Jared Witt - September 24, 2018
I assume you don’t want to read a blog long enough to cover the entire history of how it got to be this way. Support your local library for that.
But basically a bunch of stuff happened. Something called a North American was invented at one point, and North Americans are “rights” people. We base everything from our private morality to our public policies and every major value in between on this nebulous thing called “rights.”
Not everyone in every time and place has thought like this. There are a million other values on which humans can and have based their moral systems. Familial loyalty, tribal or national loyalty, sense of divine holiness or justice, and pleasing the rain god have been among the most popular throughout history. And each of those old favorites pops its head up here and there whenever it’s helpful to a given speaker’s argument. But when it comes down to brass tacks, we’re rights people.
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 - September 10, 2018
Christians have a problem with sin.
Or rather, we have a sin problem.
Specifically, we have a problem with the word sin and defining just what it is supposed to mean. More progressive-minded Christians tend to see all the problematic ways that the word has been used to browbeat and alienate and for that reason might prefer to throw it out all together. More conservative-minded Christians see this as dangerous refusal to call the evils of the world what they are. In response, they are inclined to double down on their use of the term, throwing it at just about everything and, in the process, making it seem as though all the problems of the world ultimately boil down to a labeling issue.
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.
Jared Witt - August 6, 2018
Growing up monolingual, I tended to assume that every English word had some sister word in every other language which basically meant the same thing. So translation, I figured, was a simple matter of figuring out the one to one correspondence from one language to the next.
This may be more or less true for words that are simple, literal, and conceptually concrete.
“Tree” basically exists in every known language with a possible but unlikely exception if there is a tongue which developed somewhere that trees don’t grow. Beyond that, we might argue about the definition of a tree versus, say, a shrub. But everyone basically knows what you’re talking about conceptually.
Jared Witt - July 30, 2018
Oh? What do I love about 2018? I’m glad you asked. I love that we can laugh about the filioque. It took us centuries to get here.
You know all about the filioque, don’t you? Filioque is a latin word which literally means “and from the Son.” It started to showing up in the Nicene creed sometime around the 6th century in the western (i.e. Rome based) region of the church. The original creed that both western and eastern bishops had agreed on read:
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father.
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?
Jared Witt - July 16, 2018
“The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her.” – Mark 6:26
Have a look at Mark 6:14-29, the Beheading of John the Baptist at the hands of King Herod Antipas. Now answer this question: what is Herod’s major character flaw.
When I was a little kid, I was taught that Herod (I didn’t know that there were several of them) was just a moral black hole, raw evil, more a prop for Satan than a person. In many ways, that made his character very dismissible. We don’t really have to wrestle with what went wrong in the case of old Herod, if we assume on the outset that he he is just flatly evil without exception.
Jared Witt - July 5, 2018
I couldn’t be bothered with generosity of spirit the other day. I was busy rehearsing a sermon.
That’s how it goes sometimes. You have to talk about the love and grace of the Origin and Redeemer of the cosmos in a couple hours. So when my friend sends me a nice thought via text—“I just saw a bumper sticker that said ‘Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.’”—what was I going to do? Reflect on it with new eyes? Allow myself to be moved that my friend would think to share a little spiritual gem with me that morning? Enjoy the profound realization that we are not alone in this spiritual journey? That there are travel partners on the road with us?
Not this bona fide saint and sinner, specializing in sinner. No no no. The snotty, know-it-all words that spilled onto my iPhone keyboard were “St. Francis was an aphorism machine.”
Jared Witt - June 21, 2018
Do we get our beliefs from our Bible or our Bible from our beliefs?
This is a pretty urgent question in this twilight zone time in which we’re living, when so many of my pastoral colleagues are being reprimanded by their congregants for “getting too political”—typically by the same congregants who want to see the ten commandments and Christian prayer mandated in public schools and who see no problem with our Attorney General saying in an official statement on an urgent public crisis:
On how Castle Church is stirring up a movement from a brewery in Florida.