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Mixing God and Beer

Bishop Paul Loverde inaugurates a new Theology on Tap series at Whitlow's

<bt>Food, beer, relationships and humor were key ingredients in a talk given by Bishop Paul S. Loverde at a bar in Arlington.

Approximately 40 people between the ages of 22 and the mid-forties showed up at Whitlow's on Wilson's to hear the bishop talk about what the "Church can offer today's world," part of the series Theology on Tap.

Loverde is the third bishop of Arlington Catholic diocese and has been published on numerous issues including the right to life. He encourages young adults to become stronger in their faith and understand God more deeply and fully.

When Loverde started talking, everyone in the room was silent and all eyes were on him.

"All of us have had a long day and we are at a bar." said Loverde indicating that this would be an enjoyable yet informative talk.

The main theme of Loverde's talk was apparent in the quote that he gave from Pope Benedict XVI's opening speech at World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany:

"'I would like to show them how beautiful it is to be a Christian. Because the widespread idea which continues to exist is that Christianity is composed of laws and bans which one has to keep, and hence, is something toilsome and burdensome — that one is freer without such a burden. I want to make it clear that it is not a burden, it is like having wings,'" said Loverde.

"It" refers to an important aspect of being a Christian: One's relationship with God.

"Come in support of a relationship [with God]," said Loverde. "A relationship offers us a way of life filled with joy, which is not superficial or an intense fleeting moment. Joy is rooted in conviction."

But having a relationship with God, one must have trust in Him and the Church allows for that trust to develop, said Loverde.

But when Bishop talked about having a deep and meaningful relationship with God, it was apparent that was not the only relationship that was deeply rooted in the hearts of the congregation.

"He really connects with people our age," said Mary Marshall about Bishop Loverde. "He acted like he was young once. [He] knows what it's like to be our age."

"He showed that faith and humor can exist together," said Olivia Crosby.

Many people also said that they were there to listen to the bishop and take in the words.

"I loved hearing [Bishop Loverde] talk," said Beth Fitzgibbons. "I needed to hear what he had to say. I need an outlet."

The people there also enjoyed having the talks in an informal setting.

"It is more relaxed," said Joe Grimberg. "A person can stay and mingle."

"It is like being in a different environment," said Crosby. "The speaker has a longer time [to talk] and can be more focused. A listener can hear things that he or she normally doesn't hear."

After the talk was over, a good portion of the crowd stayed to reflect with their friends about the subjects Loverde had broached.

Theology on Tap is going on throughout the fall at Whitlow's. For more information about upcoming events, check out the website: http://www.arlingtondiocese.org/offices/family/tot-home.html