Beer is good all the time.
Perhaps inspired by religious institutions before them, a church in California is bringing in a large congregation of followers in an unorthodox way. Greater Purpose Community Church in Santa Cruz, Calif., is not only brewing beer but also serving it during Sunday services.
The church, which recently relocated to a temporary space equipped with multiple beer taps, is in a transitional period. Its upcoming location, which is set to open next summer, will be outfitted with its own brewery, and beer will be available for purchase during services. Chris VanHall, the church pastor, said the Bible does not prohibit religious followers from drinking in a responsible manner.
The church plans to donate between 30 to 60 percent of the brewery’s profits to charity, which gives “drinking with purpose” a whole new meaning.
While bars and churches may not appear similar on the surface, both have a common goal: fostering community. Whether it be the neighborhood pub or local church, congregations of people gather to share goodwill and drink with each other. This is the message Greater Purpose Community Church wishes to spread, welcoming people of all theological and political perspectives to attend its services.
From specialty distilled liquors created and preserved for centuries by monks to bars named after popular Bible studies, religion and alcohol have long been linked together. But beer during church? Can we get a hallelujah?