In a self-proclaimed “progressively Christian” Greater Purpose church in Santa Cruz, they have meshed the teachings of the Bible with beer, and donate proceeds from sales to Planned Parenthood.
With a large LGBT pride rainbow flag flying outside of the Food Lounge located at 1001 Center St. Ste1 in Santa Cruz, the church markets to outsiders as being inclusive to all races, sexes and sexual preferences. On the Greater Purpose website, their mission statement reads:
“All theological and political perspectives are welcome and our communion is open to all who wish to partake regardless of your beliefs! Here at GPCC we will embrace you regardless of your faith, personal life choices, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, political preference, social status, or economic standing. We love and value all equally and at Greater Purpose Community Church: ALL LITERALLY MEANS ALL! Radical love and unity are sacred in our community.
For our worship, we sing modern contemporary guitar-driven music and we also enjoy hymns, but we arrange them in a modern style. We also have amazing children’s programs.”
Lead Pastor of the church, Christopher Vanhall explained in a short clip tweeted by Now This (@nowthisnews), that the church which also has a working restaurant and brewery donates 30%-60% of the sales from the on-site brewery to organizations such as the Homeless Garden Project, Save Our Shoes, The Diversity Center and Planned Parenthood. The church also happens to be located directly under a Planned Parenthood facility.
“‘Jesus was a Palestinian, Jewish rabbi, he was a person of color that was killed by white supremacy’ — This progressive, inclusive church doubles as a brewery to raise funds for Planned Parenthood”
‘Jesus was a Palestinian, Jewish rabbi, he was a person of color that was killed by white supremacy’ — This progressive, inclusive church doubles as a brewery to raise funds for Planned Parenthood pic.twitter.com/goC8fNUYLT
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) August 21, 2018
Several members from the church marched in the latest local LGBT parade in Santa Cruz as well. This photo is of a member of the church posted on their Facebook page:
Christian News Network reports Vanhall speaking with Good Times and expressing his views on how Planned Parenthood fits into the beliefs of his church:
“A woman’s right to choose is something most churches are silent on or opposed to, but that’s not where we stand in the faith community,” Van Hall told Good Times. “We hope to be an absolute conundrum for people walking by. A church that serves beer and gives the profits away to places like Planned Parenthood is really exciting to me.”
The church recently leased an abandoned book store that once went by the name of Logos Bookstore on Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz, California, to relocate to starting in the summer of 2019.
Vanhall spoke to a local news affiliate, KION and explained that Monday through Saturday the restaurant and brewery would operate as any other, with no preaching held at the location outside of Sundays. Vanhall even jokes that his sermon’s are always better after members have one or two drinks. ”
“when you come in as a customer Monday through Saturday you’re not going to be preached at all you’re not getting a church service, there’s not going to be biblical merchandise anywhere, nothing like that. It’s going to be a safe space for people of all faith or no faith, people of all sexual and gender identities, on Sunday’s we will have church in the bar but it’s going to be before we open to the public so it’s not like anyone is going to get duped into coming to church at any point,” Vanhall told KION.
Vanhall stresses that there will be a drink limit to keep the space “family friendly” and that the kitchen theme is Southern Comfort food with both vegetarian and vegan options.
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