What we’re doing here

Sometimes a Big Question won’t leave you alone.

No, not “who is God?” or even “what does he/she want from me?” File those under Too-Big Questions, at least for this space.

The question in question dug into me a few months ago, when a friend said, “Our church is great because the people are the friendliest.”

And the journalist in me wondered, “Oh, yeah? Friendly, for sure, but the friendliest? Riiiight.”

And that was followed by a wondering: Just how is church — or Church — in other places, anyway? How do other people experience their Sundays, their congregations? How do they praise God, or petition him, or flail about, trying to find him? How is it in other pews?

Like many people past the age of reason, I’ve attended services in other churches. Weddings, christenings, holidays with the in-laws. I’ve even “church-shopped.” But in each case, I paid attention only to what was interesting to me, at that moment.

This year, I want to try something different. I want to try to experience worship as other people do. Consider this Comparative Religion: 101, with an emphasis on the experiential. I suppose I’ll have to address the What other people/denominations/faiths believe, but mostly I want to write about the How.

So this is the plan: I will visit a different “faith community” (an awkward word, but the best I can find right now) each week and write about what I find. Good stories, I hope. And I don’t intend to limit myself to Christian groups, though I come from the Christian faith.

How long? Well, a year, 52 weeks, a deck of cards of God-seeking tossed into the air.

We’ll see what cards land face up.