Newsletter – August 2020

Hi everyone!

Church in a Brewery Launch Night

We are excited to announce that we have officially launched Church In A Brewery!  On July 6th our group began meeting weekly at Augustino Brewing.  We had 21 people on our launch night including some who had never been to church or read a Bible before.  These are the people whom I am most excited about visiting with because that’s who our group was designed for.

As of writing this, we’ve had four official meetings.  Out of these meetings have come some incredibly interesting conversations.  There are some who are learning about Jesus for the first time in their lives.  This past week, we received a review on Facebook from one of our regular attenders that I’d like to share with you:

“I was an atheist for most of my life because I didn’t think that it was possible to believe in evidential science and religion concurrently. It was listening to the compelling evidence discussed on the Brewery Ministries podcast that first began convincing me that a lot of the explanations for the origins of life extend beyond the capabilities of science and probability. I haven’t ever really felt comfortable in church settings because of prior negative experiences when I asked questions. The Brewery Ministries team is very open-minded and understanding of all points of view, no matter where you are in your spiritual journey, They have helped me find the information I need to answer my questions without telling me what I should think or believe. The discussions at these gatherings are definitely eye-opening and life-changing.” – Tara, 44

We wanted to share this review with you because your support has helped Tara and others begin their spiritual journeys.  We appreciate you and look forward to continuing to make an impact together!

Our current study:

Our group is currently exploring two separate topics, alternating weekly.  On some weeks, we’re studying evidence for God and the reliability of the Bible.  The purpose of this topic is to help people trust what they read in the Bible and begin to have faith.  On other weeks, we’re reading through the book of Mark to discover who Jesus is, what he’s like and what he taught.  Our first night in particular focused on identifying things we’ve heard about Jesus.  We knew that there would be a wide range of views of Jesus in the room.  We’ve all heard several different versions of the story, so we wanted to take our group back to the earliest writings about Jesus to conduct a fresh investigation of who he is.  Our investigation began with Mark Chapter 1.

One of the most common questions we’ve encountered so far has to do with when the Bible was written.  We’ve found that most people believe the Bible was written around 300 years after Jesus died.  I’m well familiar with this view because I once believed it myself.  It comes from a misunderstanding about the Council of Nicea in 325 AD.  At this event, a council came together to choose which historical writings to include in the Bible.  The key is that all of the books of the Bible had already been written hundreds of years prior.  Instead of actually being written in 325 AD, the Bible was merely assembled into a collection.

The Council of Nicea actually excluded writings that were written hundreds of years after Jesus died because these writings were not eyewitness testimony and therefore not considered reliable.  The rumor that the Bible is a late legend appears to be widely held, however.  This view is understandably confusing and can prevent people from being able to trust the Bible.  I enjoy these discussions and feel that I can easily relate to others because I’ve been there myself.  Our team is focused on listening, enabling others to explore and helping them connect the dots so they can begin to have faith.  It’s been a weird year with Covid and all, but as long as we are still able to have conversations like these, our team is doing the work that we set out to do.

Local COVID-19 Update
Our team was excited to finally get started, but it hasn’t been without complications.  We had hoped to avoid launching during COVID-19 after delaying our initial launch plans, but lately it looks like COVID-19 won’t be going away any time soon.  Unfortunately the number of COVID-19 cases in our city have been rapidly increasing.  In fact, two weeks ago the local government voted to close all bars and nightclubs in the city.  We’re exempt from closing since our group is both a church and the brewery is technically a restaurant, but many people are not ready to venture out to non-essential public activities.

We know a number of people who want to visit us and bring friends, but they’ve told us that they’re waiting until the COVID-19 situation improves.  We’re okay with that but we recognize it may be awhile.  It’s not a bad thing to start small, especially right now.  It allows for plenty of space to social distance and time to focus on growing stronger relationships with the people who are there.  Our current plan is to continue meeting weekly as long as the city allows it and we’re able to maintain social distancing.  We’ll also continue to develop online content to help remedy the situation.

Video Series updates: 
We’ve finally uploaded our Bible Overview Course and added a Videos section to our website at breweryministries.org.  You can visit the video page by clicking here.  The Bible Overview Course is designed to help newcomers understand the big picture of the Bible.  When users sign up to take the course, they’ll receive one video per week to help them understand the story of the Bible from Genesis Chapter 1 all the way to Jesus.  Dana added some pretty sweet animation to help make these episodes fun.  We began working on this series because it is hard for people to understand how the Old Testament and new Testament fit together along with what the Old Testament has to do with Jesus.  Jason is also currently developing an additional video series on finding Jesus in the Old Testament.

Our team learned so much while creating our first video series.  There was a lot to learn throughout the process including presenting a clear message, lighting, camera and editing techniques.  We’ve stepped it up a notch for our next series, which will be intended to get people who don’t have a church background curious about God.  These videos will be very short and will mix in a bit more entertainment.  Think of it as an invitation into a deeper conversation about God designed for people who churches haven’t yet reached.  We hope to be able to send you the first episode in the next newsletter so you can get an idea of where we’re going with it.  Once the series is complete, we’ll market it on social media to help expand our online reach.

It seems like we’ve already had a million interesting conversations but I’ll save those for another update!  Thanks for hanging in there with us through this crazy year.  Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!  I’ll be back next month with another update!

Sincerely,

Nathan
Brewery Ministries, Inc.