There is something happening at Blindman Brewing in Lacombe, AB called “Theological Thirstdays.” The idea was born when brainstorming the question "Is there a safe place for College & Careers people (young adults) to openly talk about the difficult questions and concerns they have regarding their faith, social community and personal lives?" The reality is that many of the questions young adults have are not being asked because there doesn’t seem to be an opportunity. Some of these topics are also quite touchy and emotionally charged, and people simply don’t want to make others uncomfortable by talking about them. Thus, Theological Thirstdays was born.
Theological Thirstdays is a place to ask the hard questions about our faith, and to wrestle with social issues of our time, in a welcoming and laid back atmosphere. The focus of each meeting is to talk about our faith and how we respond to what’s going on in the world, while enjoying a cold beverage. We meet every second and last Thursday of the month. The hope is that the environment of a microbrewery and a community of equally inquisitive young adults will attract some of those people who wouldn’t normally attend a meeting affiliated with the church.
As Youth Director at Woody Nook CRC, I am always searching for new ways to minister to and disciple youth and young adults alike. One of the biggest concerns facing the church today is the pattern of young people straying from the church. Theological Thirstdays was created to be a place where anyone and everyone in the “College & Careers” age group could feel welcome and accepted—free to be open about their opinions, and invited to be a part of an intentional, Christ-centered community. It is about meeting people where they’re at.
At our first meeting at Blindman, the group came up with a number of topics that they thought would be good to discuss. A couple social issues brought up were LGBTQ+ and our role in their lives, and mental illness in the church and how having a mental illness affects one’s faith. People were also interested in learning more about their own faith, digging into the theology of spiritual gifts (and how we can build up the body of Christ with our own God-given gifts). People wanted to talk about what makes the CRC different than other denominations, and how we choose to interpret certain scripture passages as being either literal or metaphorical. There was also an interest to discuss specific Reformed theological understandings such as the TULIP principle, predestination, baptism, and free will.
The idea moving forward is to tackle one of these topics at each meeting, and to discuss it openly, giving each person a chance to voice their opinion. We do not plan on reaching a conclusion every time (on the social issues), but rather to facilitate freedom of expression and hopefully create a non-judgmental atmosphere where we can be vulnerable with each other and talk about the things that rarely get brought up in every day life. Theological Thirstdays is not a Bible Study or a teaching session, but we hope to reflect Christ in the way we approach these topics and use Scripture as our guide. The topic is also studied beforehand, and resources are brought to help start the discussion. For the theological issues, those nights become more about gaining insight into Reformed Theology.
Young adults are responding well to this invitation to network informally. How might we carry this momentum over into active fellowship in the Church? Paul used his freedom to win souls by humbling himself (1 Corinthians 9: 19-23)—meeting people where they’re at is a way to humble ourselves and befriend our neighbors with godly love.