Church Visits

Visiting Churches: Chris Thompson (stainedglass) is an amateur Alaskan biblical scholar and student of religion, especially as it relates to popular culture. He regularly attends national and regional American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature events to interact with and learn from worldwide religion scholars. Through unannounced mystery visits to churches in Anchorage and South-Central Alaska, he observes how guests (visitors) are treated during this initial church visit. Research indicates guests first visit perceptions affects further spiritual growth and religious attitudes as they search for a church home. Chris' church visits focus primarily on Christian churches. This blog contains accounts of those visits, and related posts about religion in culture. Chris looks for the following in his visits:

•Genuine welcome, true Christian hospitality

•Friendliness and warmth

•Effective, well-delivered, Bible-based, main teaching

•Music deepening the worship, not just entertainment

Google map of churches Chris Thompson has visited.

Follow my Church Visits posts on Twitter

Chris Thompson’s email:

Significant 2013 Church Visits Posts

Top Ten Issues Local Churches Must Address in 2013

Ten Things Churches Did That Blew Me Away In 2012

Guest Post: Why Theology Matters to Musicians

Church Visits: What's it like visiting a church with a guest-friendly service? - 7/5/2014 2:08 pm

Church Visits: 10 excuses people give for not attending church - 6/28/2014 11:21 am

Church Visits: Religious pluralism in Alaska here to stay - 6/21/2014 8:28 am

Church Visits: Welcoming churches can reverse attendance slump - 6/14/2014 9:21 am

Crosspoint Community Church Revisit – May 11, 2014 - 6/13/2014 1:44 pm

Church Visits: 5 easy ways to increase your biblical literacy - 6/7/2014 5:23 pm

Church Visits: Cardinal Dolan discusses the pastoral challenges facing Pope Francis - 5/31/2014 1:07 pm

Beast Feast: Great Food and Conversation - 5/30/2014 10:10 pm

Vivaldi's Gloria - St. John UMC - Sunday 7 p.m. - Don't Miss It!

Follow my church visit activity at

Karen Horton, Choir Director and Organist of St. John UMC has prepared an Advent treat for the Anchorage community this coming Sunday, December 9 @ 7 p.m.

The St. John Choir has been practicing the Vivaldi Gloria (RV 589) for months. This baroque religious musical piece is one of the best known and well loved choral/chamber orchestra pieces in the world. Karen is retiring from her music roles at St. John at the end of this month. Come celebrate with the choir as she moves into her last few weeks concluding a successful and inspired tenure with St. John UMC.Antonio VivaldiAntonio Vivaldi

Horton's choir performed this work four years ago which I commented upon in this blog post. Using the terms Musical Fireworks!!!, I was very impressed with this presentation of the Gloria.

The Gloria has the following movements, and is performed in less than an hour.

Gloria in excelsis Deo (Chorus)
Et in terra pax (Chorus)
Laudamus te (Sopranos I and II)
Gratias agimus tibi (Chorus)
Propter magnam gloriam (Chorus)
Domine Deus (Soprano)
Domine, Fili unigenite (Chorus)
Domine Deus, Agnus Dei (Contralto and Chorus)
Qui tollis peccata mundi (Chorus)
Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris (Contralto)
Quoniam tu solus sanctus (Chorus)
Cum Sancto Spiritu (Chorus)

Click here to hear sound samples of each of these movements.

Also being performed are a number of choral pieces for the Advent season. This is the concert of the season and it's free! A concert flyer is attached for download, below.

ChristmasGloriasFlyer.pdf264.54 KB

Anchorage Daily News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service