You may not think of drinking beer as an acceptable practice in church, but one priest is looking to push the envelope and bring the two together.
According to KNTV, Santa Cruz, CA, pastor Chris VanHall is looking to open a brewery-church hybrid. The space, which he hopes to open next summer, would act as a place of worship for locals on Sunday mornings before the general public arrives.
VanHall, who serves the Greater Purpose Community Church in Santa Cruz, is currently testing the concept with his congregation. They’ve sold their old building and now conduct services in a food lounge, where plenty of beers are served on tap already. So far, VanHall told KNTV, parishioners drink responsibly, having a single beer or glass of wine during church.
“They can have one or two, as a matter of fact if they have two my sermon’s always better,” he said.
Alcohol consumption in church isn’t necessarily a new concept. In fact, it is a historical tradition for Christians to use wine during Communion, although many branches and churches have switched to grape juice over the years. Having a full-service brewery with beers on tap in the same building as the church, though, is definitely not the norm for Christianity. However, there is no rule saying it can’t happen, so whether or not the rest of the Christian community resonates with VanHall will be interesting to see.
Once his brewery-church concept opens, VanHall plans to give back to the local community from what he makes off of the beer, with an estimated 30-60 percent of the profits going to charity.