A Fort Collins Pastor’s Distillery Is Having its Grand Opening This Weekend
And his name is Hans Breuer!!
Before I go further: If you are atheist, agnostic, wiccan, Buddhist, or religious, this is not me trying to persuade you in any way, but simply giving my experience and telling you where to find this distillery!
In fact, here's the skinny on the distillery, because that might be the only reason you are here: According to the Coloradoan, Breuer is having his open house at Big Fat Pastor Spirits today (Saturday, 3/11/17) til 6 o'clock. It's at 6754 N. Franklin Ave. in Loveland.
Now, since we're this far, here's a little about what makes the Vineyard different. I write this out of shear admiration and gratitude.
I know, because I have actually been in cahoots with Vineyard Church of the Rockies since the early 2000s. Hans is a man's man. He has led the church's annual "Band of Brothers" mission, where a group of guys take a trip to Canada & do some canoeing, and learn all about leaning on each other for survival.
Although I have made friends with many at the Vineyard, including the lead pastor Rick Olmstead, I have never known Hans super well, as he keeps a bit to himself, but tends to work very hard behind the scenes. He was integral in the trip that I took to New Orleans in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina. A bunch of us headed down there with pick axes and lots of other tools, to do a lot of the necessary cleanup in homes that had been flooded. These homes all had to be gutted and cleaned out. Sometimes, the owners stood in their driveways as we lopped their damaged belongings out into the front yard. I can't imagine how hard that would be if that were my sentimental belongings!
If it weren't for this place, I wouldn't attend any places on Sunday. I tried many others, and I found them all weird and completely disconnected, and I think that's just so sad. The last place I went to in Fort Collins had a snotty old guy at the door every week who would judge me for not showing up earlier and for driving a Japanese car. Then I'd go inside and hear about their political beliefs - all things that obviously have nothing to do with one's spiritual health. The Vineyard used to have business cards that said "Church for people who don't do church." And we live up to that. The philosophy is that religion is man-made and offers a set of rules that no one can really live up to, where spirituality offers a relationship that we all naturally desire at some level. We don't care how anyone dresses, we simply use the written word to inspire your life where you stand today, and we honestly have fun doing it. A lot of people try it out, bringing their baggage from religion, addiction, divorce, abortion, sick relationships, and all the rest of it. The mantra there is "Come as you are... but don't stay as you are." Another words, embrace the journey that has been set forth for your life!
Since you like alternative rock, you might like the Engage version of what they do, which is their Sunday evening gathering. I haven't gone to that for a very long time, but when I was a single guy, it was exactly what I needed: harder music that is positive and other young adults to talk to.
Some other cool things I've gotten to do being a part of this family: Deliver complete Thanksgiving dinners to the under-resourced, and serve hot breakfast burritos & coffee to homeless people at Jefferson Park - something called "Raven's Cafe," which happens the first Saturday morning of every month, and has as far back as I can remember. I'm trying to find out where we are doing this now, as obviously Jefferson Park isn't a haven for the homeless community anymore.
Everything I have personally applied from the Vineyard has improved my life. I started there as a lonely person. No surprise, I got into a bad relationship, and they tried to help us along, until it was just me again, then they helped me move on from that. Never once did I feel the slightest bit judged, as they know we are all messed up in some way. Eventually I met my wife, and now she and my three girls consider this place their home on Sundays, and sometimes more often than that. Sometimes, we'll want to skip a Sunday, but the girls beg us to go! To me, this is how it should be everywhere.
One other thing that is a huge point of contention is giving money to the church. Well, who can blame a person for questioning that. At the Vineyard, they are full disclosure in how they spend their dollars. A lot of it goes to Convoy of Hope. The floods in Louisiana? The latest disaster in Southern California? Convoy is there, handing out supplies for survival. How can you argue with a cause like that?! A personal goal of mine is to start giving more money to Convoy of Hope.
My hope is that you have your "Vineyard," whatever that looks like for you.
Now - back to playing killer music and making fart noises on the air.