The first of the series was held June 3.
The Dog and Bee was not yet open (it has been closed for weeks for “reorganization”), so the owner, Mrs. Dan Hughes, treated it like a private party; she opened up part of the pub specifically for the event, offering complementary appetizers at a buffet with drinks purchased at the bar.
It continues every Monday evening through July 1.
Scheduled speakers and themes are:
•June 10 — Sister Angela Murdough, spiritual director and nun of the Order of St. Francis: “God in our lives — faith in our everyday life”;
•June 17 — Bishop David Reed, bishop suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas, “God in El Monte — following Jesus in the brush country”;
•June 24 — Dr. Roger Olsen, Foy Valentine professor of Christian theology and ethics, George Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University — “God in our suffering: God’s sovereignty and the world’s agony”;
•July 1 — Dr. William Abraham, Albert Cook Outler professor of Wesley studies and Christian theology, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University — “God and county: the paradoxical place of religion in American politics.”
“Our idea is to bring the Word of God out of the churches and pews and into the world,” explains the Rev. Clayton Elder, rector at St. Philip’s.
That the series attracted 130 people — from a wide range of denominations last Monday — is “a sign that people are hungry for this,” Elder says.
Holding the series in a venue where alcoholic beverages are served has biblical precedence, Elder says.
“Jesus preached in the synagogues, but he spent most of this time out in the world, bringing God to the world,” Elder says.
“We’re supposed to go out to reach the people, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Elder predicts the popularity of the series to grow, “as people understand what it is about” — an ecumenical push for all to come together to learn about God.
“That’s our whole goal — to take God to the world, to where we spend much of our daily lives, in restaurants and pubs.”
Each two-hour segment begins at 7 p.m. with a short discourse by the guest speaker, followed by a short break and ends with discussion.
Bill Clough is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 122, or at beepic@mySouTex.com.