The Year of Fifty Different Churches: Time to “Ask the Thoughtful Pastor”

A Year in Summary In the last year, I attended worship services in more than 50 different places. They ranged from a Spanish Roman Catholic service in Costa Rica, to a New York City Reform Jewish service sung primarily in … Continue reading The Year of Fifty Different Churches: Time to “Ask the Thoughtful Pastor”

Mystery Worships: Unitarian Universalists and Seventh Day Adventists

One week I visited a Unitarian Universalist gathering. The next week I went to a Seventh Day Adventist church. The descriptions of the two churches are below the general comments. Further commentary may be found here. General Comments Similarities: both have seriously aging facilities, limited parking, little street visibility, mixed aged congregations, quite a few children involved and financial issues. Differences: One has essentially no doctrine or boundaries and can pretty well include everything as a “sacred” text. The other has an extraordinarily distinctively doctrinal base. It is so counter-cultural that they have to form even their own equivalent to … Continue reading Mystery Worships: Unitarian Universalists and Seventh Day Adventists

Mystery Worship: Greek Orthodox

[Note: this article is slated to run in the Denton Record Chronicle on Friday, July 24, 2015. Further commentary on the nature of “orthodoxy” can be found here.] The liturgy is confusing, unfamiliar, mostly chanted or sung without recognizable tunes and half in a foreign language. The overly-incensed air produces an immediate headache. We stand for most of the two-hour service, rarely enjoying the minimal comfort of the unpadded wooden pews. Instructions make it clear we are not welcome at communion. Research before attending confirms that the denomination is fully male-dominated and it would also be wise to take special … Continue reading Mystery Worship: Greek Orthodox