Young adults enjoy a discussion at Toronto’s Theology on Tap. (Photo courtesy of Faith Connections)

Theology at a bar near you

By  Sarah Swist, Youth Speak News
  • October 24, 2013

Toronto - Faith Connections is expanding its Theology on Tap series to meet the growing needs of the young and faithful in the Toronto area.

Faith Connections, an arm of the Sisters of St. Joseph’s Fontbonne Ministries, and the Office of Catholic Youth are expanding the monthly Theology on Tap to three events in November to support young adults ages 19-39 spread across the Greater Toronto Area.

Theology on Tap is a series of thought-provoking, theological discussions and presentations in a comfortable and relaxed setting for young adults that have been typically hosted in a downtown Toronto pub on the last Monday evening of the month. Now, in addition to the downtown event, young people will be able to find a Theology on Tap in the city’s east end and beyond its western border. The number of locations holding the events vary from month to month, although throughout November, all three locations will host a Theology on Tap evening.

Theology on Tap East (Scarborough) and West (Mississauga) are separate entities from the downtown Theology on Tap. Through the creation of these events, young adults will now have the opportunity to travel for Theology on Tap within their own regions while being able to meet other young adults in the area.

“Expansion is a challenge because extremely large areas are being grouped together, which means that Theology on Tap will most likely not be able to meet the needs of all the young adults in a specific region all the time,” said Vanessa Nicholas-Schmidt, program director at Faith Connections.

That’s why Faith Connections is hoping to expand even further in the future, subdividing the regions into even smaller areas.

The first Theology on Tap was held more than 30 years ago in the archdiocese of Chicago, and the mission of Theology on Tap has not changed since then.

“Theology on Tap Toronto’s ultimate goal is to give young adults an opportunity to grow in faith and in community,” said Nicholas-Schmidt.

Theology on Tap has been a constant in Toronto since 2005 when Faith Connections began running the program. Since then, it has been providing a warm environment for young adults to have  meaningful discussions with others of similar beliefs and values, while a powerful speaker challenges them on topics of faith and daily life.

Each Theology on Tap features a different speaker who will help the young adults think about topics of faith and life. The topics are chosen by Faith Connections staff, the Sisters of St. Joseph and young adult volunteers.

The first Theology on Tap West will be held at West 50 Pourhouse & Grille, 50 Burnhamthorpe Rd. W., Mississauga, on Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. Theology on Tap East’s inaugural event will be held at Jack Astor’s Bar & Grill, 580 Progress Ave., on Nov. 20 at 7 p.m.

The downtown evening will continue to be held at the Duke of York Pub, 39 Prince Arthur Ave., on the last Monday of every month.

Faith Connections does not own Theology on Tap and pays a yearly licence fee to use its name and model, though Faith Connections has adapted and changed the program specifically for Toronto. 

For more information, visit www.faithconnections.ca/event.

(Swist, 16, is a student at Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School in Toronto.)

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