homepage
  roll on christmas  
click here to find out more about ship of fools click here to sign up for the ship of fools newsletter click here to support ship of fools
community the mystery worshipper gadgets for god caption competition foolishness features ship stuff
discussion boards live chat cafe avatars frequently-asked questions the ten commandments gallery private boards register for the boards
 
Ship of Fools


Post new thread  Post a reply
My profile login | Register | Directory | Search | FAQs | Board home
   - Printer-friendly view Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Purgatory   » Church, drinking cultures, and the exclusion of teetotalers (Page 1)

 - Email this page to a friend or enemy.  
Pages in this thread: 1  2  3  4  5 
 
Source: (consider it) Thread: Church, drinking cultures, and the exclusion of teetotalers
Pomona
Shipmate
# 17175

 - Posted      Profile for Pomona   Email Pomona   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Not sure of the best title for this! In my own church background - Anglo-Catholicism (though my current parish church is not Anglo-Catholic) - drinking plays a huge role in socialising. It's a key part of celebrations in the church hall after church, theology discussion groups in the pub, the bar at Walsingham and A-C training colleges. I know similar levels of drinking happens in other churches too, for instance Roman Catholicism in many areas and the more conservative and Albaphilic Presbyterian/Reformed churches in the US.

I also am a non-drinker for medical reasons. I can manage a sip of communion wine, or a small glass of champagne after a special service, but the latter should be quite rare. While I don't want to talk about issues of alcohol in the Eucharist, I do think the general drinking culture of these churches can be immensely unhelpful and exclusionary. Given the large LGBT community within Anglo-Catholic churches particularly, and the higher rates of alcohol addiction within the community, this seems particularly concerning to me. Having fun and community so strongly connected to alcohol to the exclusion of other kinds of fun and community makes it really hard to challenge this without being seen as a joyless puritan - I'm not a joyless puritan, I just have a dodgy liver! I have a transgender friend who found church culture incompatible with his AA meetings to the extent he had to leave his church.

I also can't help but wonder at how this must affect our outreach to Muslims and other groups where alcohol is never or more rarely consumed (I believe that while alcohol is not forbidden for Hindus, it isn't recommended and stricter Hindus will abstain, for instance). Many of these groups won't socialise in pubs and other places alcohol is served either.

So, fellow drinky church members - what are we to do about it?

--------------------
Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

Posts: 5290 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged
Stetson
Shipmate
# 9597

 - Posted      Profile for Stetson     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Pomona wrote:

quote:
I also can't help but wonder at how this must affect our outreach to Muslims and other groups where alcohol is never or more rarely consumed (I believe that while alcohol is not forbidden for Hindus, it isn't recommended and stricter Hindus will abstain, for instance).
Well, you could just as easily turn that around and ask how the Muslim taboo against alcohol affects THEIR outreach to groups that like to socialize with booze, or even just have it as part of their sacrament?

And of course, it can go on forever like that. How does Sunday sabbath affect outreach to Seventh Day Adventists? Church-sponsored clinics and Christian Scientists? Etc etc.

Ecumenism is great and all, but at a certain point, you have to face the fact that certain groups have ways of doing things that they like, and that are of little harm to anyone, and if some other groups can't abide them, well, then maybe we can't all be best friends forever.

[ 18. July 2017, 16:40: Message edited by: Stetson ]

--------------------
I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

Posts: 6209 | From: back and forth between bible belts | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
If alcohol is essential to your church socialising, perhaps it isn't Jesus you are interested in.

I am not teetotal, but I think the emphasis on drink in social gatherings is a sign of cultural shortcomings. If a social gathering cannot happen without drink, there is a problem.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 16330 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Pomona
Shipmate
# 17175

 - Posted      Profile for Pomona   Email Pomona   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Stetson - I'm not sure the kind of drinking culture I describe could be seen to be 'of little harm to anyone'. It harms rather a lot of people. I have no idea how Muslims and others do outreach to non-teetotal groups, but I don't see why that should mean non-teetotal groups can't be a bit more sensitive to outreach to teetotal groups.

I echo lilBuddha's comment - if you need to drink, it's not really about socialising, it's about drink.

--------------------
Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

Posts: 5290 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged
Stetson
Shipmate
# 9597

 - Posted      Profile for Stetson     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Pomona wrote:

quote:
Stetson - I'm not sure the kind of drinking culture I describe could be seen to be 'of little harm to anyone'.
Well, fair enough, but the objection about outreach doesn't depend on the drinking being harmful to the people involved. It would apply even in situations where few people in the church were being harmed, since tee-totalers still wouldn't like it.

quote:
I have no idea how Muslims and others do outreach to non-teetotal groups, but I don't see why that should mean non-teetotal groups can't be a bit more sensitive to outreach to teetotal groups.
I guess I'm just kind of wondering why the obligation seems to be for people who enjoy something to consider the feelings of abstainers, rather than for the abstainers to say "Okay, well, not everyone's like us, and if we're gonna get along with other groups, we have to face the fact that we're gonna encounter some things that are different from the way we do things."

That said, if you're church is having a specific night dedicated to outreach with Muslims(or Mormons, or other abstainers), prob'ly that's not the best time to get rip-roaring sloshed on the dance floor. But if it's just a case of abstainers showing up to one of your regularly scheduled social events, and that would normally include alcohol, I don't see any reason to make a change.

For the record, I AM a complete abstainer, entirely for reasons of personal taste: I simply can't stand hangovers. And I do get kind of annoyed at people who insist to me that I can't have a good time unless I'm drinking. That doesn't stop me from socializing with drinkers, though.

--------------------
I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

Posts: 6209 | From: back and forth between bible belts | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
leo
Shipmate
# 1458

 - Posted      Profile for leo   Author's homepage   Email leo   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
We do a lot of drinking but there is ALWAYS juice too.

--------------------
My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

Posts: 22889 | From: Bristol | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Stetson
Shipmate
# 9597

 - Posted      Profile for Stetson     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Pomona wrote:

quote:
I echo lilBuddha's comment - if you need to drink, it's not really about socialising, it's about drink.
Too bad Jesus didn't think of that line at Cana. Coulda saved himself the trouble of a miracle!

[ 18. July 2017, 17:15: Message edited by: Stetson ]

--------------------
I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

Posts: 6209 | From: back and forth between bible belts | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Stetson
Shipmate
# 9597

 - Posted      Profile for Stetson     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
We do a lot of drinking but there is ALWAYS juice too.

Of course. I've never known an event that had a wet bar not to allow you a dry option.

--------------------
I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

Posts: 6209 | From: back and forth between bible belts | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Schroedinger's cat

Ship's cool cat
# 64

 - Posted      Profile for Schroedinger's cat   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I think there is a culture of drinking in our society, and htis is reflected in much of the church (probably quite rightly).

I know that when I have been out with others drinking, it is always possible to have non-alcoholic drinks, without censure. Which means it is possible to join in without actually drinking. FOr those who choose not to drink.

At the same time, someone who is a recovering alcoholic, or finds drinking environments problematic, there is an issue. There is the sherry after carols, and meeting socially for a drink in an evening, not to mention that things like beer festivals are often considered perfect times to meet socially and evangelise. And so many events at peoples homes involve drinks - my home group always used to have a bottle of wine for us.

Drink is such a fundamental part of our society, I don;t know how the church - or anyone else - should draw the line between engaging with the society and supporting or helping those for whom it is a challenge.

So Pomona - a good question, that I cannot find a good answer for.

--------------------
Blog
My books for your enjoyment
Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

Posts: 18361 | From: At the bottom of a deep dark well. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Pomona
Shipmate
# 17175

 - Posted      Profile for Pomona   Email Pomona   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
My point was more about how an excessive drinking culture harms outreach to teetotal groups (although in the UK Mormons aren't going to be one of those - you try getting Brits to join a religion where tea is prohibited) and that's just one area where it's harmful. Given that the groups being reached out to are likely to be marginalised in other ways (at least over here where religions which are teetotal are overwhelmingly non-white), I do think the non-teetotal group has a bit more responsibility here. After all, not drinking never harmed anyone. Sure all groups doing outreach should be sensitive, but I think insensitivity is more likely and more risky for the non-teetotal groups.

Also things may be different in the US where the same kind of pub culture doesn't really exist, but it's not uncommon for all or almost all socialising amongst the congregation in most UK churches to be in the pub. Now pubs do serve soft drinks, but there are many reasons why some teetotalers couldn't be in a pub (particularly those seeking help for alcoholism). The non-pub socialising tends to be for parents with babies and toddlers, and for old people. If you're a non-elderly adult socialising with other adults, being in the pub is the expectation. I think that expectation can be and often is harmful.

--------------------
Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

Posts: 5290 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Pomona wrote:

quote:
I echo lilBuddha's comment - if you need to drink, it's not really about socialising, it's about drink.
Too bad Jesus didn't think of that line at Cana. Coulda saved himself the trouble of a miracle!
That is your basis? So why aren't you lot high as balls during a service if alcohol is the point of that story?
And, are you saying that teetotal Christian sects are heretics?
Not to mention there is theological debate as to whether that was intended to be literal or allegorical.
Also, as only John mentions it, perhaps he had a drink problem to justify?

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 16330 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Pomona
Shipmate
# 17175

 - Posted      Profile for Pomona   Email Pomona   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Pomona wrote:

quote:
I echo lilBuddha's comment - if you need to drink, it's not really about socialising, it's about drink.
Too bad Jesus didn't think of that line at Cana. Coulda saved himself the trouble of a miracle!
But how is that relevant when the wine at Cana wasn't exactly equivalent to a modern wine? And it is just what was hygienic to drink then (along with drinks similar to kefir). That is not the case in the modern Western world.

Yes, as Leo says, there are usually soft drinks on offer as well as alcohol. But it's the pressured atmosphere of churches where drinking = fun and people who don't drink = not fun that does harm.

--------------------
Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

Posts: 5290 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged
Stetson
Shipmate
# 9597

 - Posted      Profile for Stetson     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
That is your basis? So why aren't you lot high as balls during a service if alcohol is the point of that story?
And, are you saying that teetotal Christian sects are heretics?

No, not that drinking is the point of the story, just that celebrants being disappointed that there is no more booze at the wedding would be open to the same charge of "If you have to drink, it's not really about socializing" that is being leveled at imbibing Christians here.

That said, if the wine at Cana was not intended to have any intoxicating purpose at all, but rather was simply fermented for hygienic purposes, I guess my point doesn't apply. I shall leave that historical point to others to discuss.

--------------------
I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

Posts: 6209 | From: back and forth between bible belts | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Pomona
Shipmate
# 17175

 - Posted      Profile for Pomona   Email Pomona   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
The 'have to' is the important bit there. It's not aimed at people having a drink or two because they want to, but at the idea that socialising and fun is impossible without alcohol.

Wine was necessary at Cana because it was one of the few drinks that was safe to drink. That is not the case in the modern West.

Edited to add that the wine would have been diluted - obviously any kind of wine or beer can be intoxicating, but it was a side effect of fermentation for hygienic reasons rather than the aim.

[ 18. July 2017, 17:49: Message edited by: Pomona ]

--------------------
Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

Posts: 5290 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged
Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

 - Posted      Profile for Boogie     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I'm a Methodist. I find a good and healthy attitude to alcohol at our Church. No alcohol is allowed on the premises but no one frowns on drinking and the minister is both allowed to drink in pubs etc and to have it in her house.

Plenty of my friends are tea Total and we have no trouble at all socialising together.

--------------------
Garden. Room. Walk

Posts: 12394 | From: Boogie Wonderland | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged
chris stiles
Shipmate
# 12641

 - Posted      Profile for chris stiles   Email chris stiles   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
But how is that relevant when the wine at Cana wasn't exactly equivalent to a modern wine? And it is just what was hygienic to drink then (along with drinks similar to kefir).

But evidently strong enough that getting drunk was fairly common practice as evinced by the stewards response

"Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk"

[As an aside, I think this is 'weakness of alcohol' argument doesn't hold much water. Having grown up in a very tee-total environment it's one of those things of particular irritation - drink the strength of beer is trivially easy to make. Strong drink was well known in the biblical world along with various ways of making it. And when I lived in the tropics we made our water hygienic by boiling it].

[So let's deal with things culturally - which may be a slight tangent]

So as I said, I grew up in a very tee-total environment, where the mere sniff of a drink was a sign of moral degeneration. Someone from that environment coming to the UK would have very quickly noticed the downsides of drink - but on the other hand their exposure to it would have been seeing people piling out of the pub at 11. They would have missed seeing the pub as a social nexus of sorts (as well the hinge on which English could perpetuate the species).

So yes, I could see why if you were trying to outreach to people from a culture that is tee-total you would perhaps have alcohol free events. Though unless all Christians everywhere stopped drinking ever, at some point they'd have to come to an accommodation with the idea, and unless they are first generation immigrants the chances are they already have, so in this context this rather feels like an attempt to invoke the mythical 'weaker brother'.

Posts: 3606 | From: Berkshire | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged
Nicolemr
Shipmate
# 28

 - Posted      Profile for Nicolemr   Author's homepage   Email Nicolemr   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I'm not teetotal, I drink moderately, but I don't generally enjoy being around people who have been drinking to drunkenness very much. A wedding or other special celebration is one thing, but if every get-together involves enough alcohol to get participants pie-eyed, I think there's a problem.

--------------------
On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!

Posts: 11578 | From: New York City "The City Carries On" | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Weaker alcohol drink wasn't because they couldn't make stronger or that they didn't make stronger. But that water wasn't safe and a weaker drink meant one could hydrate and remain functional.

And it isn't that Christians should all become teetotal.

If drink is necessary then there is a problem, not if drink is sometimes present.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 16330 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Leorning Cniht
Shipmate
# 17564

 - Posted      Profile for Leorning Cniht   Email Leorning Cniht   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
If you're a non-elderly adult socialising with other adults, being in the pub is the expectation. I think that expectation can be and often is harmful.

I can't speak for the pubs that you frequent, but when I lived in the UK, my normal social group included a couple of non-drinkers. We'd often go to the pub after some activity, and hang out and play pool. Some of us would drink.

Alcohol aside, pubs are warm, welcoming places with things to do (pool, darts, ...) What is the alternative? Where are the warm, welcoming, comfortable teetotal hang-out spaces for adults?

Church halls aren't comfortable. People's homes are too personal (and how many people have space anyway?) Cafes and coffee shops don't have anything to do. What kind of space are you proposing.

I like good beer. I also like good wine, although it fits a different kind of environment. I also enjoy a decent cup of tea, and happily hang out with people in some comfortable environment with a decent cup of tea. I'm not really interested in being offered juice, squash, or fizzy drinks.

Posts: 4578 | From: USA | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged
Pomona
Shipmate
# 17175

 - Posted      Profile for Pomona   Email Pomona   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
But how is that relevant when the wine at Cana wasn't exactly equivalent to a modern wine? And it is just what was hygienic to drink then (along with drinks similar to kefir).

But evidently strong enough that getting drunk was fairly common practice as evinced by the stewards response

"Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk"

[As an aside, I think this is 'weakness of alcohol' argument doesn't hold much water. Having grown up in a very tee-total environment it's one of those things of particular irritation - drink the strength of beer is trivially easy to make. Strong drink was well known in the biblical world along with various ways of making it. And when I lived in the tropics we made our water hygienic by boiling it].

[So let's deal with things culturally - which may be a slight tangent]

So as I said, I grew up in a very tee-total environment, where the mere sniff of a drink was a sign of moral degeneration. Someone from that environment coming to the UK would have very quickly noticed the downsides of drink - but on the other hand their exposure to it would have been seeing people piling out of the pub at 11. They would have missed seeing the pub as a social nexus of sorts (as well the hinge on which English could perpetuate the species).

So yes, I could see why if you were trying to outreach to people from a culture that is tee-total you would perhaps have alcohol free events. Though unless all Christians everywhere stopped drinking ever, at some point they'd have to come to an accommodation with the idea, and unless they are first generation immigrants the chances are they already have, so in this context this rather feels like an attempt to invoke the mythical 'weaker brother'.

I feel like this is all quite a distance from my original point, which was about people within the congregation struggling with a heavy drinking culture (for whatever reason). Outreach towards teetotal cultures is obviously affected in such a church, but more immediately there is the issue of excluding people who are already in the church.

My point is that pub as the default social nexus does a lot of harm in itself. The kind of church culture I'm drinking about isn't one of the odd pint, but one of a LOT of drink (and more along the gin/Dubonnet/sherry/champagne lines anyway) and alcohol being the default way to celebrate.

--------------------
Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

Posts: 5290 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged
Mere Nick
Shipmate
# 11827

 - Posted      Profile for Mere Nick     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
It seems lilBuddha has it about right.

This looks like a matter about which one should consider Romans 14. When it comes to drinks, I want either a strong hot cup of coffee or an ice cold beer. However, if a drink with alcohol is causing a problem with other people I'm around, for any of the reasons folks here have already listed and probably any other, it seems best if I just let it go. That's assuming a person is more important than beer. Likewise, if I am ordering a pizza for myself, it will have anchovies, jalapenos and garlic. If I'm picking it up for a group, some will have just cheese, and the others will have pepperoni. It seems only right for us all to be considerate of others and what is going on in their lives and how they view things. At congregation events, there will never be alcohol. If someone is the congregation is hosting an event and some folks from the congregation come, there might be alcohol. My wife and I had our 35th anniversary celebration at our Elks Lodge on the 9th. Some of the folks there were from church. That there was an open bar didn't seem to bother anyone and folks were free to do what they want. With the large group that was there and the bar tab being under $100, that tells me not everyone had drinks and those that did didn't over do it.

[ 18. July 2017, 19:37: Message edited by: Mere Nick ]

--------------------
"Well that's it, boys. I've been redeemed. The preacher's done warshed away all my sins and transgressions. It's the straight and narrow from here on out, and heaven everlasting's my reward."
Delmar O'Donnell

Posts: 2785 | From: West Carolina | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged
Pomona
Shipmate
# 17175

 - Posted      Profile for Pomona   Email Pomona   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
If you're a non-elderly adult socialising with other adults, being in the pub is the expectation. I think that expectation can be and often is harmful.

I can't speak for the pubs that you frequent, but when I lived in the UK, my normal social group included a couple of non-drinkers. We'd often go to the pub after some activity, and hang out and play pool. Some of us would drink.

Alcohol aside, pubs are warm, welcoming places with things to do (pool, darts, ...) What is the alternative? Where are the warm, welcoming, comfortable teetotal hang-out spaces for adults?

Church halls aren't comfortable. People's homes are too personal (and how many people have space anyway?) Cafes and coffee shops don't have anything to do. What kind of space are you proposing.

I like good beer. I also like good wine, although it fits a different kind of environment. I also enjoy a decent cup of tea, and happily hang out with people in some comfortable environment with a decent cup of tea. I'm not really interested in being offered juice, squash, or fizzy drinks.

The solution then is to make a warm, welcoming, comfortable teetotal hang-out spaces for adults. Sure, pubs serve soft drinks and are nice places to go - but presumably you are aware that many people with alcohol problems cannot be in a place that serves alcohol at all? They manage to socialise, but it also means those who don't need to totally avoid the serving of alcohol need to make the effort to go without in order to include them.

I don't know what cafes you frequent but I go to plenty with lots on (live music, board games, comedy nights etc). Entire cultures have socialising built around non-alcoholic drinks, usually forms of tea or coffee although not always. To boil cold soft drinks down to squash, juice or fizzy drinks is incredibly English [Biased] There are lots of fun soft drinks from other places - a gorgeous homemade Lebanese pomegranate lemonade, iced Moroccan mint tea, a delicious Pakistani falooda. Creativity is needed - I think a lot of 'we'll just go to the pub' comes from a lack of creativity.

--------------------
Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

Posts: 5290 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged
Mere Nick
Shipmate
# 11827

 - Posted      Profile for Mere Nick     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
a gorgeous homemade Lebanese pomegranate lemonade

That sounds like a really tasty drink.

--------------------
"Well that's it, boys. I've been redeemed. The preacher's done warshed away all my sins and transgressions. It's the straight and narrow from here on out, and heaven everlasting's my reward."
Delmar O'Donnell

Posts: 2785 | From: West Carolina | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged
Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

 - Posted      Profile for Lamb Chopped   Email Lamb Chopped   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
From years on the Ship I suspect this is more of a UK problem than it is in the US. We rarely drink and never have alcohol at church events, and nobody seems to think twice about it. Of course, that could just be the people I run with, but I doubt it. I know we do have a subculture that is all about alcohol, but that's just what it is--a subculture--and AFAIK most churches aren't signed up to it.

--------------------
Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 19855 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
cliffdweller
Shipmate
# 13338

 - Posted      Profile for cliffdweller     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
From years on the Ship I suspect this is more of a UK problem than it is in the US. We rarely drink and never have alcohol at church events, and nobody seems to think twice about it. Of course, that could just be the people I run with, but I doubt it. I know we do have a subculture that is all about alcohol, but that's just what it is--a subculture--and AFAIK most churches aren't signed up to it.

There's an old joke about a couple of church ladies going to lunch and being asked by waitstaff if they'd like to order a drink. Answer: "oh, none of us drinks in front of the others" pretty much covers US church culture in my experience.

--------------------
"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

Posts: 10802 | From: a small canyon overlooking the city | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

 - Posted      Profile for Brenda Clough   Author's homepage   Email Brenda Clough   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I used to assist at weddings at our church. We are a historical property and in constant demand. The most notable one I assisted at, the bride and her five bridesmaids were to dress at the church before the ceremony. To my horror, the process was lubricated by five different flasks of liquor, all the most horrid cordials you can imagine -- creme de menthe, Bailey's Irish Cream, and so on. The bridal party passed the bottles around and around.
By the time they marched down the aisle they were reeling, and I could easily foresee a truly drunken reception after. We shoved them through the rite before anyone vomited on the carpet, and what happened thereafter I am happy not to know about. After that, a church campus policy was mandated: no alcohol.

--------------------
Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

Posts: 5060 | From: Washington DC | Registered: Mar 2014  |  IP: Logged
Pomona
Shipmate
# 17175

 - Posted      Profile for Pomona   Email Pomona   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mere Nick:
quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
a gorgeous homemade Lebanese pomegranate lemonade

That sounds like a really tasty drink.
It is! There is a Lebanese chain in the UK which is expanding into more and more towns which does it. I am lucky enough to have a family-run Lebanese bakery and grill in my nearest major town that also does a lovely version - lots of interesting and tasty soft drinks come from majority-Muslim countries. I've also had a really nice orange blossom and grapefruit drink (grapefruit-ade?) and lots of mint lemonade.

Even outside Muslim-owned businesses this can be done - in a city at the other end of my county, there's a cafe that has a bar of fancy teas, several interesting soft drinks (green tea lemonade, orange and ginger fizz, strawberry mint limeade etc - all homemade), commercial craft sodas, a range of food including lighter snacks. All the kind of thing you might get in a cool gastropub or bar (well minus the tea) but just with interesting soft drinks rather than alcohol. It is extremely successful.

--------------------
Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

Posts: 5290 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged
Pomona
Shipmate
# 17175

 - Posted      Profile for Pomona   Email Pomona   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I used to assist at weddings at our church. We are a historical property and in constant demand. The most notable one I assisted at, the bride and her five bridesmaids were to dress at the church before the ceremony. To my horror, the process was lubricated by five different flasks of liquor, all the most horrid cordials you can imagine -- creme de menthe, Bailey's Irish Cream, and so on. The bridal party passed the bottles around and around.
By the time they marched down the aisle they were reeling, and I could easily foresee a truly drunken reception after. We shoved them through the rite before anyone vomited on the carpet, and what happened thereafter I am happy not to know about. After that, a church campus policy was mandated: no alcohol.

Was the bride Hercule Poirot? It reminds of Mad Men on the Kennedy/Nixon election night, where they fill the office water coolers with creme de Menthe.

Interestingly we'd call those liqueurs - a cordial here is a soft drink (usually made from fruit, cf Ribena) that is diluted with water before drinking.

--------------------
Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

Posts: 5290 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged
chris stiles
Shipmate
# 12641

 - Posted      Profile for chris stiles   Email chris stiles   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:

I feel like this is all quite a distance from my original point,

Yeah, but you were the one who brought up outreach towards teetotal cultures [and I suspect they may be uncomfortable about cultural differences beyond merely the amount drunk]

quote:

which was about people within the congregation struggling with a heavy drinking culture (for whatever reason).

Which doesn't sound like a good thing, and some ways away from your original post.

quote:
My point is that pub as the default social nexus does a lot of harm in itself. The kind of church culture I'm drinking about isn't one of the odd pint, but one of a LOT of drink (and more along the gin/Dubonnet/sherry/champagne lines anyway) and alcohol being the default way to celebrate.
That sounds less like a problem with pub culture, and just an issue with socially tolerated alcohol abuse.
Posts: 3606 | From: Berkshire | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged
Leorning Cniht
Shipmate
# 17564

 - Posted      Profile for Leorning Cniht   Email Leorning Cniht   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
The solution then is to make a warm, welcoming, comfortable teetotal hang-out spaces for adults.

Sure - but I don't think they exist. Pubs exist.

quote:
I don't know what cafes you frequent but I go to plenty with lots on (live music, board games, comedy nights etc).
None of those things really seem like aids to socialization to me. They are things to do - but going to a comedy night at a cafe seems more akin to spending an evening at the theatre than to hanging out socializing. YMMV.

Board games - sure, that could be a socialization aid, although most take quite a long time, so that the game is an evening's activity rather than a thing you can drop in and out of.

Something like backgammon would do fine an a socialization aid - of course, you can guess what kind of place I used to play backgammon in, can't you [Biased]

quote:
Entire cultures have socialising built around non-alcoholic drinks, usually forms of tea or coffee although not always.
Sure - but also useless. Because we're talking about the things that people in the UK can actually do. Places that actually exist in ordinary UK towns where adults can go and socialize without alcohol.

I agree that such places are theoretically possible, and I agree that they are likely to be common in other places. None of that helps the choir from St. Martin-by-the-Railway when they want to wind down for an hour after a practice.

quote:
To boil cold soft drinks down to squash, juice or fizzy drinks is incredibly English [Biased] There are lots of fun soft drinks from other places - a gorgeous homemade Lebanese pomegranate lemonade, iced Moroccan mint tea, a delicious Pakistani falooda. Creativity is needed - I think a lot of 'we'll just go to the pub' comes from a lack of creativity.
Yes, I'm sure I'm terribly English, but England is also rather English. What fraction of the population of England would you say lived or worshipped within walking distance of an establishment selling gorgeous homemade Lebanese pomegranate lemonade?
Posts: 4578 | From: USA | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged
Pomona
Shipmate
# 17175

 - Posted      Profile for Pomona   Email Pomona   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Chris Stiles - apologies, I thought my opening paragraph was talking about churches with a culture of heavy drinking rather than normal drinking.

Leorning - I live in a very ordinary part of the country. All of those kinds of places and drinks are easily accessible, in normal towns with normal people. I am literally half an hour by car (50 mins by public transport so very accessible) from a pomegranate lemonade in a very normal town in the Home Counties, not even a big city or a city at all.

All my local board game and comedy cafes are absolutely jam-packed, so clearly that kind of thing does appeal to many.

--------------------
Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

Posts: 5290 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged
Arethosemyfeet
Shipmate
# 17047

 - Posted      Profile for Arethosemyfeet   Email Arethosemyfeet   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
From years on the Ship I suspect this is more of a UK problem than it is in the US. We rarely drink and never have alcohol at church events, and nobody seems to think twice about it. Of course, that could just be the people I run with, but I doubt it. I know we do have a subculture that is all about alcohol, but that's just what it is--a subculture--and AFAIK most churches aren't signed up to it.

The church out here is a dry oasis in an alcoholic cultural desert (if I may invert my metaphors). We have a fair few recovering and not-yet-recovering alcoholics so alcohol is strictly off the menu, even in the communion "wine".
Posts: 2741 | From: Hebrides | Registered: Apr 2012  |  IP: Logged
cliffdweller
Shipmate
# 13338

 - Posted      Profile for cliffdweller     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
The solution then is to make a warm, welcoming, comfortable teetotal hang-out spaces for adults.

Sure - but I don't think they exist. Pubs exist.


quote:
Entire cultures have socialising built around non-alcoholic drinks, usually forms of tea or coffee although not always.
Sure - but also useless. Because we're talking about the things that people in the UK can actually do. Places that actually exist in ordinary UK towns where adults can go and socialize without alcohol.

There are no Starbucks in the UK???

--------------------
"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

Posts: 10802 | From: a small canyon overlooking the city | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
Gamaliel
Shipmate
# 812

 - Posted      Profile for Gamaliel   Author's homepage   Email Gamaliel   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Of course, but we've got a very pubby culture.

Some church cultures are more bibulous than others, notably the Higher End with its gin and lace.

I wouldn't have thought it was that excessive in most instances, though - although it's all relative. We've probably got a more boozy culture than the US and most of mainland Europe, for all the wine drinking that goes on in France and Italy etc.

You'll find a fair bit of wine and socialising over a few pints even in evangelical circles here.

Again, it's all relative.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

Posts: 15237 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

 - Posted      Profile for Lamb Chopped   Email Lamb Chopped   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
From years on the Ship I suspect this is more of a UK problem than it is in the US. We rarely drink and never have alcohol at church events, and nobody seems to think twice about it. Of course, that could just be the people I run with, but I doubt it. I know we do have a subculture that is all about alcohol, but that's just what it is--a subculture--and AFAIK most churches aren't signed up to it.

There's an old joke about a couple of church ladies going to lunch and being asked by waitstaff if they'd like to order a drink. Answer: "oh, none of us drinks in front of the others" pretty much covers US church culture in my experience.
Maybe US evangelical or Baptist culture--Lutherans happily drink in front of the rest of us, and I'm sure that goes for my Catholic and Episcopalian friends. We just hear more about the non-drinkers. But still, my experience of the drinking churches (!) is that we still don't make alcohol the centerpiece of our socializing. It's often absent and when it's present, it's lowkey. Does anybody have a different experience in the U.S.?

--------------------
Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 19855 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

 - Posted      Profile for Moo   Email Moo   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
At my church we have Evensong a few times a year with a reception afterwards. At the reception people are offered their choice of fruit punch or (several varieties of) wine.

I don't notice what anyone else drinks.

Moo

--------------------
Kerygmania host
---------------------
See you later, alligator.

Posts: 20033 | From: Alleghany Mountains of Virginia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
moonlitdoor
Shipmate
# 11707

 - Posted      Profile for moonlitdoor   Email moonlitdoor   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I am interested to know how widespread churches such as Pomona describes are. I have only been to 4 churches medium or long term as an adult, but none was remotely like that. My current church is motr towards light Catholic C of E. Admittedly I am not especially sociable but I go to a fortnightly home group. I doubt if any of the other members know whether I drink or not. I can't remember the topic ever coming up in conversation, and that's not because we only ever talk about the bible or spiritual things.

--------------------
We've evolved to being strange monkeys, but in the next life he'll help us be something more worthwhile - Gwai

Posts: 2196 | From: london | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged
rolyn
Shipmate
# 16840

 - Posted      Profile for rolyn         Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
My experience of alcohol and CofE is mulled wine at Advent and wine on occasions in an after-worship get together. Pleasant enough for those who enjoy a drink and not in the least bit pressurised to those who don't.

Wine and Wisdom evenings in aid of Church funds is the nearest thing you'll see to a boozy do.
I agree that if you have to go down the road of using booze to attract new members then the plot has been lost anyway.

--------------------
Change is the only certainty of existence

Posts: 2976 | From: U.K. | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

 - Posted      Profile for Brenda Clough   Author's homepage   Email Brenda Clough   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Here in DC there's a priest (I think he's a Jesuit, a prof at Georgetown U) who's been doing meetups in pubs and bars. They are very popular, and certainly you get a segment of inquirers that you don't get at Alpha.

--------------------
Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

Posts: 5060 | From: Washington DC | Registered: Mar 2014  |  IP: Logged
Rowen
Shipmate
# 1194

 - Posted      Profile for Rowen   Email Rowen   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
In Australia, in most Protestant churches, you would be most unlikely to socialise, with church folk, in a pub. Cafe, yes. Home yes...
Drinking is either frowned upon or accepted but not discussed.
In the Uniting Church, no alcohol is allowed in some states, in churches at all, apart for communion. My home state of Queensland was like that. Here, in Victoria, occasional bottles of wine are found at church celebrations.
Many members don't drink, and no one cares. Some folk do, and no one seems to care, although drunkeness has been condemned in Synod meetings across the nation. My parishioners have always known I drink alcohol. I grew up before the Uniting Church, in a Presbyterian home... I might order it at a church dinner in a restaurant, I might drink it at home, and they must see the bottles. I drink very little. But we just don't talk about it.
At church events, if there is no alcohol, who cares. Ditto, if there is. So, visitors or interfaith folk would probably feel right at home... At least I have never seen any kerfuffle as parish minister.
Socialising in my country town now? The good local and unlicensed cafe. Private homes, often mine. The pub restaurant. We worry more about good food and being warm.... It IS mid-winter after all.

[ 18. July 2017, 22:24: Message edited by: Rowen ]

Posts: 4892 | From: Somewhere cold in Victoria, Australia | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
# 2832

 - Posted      Profile for Twilight     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I grew up Methodist, and Presbyterian, a few years ago switched to Lutheran which has just, very recently combined services with an Episcopalian church.

My son went with me last week and came home rather upset, because he had, had a sip of the communion wine and realized it actually was wine and not the grape juice he had always expected in church.

This matters to him. He gave up alcohol twenty years ago after it caused him a lot of trouble and the taste of it sort of triggered him and made him feel like he had broken a serious promise to himself. I felt bad for not thinking of it and warning him.

It's a small thing to the majority, but to some people it's a big enough deal to keep them from church altogether, so that's kind of a sad thing.

Posts: 6562 | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Kaplan Corday
Shipmate
# 16119

 - Posted      Profile for Kaplan Corday         Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I am aware of the really serious issues surrounding alcohol (my father was an alcoholic), so I don't want to trivialise this discussion.

At the same time, I find the various points being brought up (eg the significance of the wedding at Cana) are a real nostalgia trip, taking me back decades to when the questions of alcohol consumption and teetotalism were earnestly canvassed within my evangelical milieu, particularly by "the young people".

Like Rowen, I live in Victoria, and the topic these days, in my experience, has become a dead horse among the evangelical and other Christians whom I know here, with everyone pretty much everyone accepting one another's different positions without needing to impose their own.

I grew up in the fifties and sixties in the strictly teetotal Methodists (now absorbed by the Uniting Church) and then joined the also teetotal Brethren (who, oddly enough, then used alcohol for the Lord's Supper, but have since switched to grape juice) and now enjoy a regular glass of red (I can't drink beer because I am coeliac).

[ 18. July 2017, 23:46: Message edited by: Kaplan Corday ]

Posts: 3163 | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged
Nick Tamen

Ship's Wayfaring Fool
# 15164

 - Posted      Profile for Nick Tamen     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
I know similar levels of drinking happens in other churches too, for instance Roman Catholicism in many areas and the more conservative and Albaphilic Presbyterian/Reformed churches in the US.

That last part would surprise me a great deal. I've never heard of an American Presbyterian church that allowed alcohol to be served on church property.

quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
But still, my experience of the drinking churches (!) is that we still don't make alcohol the centerpiece of our socializing. It's often absent and when it's present, it's lowkey. Does anybody have a different experience in the U.S.?

I don't. That's definitely my experience.

Now coffee, on the other hand . . . .

--------------------
The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

Posts: 2391 | From: On heaven-crammed earth | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged
anoesis
Shipmate
# 14189

 - Posted      Profile for anoesis   Email anoesis   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
My point was more about how an excessive drinking culture harms outreach to teetotal groups

In my view, this is a bit of a value judgement. Would you care to specify what level of drinking would not be excessive? I mean, to certain teetotal groups, any drinking is excessive - indeed, alcohol is a sort of symbol of excess. It seems, though, from what you've said, that your own teetotalling has a different source. The problem is that these things are all relative. Myself and my husband drink at a level which is probably (quietly) considered excessive by members of his extended family - but they're baptists, and his parents are the first generation to drink anything at all. Whereas amongst friends and colleagues our drinking wouldn't be considered at all unreasonable - probably down the lower end. Who gets to say what's what? Also, it sounds from what you've said like you have plenty of places and opportunities for non-alcoholic socialising within easy reach. Why do the folk from your church hang out at the pub instead? Seems to me there's two possible reasons. One is, that's what they like - in which case, you probably have to shrug and move on. The other could be that the pub is, as others have suggested, kind of the default. In which case, why not try to organise some activities to take place elsewhere and see if you can't broaden their horizons?

--------------------
The history of humanity give one little hope that strength left to its own devices won't be abused. Indeed, it gives one little ground to think that strength would continue to exist if it were not abused. -- Dafyd --

Posts: 919 | From: New Zealand | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged
cliffdweller
Shipmate
# 13338

 - Posted      Profile for cliffdweller     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
I know similar levels of drinking happens in other churches too, for instance Roman Catholicism in many areas and the more conservative and Albaphilic Presbyterian/Reformed churches in the US.

That last part would surprise me a great deal. I've never heard of an American Presbyterian church that allowed alcohol to be served on church property.

quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
But still, my experience of the drinking churches (!) is that we still don't make alcohol the centerpiece of our socializing. It's often absent and when it's present, it's lowkey. Does anybody have a different experience in the U.S.?

I don't. That's definitely my experience.

Now coffee, on the other hand . . . .

Coffee is the third sacrament in Reformed churches...

In my church I'm not allowed to put alcohol on the church credit card so if we were to serve alcohol for some church-wide event I'd have to foot the bill personally. Which has happened for smaller gatherings.

--------------------
"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

Posts: 10802 | From: a small canyon overlooking the city | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
Leorning Cniht
Shipmate
# 17564

 - Posted      Profile for Leorning Cniht   Email Leorning Cniht   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
I am literally half an hour by car (50 mins by public transport so very accessible) from a pomegranate lemonade in a very normal town in the Home Counties, not even a big city or a city at all.

How many people do you know who spend half an hour in the car (or 50 mins by public transport) to get to the pub? I'll certainly do that if that's where my friends are, but if my friends and I are all here, we're not spending best part of an hour on the bus to get to the pub, because there will be plenty of reasonable pubs much closer.

And I'd need a lot of persuasion to consider it worth my while to spend an hour on the bus for a glass of pomegranate lemonade (which sounds suspiciously like a fizzy drink to me [Biased] ) It just doesn't seem like a destination activity.

quote:
All my local board game and comedy cafes are absolutely jam-packed, so clearly that kind of thing does appeal to many.
I'm not saying that they don't appeal - I'm saying that they're not aids to socialization.

I think we're talking about different things. You're talking about evening destinations - sure, people travel an hour to go to the theatre, or the comedy club, or whatever. I'm talking about everybody going down the pub after the choir rehearsal, or the day spent weeding the churchyard, or whatever.

(Cliffdweller: yes, of course there are cafes and coffee shops in the UK, some of which are Starbucks. But they don't have any socialization aids. They have tables, and coffee, and pastries.

Pubs have dart boards, pool tables, juke boxes, and other things to do to alleviate the social pressure.)

Posts: 4578 | From: USA | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged
cliffdweller
Shipmate
# 13338

 - Posted      Profile for cliffdweller     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Darts are "socialization sids" but board games are not??? Sez who?

--------------------
"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

Posts: 10802 | From: a small canyon overlooking the city | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
Leorning Cniht
Shipmate
# 17564

 - Posted      Profile for Leorning Cniht   Email Leorning Cniht   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Darts are "socialization sids" but board games are not??? Sez who?

Most cafes do not have board games.

Most board games take quite some time to play.

Certainly they aid socialization, but they're mostly not something you can just dip in to. Spend an hour or two playing a board game with some people? Sure, sounds like fun, if it's a decent game. If it takes you an hour to play a game of pool or darts, you're really quite astonishingly bad.

Posts: 4578 | From: USA | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged
Galloping Granny
Shipmate
# 13814

 - Posted      Profile for Galloping Granny   Email Galloping Granny   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
In my childhood and youth (I'm 85) I was taught that Presbyterians Did Not Drink (or gamble – this included raffle tickets, but we'd give a donation instead, which floored the sellers). Drink was basically beer, wine hadn't reached the masses. We knew that Catholics drank; they also played tennis on Sunday or even went to Mass on Saturday evening so that they could enjoy worldly pursuits while we were at church.
At Uni I was in the SCM, and have memories of a ball at which all our lot were teetotal; at the end of the evening we were charging along the cloisters singing the Marseillaise at the tops of our voices and passing drunken colleagues who'd collapsed in sad little heaps. Was that the evening when we were taken aback to find a friend dancing who'd been known to denounce it as Sinfu? He'd concluded that it was okay because David danced before the Ark (but didn't David thus make an ass of himself?)
I was thirtyish before I tried wine at a fellow Presbyterian's dinner and okayed it.
In my present congregation, where I've belonged for half a century, we still have grape juice for communion, but I can think of only one couple, older than me, who would be upset if we substituted a good port. I don't know what they do when we visit the Anglicans; maybe they stay in their seats. Gradually over the years wine and juice have both become equally available at church functions.
If the church hall is hired as a venue, eg wedding reception, wine may be served but not beer or spirits.
I still don't buy raffle tickets.

GG

--------------------
The Kingdom of Heaven is spread upon the earth, and men do not see it. Gospel of Thomas, 113

Posts: 2566 | From: Matarangi | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged
Al Eluia

Inquisitor
# 864

 - Posted      Profile for Al Eluia   Email Al Eluia   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
Yes, as Leo says, there are usually soft drinks on offer as well as alcohol. But it's the pressured atmosphere of churches where drinking = fun and people who don't drink = not fun that does harm.

That's why our TEC diocese has a guideline for congregations that, when they serve alcohol at functions, non-alcoholic alternatives should be offered with equal dignity (I forget the exact wording).

Since a couple posts mentioned the Mormons, I recalled that Mitt Romney did his mission work in France. I cannot imagine many French people ever being persuaded to join a religion that forbids drinking wine.

[ 19. July 2017, 05:06: Message edited by: Al Eluia ]

--------------------
An omer is a tenth of an ephah. (Exodus 16:36)

Posts: 1141 | From: Seattle | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged



Pages in this thread: 1  2  3  4  5 
 
Post new thread  Post a reply Close thread   Feature thread   Move thread   Delete thread Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
 - Printer-friendly view
Go to:

Contact us | Ship of Fools | Privacy statement

© Ship of Fools 2016

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.5.0

 
Check out Reform magazine
sip of fools mugs from your favourite nautical website
 
  ship of fools