Jared Witt - September 17, 2018
It’s been a very, very long time coming. But it’s nearly upon us.
Right as our first batches are coming out of fermentation, Castle Church will be kicking off the life of our brewing community and celebrating the new home of our church in the only way we know how, with a Reformation Day Brewery Blessing.
When - October 28, 4pm to 7:30 pm
Where - Castle Church Brewing Community (6820 Hoffner Ave., Orlando, FL 32822)
What – A classic monastic brewery blessing with some Castle Church improvisations, complete with guided beer tasting, blessing liturgy, beer and hymns, and a catered dinner.
What you need to know – This a special celebration with all those who have supported and prayed for our development prior to our opening to the general public. Reservations are required. Follow this link.
The brewery blessing tradition dates to the early middle ages at least as far back as Saint Arnold of Soissons (patron saint of hop-pickers and brewers) in the 11th century. He is often depicted with a mashing rake, a tool used in the old brewing process. But his synonymity with brewing is not because he opened up a monastery with a brewery, which was very common, but is an homage to his wise action of saving many from his church as an epidemic swept through the region by telling them to drink beer instead of water.
Jared Witt - August 27, 2018
Haut Publicité Inc., a sleek new outfit specializing in brand marketing and high end corporate promotion, had moved into the area and wanted to demonstrate what they could do for local executives. So they decided to throw a community festival at the downtown boardwalk. About a month out, their social media staff start plugging targeted invites to all the high end neighborhoods, and sales reached out to local client-based firms and real estate moguls.
A couple weeks went by and they started to grow concerned over the lackluster response on the event page. Lots of “no” responses, several “maybes,” but very few solid “yes”-es. The promotions team started reaching out directly to business contacts and influencers in the community with the script, “Hello, my name is ____, just wanted to make sure you knew about…” The responses they got weren’t negative, but they weren’t that helpful either.
Karen Henry - August 20, 2018
It is impossible to have a vital community of the Spirit without authenticity. And part of authenticity is risking talking about those experiences which we might prefer not to talk about. I'm indebted to Castle Church's own Karen Henry for having the groundedness and the strength of character to share this reflection on searching for light in a dark time. Thank you, Karen. - Jared
The painted shell that sits on my desk.
I am a person who viciously assigns meaning to dates, items and places. In some instances, this is a wonderful trait. Birthdays and anniversaries are important to me and cause me to reminisce. When I wear a piece of jewelry from a friend, it reminds me of them. Restaurants and the food that I’m eating conjure memories of a place travelled and special people in my life.
Jared Witt - August 13, 2018
Think of all the places where you spend your life. I mean real, physical locations, not digital ones.
Now let me ask you two questions:
Jared Witt - July 23, 2018
A friend of mine recently told me about his decision to leave the massive congregation he had attended shortly after moving here to Orlando.
He had spent his whole life in megachurches, and to that point, he had been taught that bigger is always better and that growth equals success. But in his late twenties, on the heels of a career move, which had taken him several states away from family and friends, his own feelings of loneliness and isolation led him to start asking some more serious-minded questions about the purpose of church. Is the point really just to collect as many warm bodies in the auditorium as possible? For what? Should I be getting to know some of these people around me better than just a nod on Sunday morning?
Evelyn MacDougall - June 28, 2018
I snored so loudly that I woke myself up.
Drool was actively falling onto my neck-pillow while on a bus passing through where the Alps jut across the meeting of Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Austria’s borders. Cliffs and icy mountain tops softened to bright blue rivers and lush meadows – all thriving in the shadow of the summer solstice. I wondered to which languages the cows and goats would respond.
In the presence of such immense natural beauty, my drool wasn’t exactly what I wanted my seatmates or I to experience. However, I wouldn’t trade that puddle for the encounter I’d had the night before which I already exchanged for sleep. And I refuse to apologize for missing a couple hours of views on my seven hour bus ride.
Jared Witt l May 10, 2018
My soul needs a biergarten.
It's a national health emergency in my country. Loneliness is epidemic. I mean that. Literally and officially: epidemic!
I’m being neither figurative nor hyperbolic. Vivek Murthy, the former United States surgeon general, has written that loneliness and social isolation are “associated with a reduction in life span similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes a day and even greater than that associated with obesity.”
Even Britain has recently appointed it’s first “Minister for Loneliness.”
Jared Witt l March 22, 2018
One sees it in every farmer’s market, in every seasonally sourced restaurant, in every documentary about human rights in the clothing industry, in every Netflix show on the sustainable food movement (my favorite is Chef's Table). There is a deep desire, that is surfacing in communities all across the country, to re-humanize the things that we buy. And we’re starting at the most basic level: with the things we put on and put into our bodies.
It’s not like we all got together and planned this. There was no conference where grass-fed beef farmers in Wisconsin got together with “buy local” activists in so-Cal and said, “Alright, here’s what we’re going to do.” In fact, none of us who are a part of whatever this is can even fully say what binds us together or what the movement is called. Some of us have very high-minded ecological concerns. Some of us, just a gut yearning to live in a tastier and less artificial way. None of us even fully sticks to our ideals a hundred percent of the time (for my part, I can’t seem to quit the cheaply made queso sauce from the tex mex place near my house). But we know it when we see it. We can sense when a dish we’re eating was seasoned with a little bit of love. And we recognize each other from across the room.
Jared Witt l February 15, 2018
“The geeks have inherited the Earth.”
Thus says Justin McElroy, one of the co-hosts of the wildly popular (and wildly nerdy) podcast, “My Brother, My Brother, and Me." He would know. He never expected to become a subculture celebrity when he and his three brothers from Huntington, West Virginia first started a podcast for their own amusement in 2010, where they would provide insincere but good natured advice, "Ask Amy" style, to equally insincere question askers and to somewhat more sincere inquirers on the “Yahoo Answers” platform (the latter remain anonymous, as they didn’t anticipate that their questions would become the fodder for a comedy show).
"MBMBAM" (pronounced muh 'bim bam by its cult followers) now sells out major concert venues in cities across the country and boasts such esteemed guests as Jimmy Buffett and Lin-Manuel Miranda due to a cultural shift, which is tough to prove and yet everyone who has passed from high school into adulthood over the last couple decades is vaguely aware of it: Nerdy = cool now.
Today is a big milestone in Castle Church’s young history. After dozens of sleepless nights, hundreds of prayers, and thousands of words of support and encouragement from family and friends, today, we
On how Castle Church is stirring up a movement from a brewery in Florida.