Theology on Tap Serves Up a New Round of Religion in Glassboro

Wednesday, September 29, 2010
By Erica Bauwens

Young adults in the Catholic community will be coming together to combine fun and faith on Wednesday, as Theology on Tap comes to the Landmark Americana in Glassboro (NJ). The event, planned by the Diocese of Camden, is designed to help young adults all over the area meet to discuss their faith.

Theology on Tap is currently celebrating its 30th year as one of the most successful youth programs in the country. With about 200 different events run across the United States every year, Theology on Tap is designed to look at the Catholic church in a different way.

"It meets young adults where they are," said Kathy Motyka [of RENEW International], program manager for Theology on Tap. "It's very informal and it's a lot of fun. Young adults can meet with a lot of other young adults and talk about their faith in a setting that they are comfortable with, whether it's a bar or coffee shop."

The event is held for people aged 18 to 39, both married and single. Motyka said that on any given night crowds can range from 20 people to over 100.

At each event, a guest speaker will come to talk to the crowd about a variety of topics related to faith and social issues. Attendees also get the chance to ask questions and speak with their peers one-on-one while enjoying a familiar and relaxing environment.

Dawn Eden, Christian author and frequent speaker at Theology on Tap, will be meeting with the young adults in attendance this Wednesday to discuss her topic, "Sex in the City of God." She will also discuss her book, "The Thrill of the Chaste: Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On," which is a book on chastity for adults.

Eden draws inspiration from her former life as a journalist in New York City and a rock music critic to reach out to the young adults in attendance at Theology on Tap.

"My book and my talks help Catholic young adults who are really striving to live out their faith see that they're not crazy or anything like that," said Eden. "You can't expect to change culture in an instant, but events like Theology on Tap help to provide an anchor for young adults, something that they can use as a ground for their faith."

Eden has spoken at Theology on Tap all over the country and has held her own talks all over the world.

"The great thing about Theology on Tap is that it helps Catholic young adults have their own culture, so when they're outside of church they can take their faith with them to the streets," Eden said.
The other three events that will run through January, all held at the Landmark in Glassboro, will also feature guest speakers from around the country.

"Topics can range from topics within Catholicism, like understanding of the church and prayer, to topics like morality, relationships and one's faith in the world," Motyka said.

No matter what the topic may be, the event is a great way to help young adults in the Catholic community unite in their beliefs, Eden said.

"It's very important for young people, whatever their religion, to have fellowship," Eden said. "If you're living a faith that is very counter-cultural, like Christianity, it's very important to have friends your own age that are living according to their faith and are striving to find joy through their faith."

"A lot of people want to talk about issues of faith," Motyka added. "It's more needed than ever and this is the perfect forum for that."

Theology on Tap will begin Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Landmark Americana Tap and Grill. Other sessions will be held in October, December and January. There is no charge for any of the events. More information on Theology on Tap can be found at www.renewtot.org.

This article appeared in The Gloucester County Times and is used with permission..