Jared Witt - November 12, 2018
I typically like to occupy my mind (and blog) with more interesting and complex ideas than this one. I figure, if it’s not an idea that most would find novel or surprising, then why bother writing about it?
But sometimes a simple thing (and by "simple" I mean so simple as to be uninteresting), is nonetheless so frequently misunderstood, that it’s still worth mentioning. One such thing is the coolness:theology paradox in churches.
You could also call it the style:substance paradox, and it goes like this: the style-savvy packaging or cool factor in the worship of your average North American congregation tends to be inversely proportional to the progressiveness of the theology.
Jared Witt - October 30, 2018
Apologies that you haven't heard from me in a while. Busy times here at Castle Church HQ. Had a terrific Brewery Blessing with around 200 of our closest friends + the Bishop of the Florida Bahamas Synod of the ELCA, got our first beer kegged and have 6 more in the fermenter forest in preparation for New Release November and Grand Opening, December 1.
In lieu of a written blog, one of our church leaders, Dan Sterling, and I had the privilege of doing the very popular podcast, A Corporate Time with Tom and Dan, based here in Orlando. Thanks for your patience. Hope you enjoy.
Cheers and Peace,
Jared Witt - October 1, 2018
But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”
And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”
“Who told you that you were naked?” - Gen. 2:9-11
At what age did you first learn to cover up? When did you learn to stiffen your back, tighten your shoulders, put on a “face”?
Do you catch yourself doing this more in some places than in others? Why is that? What cues are you picking up to figure out which one is which?
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.”
On how Castle Church is stirring up a movement from a brewery in Florida.