“Participants feel refreshed by their time together and strengthened in their relationship with God,” said Josh Houde. “It's an incredible blessing to know that you're not alone in your desire to live for God.”
As one of the organizers of “Theology on Tap,” Houde, the youth minister at Good Shepherd Parish in Saco, has helped to provide a warm, casual environment in which people, generally in their twenties and thirties, can come together to learn more about their faith and to feel valued and welcomed in the Catholic Church.
Held once a month at a southern Maine restaurant or bar, “Theology on Tap” is a gathering of college students and young adults that features food, drinks, conversation, and engaging theology discussions.
A different guest speaker also presents on a topic of faith each month.
On Thursday, April 14, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Pat's Pizza on 30 Market Street in Portland, Steve Letourneau, CEO of Catholic Charities Maine, will talk about the role that service to others plays in our spiritual lives.
On Thursday, May 12, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Pat's Pizza, Dan Norton, a Catholic apologist in Boston who received a master's degree in philosophy from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, will present "The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus." Did Jesus rise bodily from that tomb outside Jerusalem two thousand years ago? Many scholars, members of the media, and even our own neighbors do not believe in this central claim of Christianity. Every year around Easter or Christmas, books and articles are written that argue that the bodily Resurrection of Jesus is not true. Some argue that the Apostles and Disciples of Jesus were involved in a massive conspiracy, while others argue that the myth of the Risen Christ developed in the aftermath of the death of Jesus. This talk explains why neither one of these objections has merit. It will explain that there are good historical reasons for the bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Joy Segovia of Southern Maine College Campus Ministry and Ignite, Greater Portland’s Catholic young adult group, have worked with Houde to plan the gatherings and create the unique experience.
“The relaxed setting helps to elicit good conversation and is welcoming for non-Catholics or non-churchgoers who are interested in coming and exploring Christ, the Church, and faith,” said Houde.
Created in the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1981, “Theology on Tap” has spread to dioceses across the country, offering thousands of young Catholics an opportunity to share and grow in their faith with peers. Organizers in southern Maine have noticed a high return rate for participants and, as word has spread of its existence and impact, an influx of newcomers.
“Our hope is that participants will leave nourished in body by the great food and drink, in mind and spirit by the engaging presentations, and in their friendships through the fellowship and conversations that ‘Theology on Tap’ provides,” said Houde. “The ultimate goal, of course, is for participants to strengthen their relationship with Christ and the Church.”
“Theology on Tap” is sponsored by Southern Maine College Campus Ministry, Good Shepherd Young Adult Ministry, and Ignite, Greater Portland’s Catholic Young Adult Group.