Paul Gochnour of Celebration Lutheran Church in Chardon saw an article of a church in Washington State that had begun a Beer and Bible get-together at a local pub. The pastor of the church was the bartender for the event. Paul thought it would be something that his church could do, and the first gathering was publicized, “Beer and Bible at Zeppe’s Tavern in Newbury.
Beer and Bible may sound like a strange combination. But, why? Or maybe, why not may be the better question. Martin Luther, the 15th century Reformer, thought along these lines, writing, “It is better to think of the church in the ale-house than to think of the ale-house in the church.” And so, if we as people of God are reading the Bible and drinking beer, why try to hide one or the other?
Beer and Bible is exactly that: bring a Bible to the pub and enjoy a brew or two while going over a particular verse, parable, proverb, or whatever. Paul started the first gathering with, “What is your favorite verse in the Bible and why?” At the next gathering, at Yop’s Tavern, participants were asked to share their least favorite verse and why. The conversations are friendly, focused, and faithful.
While most people who participate are regular attendees at Celebration Lutheran Church, we have had several nonmembers attend as well. This is a conversation group, not a “Hey, come to our church!” group. We welcome anyone (over 21) to join us for a fun time and interesting discussion. Oh yeah, and beer! It may be of interest that about half the people who attend do not drink a beer, but other beverages instead. Perhaps it is more about the Bible than anything else.
If you would like to know more about this unique event, please call Celebration Lutheran at 440-285-5402, or check us out online or on our Facebook page. The group meets the first and third Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. and the place will be posted on Facebook.