Spiritual Shots has a very contemporary approach to spirituality and employs a forum atmosphere. Established in 2001, the group has since moved from their original meeting place at Havana 59 to Bottom’s Up Pizza on Dock Street in the Shockoe Bottom district of Richmond. Since 2006, the group has been facilitated by two individuals with extensive experience and accreditation in religious studies. One holds a Masters in Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and the other a Doctorate in Ministry from the Union Theological Seminary in Richmond. Both also have pastoral roles, one at the Third Presbyterian Church in Richmond’s historic West End and the other at Commonwealth Chapel in Richmond’s Fan district. Their combined experience makes for engaging discussion.
Meetings begin on the second Tuesday evening of each month at Bottoms Up Pizza. The evening begins with appetizers, con gratis of Spiritual Shots; there is occasionally a live band that will play for the first thirty minutes. Following the thirty minutes of socialization, drinks (if one so chooses), music, and appetizers, comes the welcoming and announcements. The facilitator then takes the floor, and the topic of the evening is addressed with microphone in hand. After about forty-five minutes, the facilitator opens the floor to all who attend, and everyone’s questions and comments are addressed individually.
The name Spiritual Shots could easily be misleading. The focus of attention and discussion is not alcohol but rather intense spiritual issues. Discussions have covered topics from war and religion to the immorality of the Bible itself. The discussion style format allows for an extremely unique approach to piety. With Spiritual Shots, there are no rituals, no religious traditions, no doctrines or creeds; the sole objective of participants is to learn more about personal spirituality. The forum attempts to bring to light major spiritual issues in present society and tackle them through free and open discussion. At Spiritual Shots there are no right or wrong answers. The facilitators express opinions, but the open ended design of the deliberations allows for engaging a broad range of perspectives.
Bottom’s Up Pizza
1700 Dock Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Spiritual Shots participants
Spiritual Shots website
Profile prepared by Carson Lucarelli