God and Grog?

May 13, 2008 at 2:59 pm Leave a comment

We all love to look ahead trying to see the future. While hindsight is 20/20, the view ahead is much fuzzier. Still, some of us bravely forecast, hoping that people have short memories when we are wrong, which is most of the time for me. With this in mind, I will once more edge out onto the brittle branch of prediction hoping not to snap it off.

When WonderCafe came on-line, I wondered if it would have any use apart from a discussion forum. Would anything ever evolve from it? I thought not, but now, I see a glimmer of the future here.

There was a light-hearted blog by Faerenach recently talking about a group of WonderCafe folk that met in person. It’s interesting to meet virtual internet folks and discover how they look and act in real life. Faerenach called this meeting, ‘WonderPub’ and said, “What happens at WonderPub, stays at WonderPub.” Ha! I’m sure there was no gossip about the Cafe and its members (ahem!). It was interesting to read about her thoughts on meeting people she only knew in a virtual sense, but I was fascinated that discussion of the Spirit happened in what in old times was considered a den of sin. I left her blog feeling happy that not only were Cafe people wanting to meet, but primarily that this group chose such a secular setting. Jesus would approve.

Alleycat wrote a short time ago how he had a Lenten group that met at a local tavern and they were asked to find another venue after the owner became concerned over ‘noise’ disturbing other patrons. Alpha Program groups have met in bars, but it seems the world in general, well OK, the western world anyway, is not yet ready to mix God and grog. I remember Salvation Army members who would patrol the lion’s den of liquor and hand out leaflets in an effort to save the souses mired in alcohol addiction. How many of them have been kicked out of Satan’s saloon in their efforts?

Faerenach’s group is a breath of fresh air. Doing what comes naturally, are they perhaps a part of the Emerging Church? I hope so. Imagine groups such as this getting together to discuss things spiritual, outside of a church setting. No doctrine to get in the way, no hierarchy to steer discussion; only a genuine desire to share and explore ideas. Of course there are other venues besides LCBO licensed ones that can be used.

I’m starting to see the genius and bravery of the United Church in setting up this website. It is genius because it is so open, which makes it brave at the same time since openness means anything can happen. The United Church has planted the seed, trusting what grows will be of the Spirit. I sense something good is happening: People coming into community to wrestle with the Spirit. What if groups like this spring up all across the country? What new form(s) would the Spirit appear as? Could this be the Emerging Church? I think it is and, edging out along the branch, my prediction is; something new and good will grow from this. Hey! Anyone interested in a WonderPub in or around Uxbridge? Let me know.  



Entry filed under: Wrestling With God.

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