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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Chris Thompson’s email: churchvisits@gmail.com

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: Easter asks for our joy, not our spending - 4/19/2014 1:17 pm

Church Visits: What do millennials look for in worship? - 4/11/2014 10:29 pm

Church Visits: Visits to 2 churches leave 2 different impressions - 4/4/2014 9:19 pm

Church Visits: Research underscores deeper church attendance issues - 3/28/2014 9:19 pm

Church Visits: It's time we get back to observing the Sabbath - 3/21/2014 8:30 pm

Church Visits: Look deeper into Lent than just 'give-ups' - 3/14/2014 10:37 pm

First Congregational Church Revisit: Not Bad - Room to Grow - 3/14/2014 11:23 am

Church Visits: Pastors mark start of Lent by taking ashes to the people - 3/8/2014 10:56 am

Intentions - Keeping the Season of Lent

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During my St. Mark's visit on Ash Wednesday, I was attracted to an idea they were promoting to individuals or families in their congregation. Several areas of the nave contained a "Tree of Intentions", a bare branched tree where one could fill out a small tag naming an intention for Lent, and then tying it to the tree.

These are some of the suggested intentions St. Mark's offered on a leaflet.

* Volunteer at a local food bank or meal program part of one day per week.

* Research and purchase more "in season" local produce.

* Each week in Lent write and mail one letter to a friend.

* Practice sitting in silence or meditation for 10-15 minutes each day.

* Each week in Lent write and mail one letter to a friend.

* Pray one part (Morning, Noon, or Evening) of the Daily office http://www.missionstclare.com/english

* Pray for all who lack clean water and must spend several hours each day carrying unclean water home to drink.

Lent is a beautiful time for reflection and renewal leading into Easter.

The full list from St Marks is attached below.



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St Marks Intentions List.pdf117.74 KB

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