Beth Shalom

http://www.bethshalomseattle.org/beth-shalom-front-door

This morning (5/31) I got up extra early to attend a minyon at Beth Shalom.

I’m going to have to go back, because I didn’t realize that a minyon is just a prayer service, and there really wasn’t a lesson of any kind being taught, so I can’t grade the synagogue based on this experience.

I was invited to a Bar Mitzvah this weekend, but I don’t think I can make it.  I’m going to have to visit it another week.

But even though I won’t be giving it a grade, I do have some observations.

I got there a little early, just as the person leading the minyon was arriving.  He unlocked the door and we went in.  He seemed like a pretty nice guy.  We didn’t go into the main sanctuary, but into a study room that was kind of like a library with some chairs lined up like pews in front of a table.

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Synagogue, Buddhist Monastery, and Kingdom Hall coming up

evolution_of_man

Watch this space.  Early Friday morning (May 31)  I’m reviewing a synagogue, Sunday morning (June 2) a Buddhist monastery, and Sunday afternoon (June 2) a Jehovah’s Witness kingdom hall.

I’m waiting to hear back on an arrangement to visit a mosque, and next Sunday (June 9) will probably be Latter Day Saints and/or Unitarians.  Subject to change.

Update: Will be watching streaming broadcast of mosque services Friday (May 31) evening.  Assuming technology works, and assuming it’s going to be of an actual service, I’ll review it.

Edit: For misspelling “Jehovah”

Update Again:  The streaming service didn’t quite work out.  It’s probably for the best, I’d rather visit in person anyway.

St. John The Evangelist

http://www.stjohnsea.org/st-john

I attended mass here on an overcast Seattle Thursday morning.  The attendance was light, as you might expect a non-primetime service might be.  Including me, there were nineteen people present.

It was pretty quick, and it was pretty quiet, I left the house in a hurry because I was a little late, and failed to bring my clipboard and note paper with me, but fortunately, the service was pretty memorable, and had a pretty simple theme, so I really didn’t need notes.

I’m not an expert in Catholicism by any stretch, and this is the second service I’ve ever attended, except a wedding once, over a decade ago, which I have to admit, I was a bit too intoxicated to remember much of.

I don’t know the proper names for things or places in the church, so I hope those of you who do will bear with me.  I know that there’s a lot of Catholic-specific jargon, and I won’t be using much of it.

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Mars Hill Church

Mars Hill Church in Ballard, Seattle.

http://marshill.com/ballard

Hoo boy.

My visit to Mars Hill Church was emotional.  At first, I was in a bit of awe.  Overwhelmed, you could say.  Then excited about the music.  Then curious, skeptical, surprised by the sheer audacity, and finally, outright pissed off.  I left in a huff.

This. Church. Sucks.

They should change their name to Mar$ Hill Church.  It’s all about the money.

So, with that happy introduction, let’s begin:

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Crown Hill United Methodist Church

This week, my first foray into the world of Religion, I decided to visit two churches: A local Methodist church, and a local Fundamentalist church.

Note: This is my first post.  If you’re wondering what the hell this is all about, what I’m doing, how I’m doing it, and why I’m doing it, then read the about page.

Crown Hill United Methodist Church

http://www.crownhillumc.org/

I really wanted to give this church high marks.  I liked the church, and I liked the churchgoers.  I felt welcome, and the pianist was very good.  The inside was nice, too.  I especially liked the hanging tapestries that were designed to look like stained glass, and the banners hanging behind the pulpit were also very interesting.crown-hill-united-methodist

The church is small, it looks like it can hold maybe 70 people or so in relative comfort, and perhaps 90 in a pinch.  This Sunday, I counted only 20.

I was attracted to this church because during the time my state’s legislature was debating same-sex marriage, a message of encouragement appeared on the sign outside.  I thought this would be a pretty tolerant place.

I’m not wrong about that, but the services left me a bit disappointed, and even a little depressed.  I can’t help but feel that this church is dying.  There just aren’t enough attendees to make it viable for the long term.

The services started at around 9:15, and lasted just under 45 minutes, finishing up at about 9:56.

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