Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A rabbi, a priest and a United Methodist pastor walk into a bar…
It sounds suspect, but it wasn’t a joke, but a community event. Rev. Matt Miofsky of the The Gathering UMC accompanied Fr. Gary Braun and Rabbi Andy Kastner and joined Tom Schafly in the “Blessing of the Bar” when Schlafly Brewery opened its new pavilion in St. Louis earlier this summer.
The Schlafly Tap Room first opened its doors in 1991 and holds the distinction of being the first new brewpub in Missouri since Prohibition. Housed in a restored wood and brick building on the National Historic Register, The Schlafly Tap Room enjoys a reputation as a casual, earthy place to drink, dine, listen to live music or host a special event.
Rabbi Kastner mentioned it was fitting that the celebration was on Saturday, the Sabbath. But he said some people of his faith have misgivings about consuming alcohol.
“My grandmother always said that Jews never drink, because we don’t want to dull the pain,” he said. He then quoted another rabbi as saying, “When you drink too much, out come the secrets.”
Fr. Gary Braun prayed for the patio to be a place of eternal hospitality and for all who work there, and all their hard work, be a place of blessing.
Miofsky explained how the church he serves, The Gathering, actually came to fruition at Schlafly’s when he was a student at Washington University.
“When I started this church six years ago as a student at Wash U, I was missing a key ingredient: people,” Miofsky said. “This became a staging ground. This was sort of a birth place of my church. A bar can be a place where people go to escape life, or where they go to find life. This is a place where I found life. It’s a place where relationships were born. That shaped my life. Bless this place to be a place where people don’t come to escape life, but to find it.”