By Celine Klosterman
WASHINGTON — Coordinators of a speaker series coming to Washington hope the program will strengthen young adults’ faith.
At Dodici’s Shop in Washington Dec. 2, Catholics in their 20s and 30s are welcome to attend the area’s first Theology on Tap event. Beginning at 7:15 p.m., Stephanie Brown of Columbus Junction will talk about her faith journey from being a teen addict to becoming a mother and wife.
“Theology on Tap is a great way for people to learn, share their faith and talk about things going on in their lives in a comfortable environment,” said Amanda Adam, 24. A member of St. Mary Parish in Fairfield, she’s among several Catholics on a core committee overseeing the program locally.
Created in the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1981 and now administered by RENEW International, Theology on Tap centers on events exploring faith topics relevant to young adults. Presentations and discussion sessions often take place in bars, coffee houses or restaurants.
Washington-area Catholics aim to meet monthly, and members of parishes in neighboring towns have been invited, Adam said.
Matt Greiner, a 29-year-old member of St. James Parish in Washington, said Theology on Tap will offer fellowship for small-town young adults who may not regularly meet other young Catholics. He was asked to help launch the program locally by Father Paul Appel, who served at St. James from July 2008 to July 2010.
Greiner said he also hopes the ministry serves as a “stepping stone” for lapsed Catholics to return to the Church. A formerly inactive parishioner, he realized after graduating from college that a life of partying wasn’t fulfilling. He now plays the guitar during Masses at St. James and wants young adults “to experience some of the good things I’ve been able to” since returning to the faith.
Adam hopes Theology on Tap makes people feel at home, no matter where they are in their religious journey, and answers their questions about the Church. “This is a very welcoming atmosphere: sit down, have a drink and relax. We’ll meet you where you are.”
It’s important to help Catholics to establish strong faith lives before they have children, she added.
Adam, Greiner and other core committee members will seek feedback after next month’s talk before planning additional Theology on Tap events. Adam hopes launching the program may inspire other parishes to do so as well.
“I hope we have fun and get a good turnout,” Greiner said.
A Theology on Tap event will take place Thursday, Dec. 2, at Dodici’s Shop, 120 ½ S. Iowa Ave., in downtown Washington. A social begins at 6:45 p.m., and a presentation by Stephanie Brown of Columbus Junction begins at 7:15 p.m. Beverages will be available to buy at the free event.
For more information, contact Amanda Adam at firstname.lastname@example.org or (319) 461-1165, or search for “Theology on Tap, Washington” on Facebook.