In a recent post Emergent Church leader Karen Ward, “Abbess of Church of the Apostles and the Fremont Abbey” in Seattle and one the five contributors to the book Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches: Five Perspectives, tells us about a very special use of her “Abbess Powers”; blessing and releasing beer for her emerging church:

I have used my ‘Abbess powers’ (which I define as the calling to bless and release things) to bless and release an Advent Ale called Gaudete.

Gaudete is a unique Christmas style beer (dark, porter based, with a bit of smoke, sweet spice and a dry finish) and is a ‘limited release’ (like, only three cases exist). It is to be enjoyed reverently, in moderation, and with thanksgiving to God, at various celebrations within our community this season.

Emergent Church Abbess Ward informs readers, “Our Abbey brews come from our friend Joel at Two Beers Brewing,” and then goes on to say:  

We support their ethos and ‘theology’ of brewing, which is as follows from their website. We are connected to the Earth.  We are connected to each other.  And we cannot escape either of these realities. Is that a reason to make amazing beer?  We are at Two Beers Brewing Company think so. 

You see, beer is one of the original beverages that was created thousands of years ago.  Long before soda and even lemonade.  Beer is made from all naturally grown ingredients and always has been.  No artificial sweeteners, no susbstitutes, nothing that is a product of 21st century invention. 

Therefore when a crop fails somewhere the prices change in ingredients.  Making amazing beer is a beautiful way to remind us that we are connected to the earth. Drinking amazing beer certainly isn’t fun by ourselves either. It is much more fun to invite some friends over, or go to a pub, and enjoy a beer in community.(Online source)

Before the Lord converted me, years ago I played guitar in a reggae band which featured two brothers from Kingston, Jamaica who were practitioners of the religion of Rastafarianism. During that time I also heard from them much about how Jah (aka God) gave man “herb” (aka marijuana), which was also “naturally grown,” to give “I and I wisdom.” And although I chose to forgo that particular endeavor, these gentlemen would also quite often “enjoy” their ganja “in community.”

So Apprising Ministries can’t help but wonder: Is this where we are heading next in the emerging church as they continue kicking out more and more absolutes through the highly subjective “worship” experiences of their neo-Gnostic contemplative spirituality? After all, with their postmodern (read: relativistic) views, what really is there to prevent also adding some “naturally grown” herbs to Emergent Church worship?

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