In Seattle we already have the swearing pastor Mark Driscoll and the New Age Metaphysical pastor Rodney Romney…..this is embarrassing enough I thought….. but no…..now we also have this.

Pastors at a Renton ministry have found a new calling behind the bar.

Turning water into wine is almost as surprising as turning pastors into bartenders.

“If you say, ‘Hey, did you hear that those Lutherans are serving beer down there in Renton?’ All of a sudden, people go, ‘Really? Really? Great!’ And a window is opened that was never opened before,” said Gretchen Mertes.

Mertus is among the Lutheran pastors called to serve – beer and wine, that is – at Luther’s Table.

“They didn’t train me to do this in seminary, I tell you what,” she said.

The new café isn’t limited to Lutherans, but it’s run by the Outreach Ministry of St. Matthews Church. The idea is to provide a caring gathering place where people can share chardonnay and gripes.

“So you got laid off. You’re in good company,” said Mertus.

The cafe is the brainchild of Mertus, who left her clerical collar at home but not her purple Converse shoes.

“I marry and bury — weddings and funerals, baptisms and preach,” she said.

When you belly up to the bar at Luther’s Table, you won’t find a Bible.

 “oh, heavens, no,” said Bishop Chris Boerger.

There are just brews and pews.

“This is a place for the church to be, not arm-twist,” Boerger said.

The ministry sees Luther’s Table as a way to carry on Martin Luther’s tradition of reflecting on studies with students over food and beer.

“Luther would have rejoiced over it,” the bishop said.

The pastors not only have tradition on their side, but also a stained glass Jesus from the old Renton Lutheran Church watching over them.

“We love to say that he’s ordering two beers, please,” said Mertus.

Luther’s Table is holding its grand opening this coming Saturday with live music, kids’ activities and giveaways.

Money raised at the restaurant is put toward developing the ministry.