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"Have a Beer with Jesus" - Another tacky attempt to get people interested in religion.

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There's something really tacky about the way some churches in NZ promote the "Christian" faith. Don't get me wrong, I actually enjoy having a beer and I also enjoy talking about the bible with others but this is taking it too far. Worship of God should be dignified and honorable. It should also be in harmony with God's word the bible.

Anyone found intoxicated in Jehovah's ancient places of worship was punished severely, sometimes by death.


A beer at church will put a new slant on Sunday services.

Pastors Calvin Culverwell and Vic Francis are turning Albany Sports Bar into a make-shift church starting this Sunday.

Members of the Protestant Albany Shore Vineyard Churches have been working on the project for a year.

They aim to help people reconnect with religion in a relaxed place.

And you can even have a beer during the service - providing you pay for it.

"We like to sit down, we like to eat together, we like to have great conversations. That's a human thing but it's a Kiwi thing as well," Mr Culverwell says.

"When I look through the Bible I see Jesus is someone who valued those things as well.

"So to me it seems it almost goes hand-in-hand."

The 24-year-old Albany resident will take on the role of pastor for the new church - something he's been keen to do for his community.

"So when the doors actually opened that we could come and be in this place, I jumped on it"

"A bar isn't a foreign environment, it's not a hurdle," he adds.

"I think for some people to step across the threshold into a church building where there's lights and loud music, it's actually a deep breath and a jump.

"But to come into something that most New Zealanders come into once a week, it's just not that hard."

Finding the right venue and deciding what service it would offer helped them decide on the Albany bar, Mr Francis says.

There will be no singing, sermons or free beer but pizza and fries will be provided.

"We might be having a beer and praying for somebody who has a need and we don't see an issue with that," he adds.

"There are lots of people out there who believe in God but don't necessarily have a church. It's quite a daunting thing I think to go to a Sunday morning church," Mr Francis says.

Family churches offer youth groups and support services but a place is needed for people aged 20 to mid-30s, Mr Culverwell says.

The Albany Sports Bar service runs on the first Sunday of every month beginning August 5 at 7pm.

The service is open to anyone over the age of 18.

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I remember some years ago a church in the Uk opened a bar in its basement. The newspaper ran the story and interviewed the vicar who said:

'Jesus even said himself: "Eat, drink and be merry" - Luke 12:19' A pity he didn't read the rest of the verse!

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