my favorite topics.

My "local" is a mock Irish pub/restaurant in Nicosia called Finbarr's. It's
a great meeting point for Cypriots and foreigners, and has become the
closest thing I have to a "club."

The owner and staff, all of whom I count among my friends, are aware of my
priestly vocation, and I have become a sort of an unofficial spiritual
director to some of them. Moreoever, they have a habit of introducing me to
new folks as "Father Albion" or simply as a priest. While that is more than
a slight exaggeration, I find that this opens up the opportunity for me to
engage in the ministry of apologetics, and even evangelism.

There is nothing of a formal nature like at Jimmy's, just conversation when
it comes up. But I never cease to be amazed at how much thirst there is for
more than just beer.


Anonymous said...

Good for you, Albion, and good for that priest at Jimmy's!

I've never been a habitue of bars (except in the bad old daus when I wouldn't have been a witness for the faith), for no other reason than that I don't feel at home in them. I have, however been advocating such a thing for years -- even in my days as a Pentecostal preacher, aqnd you can imagine how that flew in that environemnt -- not quite as well as a lead balloon. I have always made a point of having friends and associates among the nonreligious, as did One who was called "the friend of sinners." If we aren't finding ways to be more-than-closet Christians out in the world, we aren't really doing the job Our Savior left us.


Fr Richard Sutter SSM said...

The bishop of Colorado Springs (RC) holds such sessions regularly at a nice brewpub in downtown Colorado Springs. They call it "Theology on Tap" and it has proven very successful.

Father Aristibule Adams said...

I've seen it done at one of the Irish pubs in Tulsa, OK as well - by the RCC parish of Christ the King. My own parish was going to attempt something similar ... but that's a long story.

Albion Land said...

So, Aristubule, we've got all the time in the world. Tell us the story.