Beer Runneth Before the Fall

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Twas a dark and stormy night in the month of October. Well, it actually wasn’t stormy, but it did eventually get dark. The hour was late and the breeze was cold, but the hearts of friends from all around were warmed, because the Teach for Christ Men’s House was full.  Following the success of the Oktoberfest from last year, the Teach for Christ Leadership pulled out all the stops. The amount of activities would need to be increased, along with the number of people invited. This time, the men’s community would be hosting the event.There was little time and much to do, as food needed to be prepared, shopping needed to be done, invitations needed to be sent- all while squeaking in a bit of cleaning. Luckily, teamwork was present, as each educator pitched in to give time, talent, and treasure to make the party a success. The crowd was sparse early on, and the Educators wondered whether all their hard effort would be for nought. However, as sunset approached, it was clear that there would be no shortage of friends to enjoy the evening’s festivities. People came from all over the Twin Cities, from inside the “Catholic Bubble” and out.

Fun was had in a variety of ways. Many folks made witty comments on the display board as they passed the Beer-Sampling table, describing the uniqueness of each of their favorite beers. The board was full by the end of the evening and the chuckles were aplenty. Hourly tours of Bosco Hall were given by Stephen and John to guests who were welcomed for the first time. Bosco Hall House Leader, Lucas, came up with a game of bobbing for apples...without water. The apples were tied to strings and hung from trees as the participants had to bite and nibble their way to victory. A large group of former Eagle Scouts huddled around the backyard bonfire, keeping warm and merry. Toward the latter part of the evening, John and Isabel took the group to the garage, where all gathered around for Hammerschlagen. Each tried to assert their will on their respective nails as the hammer was passed around from person to person, while beer was being sipped and people were conversing. On the upstairs level, boxed wine was enjoyed by many, the sweets were delicious, and the buffalo chicken dip was irresistible. Toward the end of the evening, several smaller discussion groups developed, with topics ranging from people’s favorite bars and breweries, to favorite songs, all the way to deep philosophical conversations which touched on the distinctions between act and potency. Much of the group stayed late into the night.

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In the end, it became apparent that the community present at Oktoberfest not only had a great time and grew in friendship, but everyone present was also drawing closer to Christ. Though each person is on their own path towards truth, goodness, and beauty, it’s fascinating that something as ordinary as beer, games, and other people can be such an effective means for evangelization. People always say that joy is attractive, and it is very apparent that the joy of the ever growing Teach for Christ community is contagious. The hope is that those at the party will be back for more in coming months and that they will bring others with them. As the Teach for Christ family grows, so do its friendships and affections. On this particular night, while the beer flowed, Christ was present.



Stephen Barnhart