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.

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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

Shrove Tuesday…Already?

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We’ve made it through Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, and all of a sudden, we’re on the cusp of Lent. Sunday was the last Sunday after Epiphany and now we are on the verge of entering Lent with Ash Wednesday being tomorrow.

Just before Lent, there is Shrove Tuesday which is generally observed as a pancake supper. I suppose it’s our poor man’s version of Mardi Gras. These kinds of activities are good ways to see how friendly churches really are.

A Google search using the search terms “shrove Tuesday anchorage 2013” revealed only three churches in the Anchorage area offering Shrove Tuesday pancake suppers. These were the only Anchorage churches noted on the first three pages of a Google search. Most people would never look go further down in a search than looking at the first three pages. The churches I found are:

St. John UMC
Christ Church Episcopal
St. Mark Lutheran

Churches that don't do a great job of keeping the public informed about their doings generally won't make this list. For example, if the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper is only in their bulletin, but not on their website, it won't be seen by the general public on Google.

For history and background of Shrove Tuesday click here for a link to Wikipedia.

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