A “progressive” church in Santa Cruz, California likes to think of itself as progressive, serving beer during services and opening a brewery, while its pastor claims Jesus was a feminist and a “person of color that was killed by white supremacy.”
The pastor of the Greater Purpose Church, Christopher VanHall, said, “What would it look like to be a church that looked like the movement that Jesus started and not like the church that we know in America today? Out of that consistent questioning came this model for a brewery church that generates funds for local charities.”
We are open and affirm LGBTQ. We are feminists and I believe Jesus was, too. We are environmentalists, which I believe that’s the original mandate of the children of God to take care of the planet that we all know and enjoy. We are anti-war, which I believe Jesus was, too. We are all for racial justice, which Jesus was a Palestinian. Jewish rabbi. He was a person of color that was killed by white supremacy so we’re usually making every effort to be on the frontlines for racial justice. So that’s what sets us apart from many American churches.
After five years of holding services, the church took over an old bookstore with the intention of turning it into a brewery and a restaurant.
VanHall said, “We said, ‘Hey, why can’t we do a brewery and then we can use the space on Sunday before it opens to the public as a worship space and then we can use the funds to give to local charities that people of all faiths, all sexual, all racial, and even all racial identities can support?’ So we came up with this model and we found an awesome spot … consequently happened to be right below Planned Parenthood in Santa Cruz, which we adore and support their efforts for giving health care to women.”
The church is scheduled to open in summer or fall of 2019.