Feast of the Holy Prophet Zephaniah
AFTER ATTENDING the Hall of Men a number of years ago, our friend Brandon Buerge decided to start his own gig in Newton, KS. Like the Hall of Men, men gather over a feast of food and home-brewed/craft beer. But unlike the Hall of Men, which presents a lecture on a hero of the faith, Pipes and Pints – the name Brandon coined for their group – is sheer dialogue.
Each gentleman is given the opportunity to pose a question for a topic of discussion. Then each attendee votes for the top three questions to discuss. After votes are tallied, the group discusses each question for 45 minutes to an hour.
The Hall of Men invited Brandon to bring Pipes and Pints to Wichita back in June. It was such a success that we decided bring it back again. We had our second meeting on the Feast Day of the Holy Prophet Habakkuk, Anno Domini 2016 (December 2). Due to a number of complications, Brandon was unable to join us this time. So Nick Pohlenz took the reins as moderator and we had another great evening of dialogue.
The third-ranked question focused on the Kingdom of God. We tried to define what we mean by the expression “Kingdom of God”, discussed its relationship to the Church, and pondered the missional nature of God’s Kingdom.
The second-ranked question was posed by a gentleman who lost his son years ago and just recently lost his wife: “Is God as benevolent as we are taught?” This led us into discussions about the nature of God, His goodness, and the problem of pain and evil in our world.
The first-ranked question asked how families can apply the structure of monastic life in their homes and in the cities where they work. Some struggled with the notion of monastic life having anything to offer, as it is completely separated from the world. But a positive suggestion included implementing structure and rhythms of prayer, fasting, and feasting in the home, i.e., creating sacred time and sacred space and thereby making the home a sort of little monastery or little church.
In 2016, the Hall of Men hosted Pipes and Pints twice, once in June and again in December. It has been so successful that we may host it quarterly in 2017. Or maybe we should consider hosting it as a whole separate monthly event? What do you think?