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Beer tasting to be prize for Episcopal Relief fundraiser

Beer tasting to be prize for Episcopal Relief fundraiser

President of the House of Deputies Gay Jennings and the The House of Deputies Episcopal Relief & Development 75th Anniversary Steering Committee are encouraging Deputations to raise funds to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Episcopal Relief and Development. The prize for the Deputation that raises the most money is a Beer Tasting in Salt Lake City during General Convention.

I wonder, good fun or bad idea? Does this perpetuate the stereotype of the Episcopal Church or trying to show that we drink responsibly. What “equally attractive alternative beverage” is being offered? (according to our resolutions?)

Feast of the Epiphany
January 6, 2015

Dear General Convention 2015 Deputies and Alternates:

In November, House of Deputies President Gay Clark Jennings wrote to you with news of a deputy-led campaign in celebration of Episcopal Relief & Development’s 75th anniversary. Today, with great hope and excitement, we are kicking off that effort. Our goal is to raise $75,000 between today, the Feast of the Epiphany, and the end of General Convention 2015. We are writing to invite you and your deputation to participate in this joyful effort, which we are calling “Deputies Helping to Heal a Hurting World.”

Below you will find all the information you will need to participate. If each deputy and alternate personally donates (or raises) $100, we will more than meet our goal.

Join the Fun!

How your deputation participates in this campaign is up to you, and the sky is the limit.

Just to sweeten the pot, here is an incentive: Deputy William Miller of the Diocese of Hawaii, author of The Beer Drinker’s Guide to God,” will host a beer tasting at the Beer Hive Pub in Salt Lake City during General Convention for the deputation that raises the most money in the campaign. The winning deputation will be announced during the first legislative day of the House of Deputies at General Convention.

Read the whole letter here.


posted by Ann Fontaine


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Timothy Fountain

Yesterday’s Epistle from I Corinthians 8 provides wisdom, “We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.”

Most dioceses reflect this approach in their alcohol policy, in which non-alcoholic beverages are prominently featured and alcohol consumption is not central to an event. We are not prohibited from drinking alcoholic beverages, but as in all things we must consider our neighbor.

Church events here in South Dakota are especially sensitive to this, given the harm to the Dakota/Nakota/Lakota people that came with the introduction of alcohol in this region.

H. Lee Angus

I understand that the Committee didn’t want to reject the beer-tasting offer harshly, but some common sense and good taste should have prevailed and another prize should have been suggested. Since it wasn’t, I hope the committee people will at least supply additional, non-liquor prizes to moderate the bad impression. There’s nothing wrong with someone having a beer or any other liquor in moderation, but we don’t need to set up occasions in which alcohol is presented as an enticing reward for doing what, in fact, we Christians should be glad to do anyway.

As for Heather Cook, she truly has an opportunity to make the rest of her life right, if she wants to take it. Nothing can make up for the horrible crime she committed, or bring back that innocent and good man she killed. But I’ve been in the 12-step programs (Al-Anon for me) many years, and I’ve seen people build up truly good, solid, useful lives from alcoholic disaster almost as terrible as this. More than one person in my open AA meetings tell frankly and even gladly of their criminal past, their stretches in prison, and their alienation from families and friends in their alcoholic days.

Their strength and support now, as sober clean citizens, are inspirations to us all. The Big Book of AA states, “No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.” I’ve not only seen this happen, I’ve been grateful to see such positive things come out of my own experiences.

And AA is not the only path to sobriety, I’m sure. There are probably many ways to recover, if a person is “willing to go to any lengths” to find them. I hope Ms. Cook recovers; she can have a good and truly worthwhile life if she wants it.

Randall Stewart

We do not have to change into Methodists (not that I don’t really like Methodists!) to recognize this is an insanely poor idea right now.

Philip B. Spivey

Tin ears and blinders mar this fundraising event. And perhaps that’s the biggest hurdle we face as a church in matters of imbibing.

There’s a wish to believe that Heather Cook’s case is an anomaly. DUIs and DWIs are epidemic throughout the country. Just ask Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

I can’t say what the statistics are today, but when I worked at a city hospital a number of years ago, I was informed that close to 50% of hospital admissions were ALCOHOL-related; not heroin, not crack, not meth, but alcohol.

Heather Cook, like many problem drinkers, has been stymied (and brought down) by a profound denial of the nature of the disease. The church stands along side her in that denial when it it dog whistles alcohol-for-a-good-cause.

I am not suggesting we reinstate prohibition. I am suggesting that we view drinking as much more than a good time for some folks. I am recommending that we view alcohol as a potentially lethal drug that, in hands of some, is uncontrollable. These folks need our assistance and our prayers, sooner rather than later.

What does the church need? A church-wide workshop (along the lines of Anti-Racism and Safe Church) on the signs and symptoms of alcohol (and other drug) dependency.

Pam Darling

The timing of this is spectacularly bad. Perhaps this plan was developed before the terrible events in Maryland. Even so, it appears almost pointedly insulting to our mostly Mormon hosts in Salt Lake City.
It is a generous gesture by the Deputy from Hawaii, but I hope the committee can come up with another incentive.

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