One of our Association Jeanne Jugan members decided that if “Theology on Tap” (TOT) was good for young people it was also good for ‘young at heart’ people – especially during this Year of Faith. St. Joseph’s Home RN and AJJ member, Maya Alba and her friend, Derek Nordstrom decided to give it a try. The turnout of Residents (from the apartments, the sheltered care and nursing units) has been great.
Theology on Tap began at St. James Parish in Arlington Heights in 1981and has spread to more than 350 parishes and dioceses and at least seven other countries, including Canada, Italy, Taiwan, the Philippines, Ireland, Australia and Hong Kong. Theology on Tap is a program designed for reaching young adults who want to learn more about their faith and coming together to share community. TOT is structured as a series of events centering on faith topics. Meetings are frequently held in restaurants, parish halls, coffeehouses, or even bars. The goal is to go where young adults already are comfortable and feel welcome. Speakers present a theological topic and then there is time for discussion, faith sharing and eating!
Residents were asked what topics they would like to learn more about in terms of their faith. There was no hesitation on their part to chime in with suggestions of the Lives of the Saints, Christology, Eschatology, and Mariology. They aren’t shy about asking questions (even sometimes stumping the presenters) and/or sharing with their peers the answers or insights they have learned. The presentations include visual aids and during the June “TOT” even Charlton Heston made an appearance from The Ten Commandments.
All our welcome at the monthly meeting held in the third floor lounge. One regular attendee is Jewish and she offers another perspective to the topics discussed. We’ve also had Lutheran, Mormon and Evangelical Residents attend.
Oh yes! Of course, they are served all kinds of goodies – after all, this is Theology on Tap – from finger sandwiches to cookies, pinwheels, chips, and cheese and crackers and some healthy food too. Also included is the Tap of course – various IPAs & lagers and beverages from the “cork” are served.
Before the end of the Year of the Faith we are hoping to find a priest who would come in and do an intergenerational Theology on Tap. As August approaches Maya and Derek are preparing for a special TOT on St. Jeanne Jugan. It has been such a success so far that they may have to continue even after the Year of Faith has concluded in October. Thank you to Maya and Derek for recognizing the faith of our Residents and giving them the opportunity to share and grow. We all know – you’re never too old to learn.