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Year of Sundays

Year of Sundays

Bio

Amanda P. Westmont has a co-dependent relationship with her Kindle and a blog named after her breast milk. She lives in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon with a deaf rat terrier named Harry, two delectable children and a collection of vinyl motorcycle jackets. She co-authors a religion blog called yearofsundays.com with her cute, bald boyfriend who likes to keep her up all night and then clean her kitchen the next morning. For everything you ever wanted to know about Amanda (and plenty you didn't), visit her website at http://www.mandajuice.com.

Full-On Faith

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

It’s been almost a year since the inspiration for this blog began with a trip to the First A.M.E. Zion Church in North Portland. It was a predominantly black church in a predominantly black neighborhood and what I wrote about […]

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This ain’t no party, This ain’t no disco, This ain’t no threesome with Christ…

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

I haven’t written a goddamn (pun intended) thing here since OCTOBER. I’m pretty good at math and that equals nearly three months of silence from this here heathen. I think I’m overdue to at least check in and apologize, but […]

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Hare Krishna: RAMA LAMA DING DONG

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

All summer I had to drive by the Hare Krishna house on my way to beauty school a mere three blocks and every day I drove by and thought, “WE SHOULD GO THERE.” But then I’d finish school, run out […]

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Enlightened by Elvis

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

If a picture is worth a thousand words, I wonder what a video (or three) is worth? Joel, the hardcore hometown Portland boy (who still refuses to admit he doesn’t live there anymore…) did such a good job describing the […]

Guess where we are today?

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

Church of ELVIS

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

Yesterday we tromped down to China town in the rain for a visit to the 24-Hour COIN-OP Church of Elvis. Come back in a day or two to read all about it and see video footage of Joel and I […]

Heartbreaking

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

A rabbi is chanting voicemail messages left by people in the towers.

LIVE From the 9/11 Multi-faith Service at St. Luke Lutheran

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

We started with We Shall Overcome and now three adorable Jewish boys in yarmulkes are singing Isaac & Ishmael with crackly voices. Beautiful.

LIVE BLOGGING OUR 9/11 CHURCH CRAWL

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

In honor of the ten year anniversary of 9/11, we figured it was high time we visited a faith that neither of us knows much about: ISLAM.  In preparation, I took Beliefnet’s Test Your Knowledge of Islam quiz and my […]

What I did with my summer vacation, Part One (Jazz and Mormons, just like that basketball team!)

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

By Amanda P. Westmont When we first started this blog in February, I made a few promises that I’m still trying to keep: This is more than a religion blog. It’s more than the sum of 50 church reviews. It’s […]

B’hey there, Bab’y. B’how YOU doin?

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

I know I’m way behind on my posts and fully intend to catch up here soon, but I felt like getting something up today. Why not beg’in with Beaverton Baha’i? On paper, Baha’i is not only quite the challenge to […]

Out of the mouths of babes…

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

“Mom, who is your boss?” “Uh,” I stop to think about it for a minute. “I’m my own boss.” “No, you’re not,” she insists, shaking her head and pointing at the ceiling. “Your boss is up THERE.” “You mean GOD […]

Playing Catch-Up

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

Amanda here, just checking in to let everyone know Joel and I haven’t disappeared! We’re still going to church (see photographic evidence above)! It’s just been an incredibly busy summer – I’m in school and Joel just opened a new […]

Full Metal Buddha

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

Our first trip to the World Buddhist Preaching Association took place at noon on a Tuesday. Joel and I had just finished a gut-wrenching therapy session together, the kind that leaves you feeling exhausted, hungry, vulnerable and more in love […]

Update on My Spiritual Journey: Slogging My Way to God/Buddha/The Universe

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

By Amanda P. Westmont Two weeks ago, I had one of the worst days I can ever remember having. I’d spent the afternoon up to my eyeballs in pure, unabashed ugliness. I honestly thought it couldn’t get any worse, but […]

Metropolitan Community Church: Queer as Folk

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

I’m not sure I’ve admitted it on this blog before, but I happen to be a registered Republican. Wait! Where are you going?! Stay! I’m a NICE Republican, I swear. I’m pro gay marriage! I’m against don’t ask, don’t tell! […]

COMING SOON TO A SUNDAY NEAR YOU!

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

A friend posted the following video to my Facebook page and I just had to share it here. Remind you of anything?

City Bible Church, Where All Are (not really) Welcome

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

By Amanda P. Westmont Walking through the front doors of City Bible Church is much like wading through the crowd into a rock concert. You can practically see the energy sparking in the air like a hormone meringue pie whipped […]

15 Minutes of Prayer at City Bible Church

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

Joel and I hate to admit this, but we’ve have had one hell of a week. And City Bible Church was one hell of a church. We don’t want to rush our reviews because we both feel they might be […]

The Big Little Church on the Mountain

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

By Amanda P. Westmont Sunday morning came much earlier than usual this weekend. Drunk on the generosity of a friend who gifted us her just-about-to-expire hotel groupon, Joel and I had stayed up way too late on Saturday night for […]

Church on the Mountain

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

We spent Memorial Day weekend with the kids on Mt. Hood, where we went sledding, threw snowballs and played mini-golf during the few minutes the sun peeked through the clouds. It wasn’t exactly this California girl’s ideal way to kick […]

In which we take a break from reality at the Alice Street Spiritualist Church

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

By Amanda P. Westmont We purposely didn’t call ahead this week to let the Church of Alice know we were coming. Joel and I both tend to be people who Live in Public and I have a propensity to over-share […]

How I prepared for The Rapture

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

I got Jesus on my neck-a-lus us us… How are you preparing for The Rapture? Who’s taking it seriously? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Theophilus Church: Foursquare Done Right

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

By Amanda P. Westmont I’ll be honest: part of me hoped this church would suck, just so I could call it THEAWFULEST*, but there was nothing awful about it. In fact, y’all’ll have to excuse me while I gush a […]

Theophilus Church: Tents! Tables! Tears! Oh My!

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

We had big plans to visit our local Mosque this evening, but unfortunately, having read our blog, they aren’t 100% sure they want us to come anymore. We’re in limbo waiting for their board to meet and make a decision. […]

Mother’s Day Guilt and Taize at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

Sunday turned out to be a rather rough Mother’s Day for me. I hate to admit this, but lately I’ve been finding myself navel-gazing weepily about how unfair it is that some of the hardest parenting work I’ve ever done […]

Church of the Chemically Imbalanced: The Portland Pentecostals

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

The first thing you should know about The Portland Pentecostals is that they are rabidly friendly to newcomers. Before we even found a pew, I’d shaken hands with no fewer than ten pentecostilians. Pentecostalites? Pentecostalonians? Oh. Pentecostals. Right. The second […]

Easter Sunday was a bust. Unfortunately not the kind you can put pasties on.

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

When I first heard about Easter Sunrise Service at the Cemetery, I was expecting something spectacular. I mean, why else would you haul ass out of bed at 5:30AM on a perfectly decent Sunday morning? I expected to see the […]

Help us pick a peck of pickled Pentecostals!

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

I am hard at work on a schedule for our year of Sundays, but it’s a work-in-progress. We have already decided to hit a Pentecostal Church this Sunday, but I can’t decide WHICH ONE! Help me choose! Joel is no […]

Congregation Beth Israel: This Shikse Couldn’t Find a Single Thing to Kvetch About

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

I can’t talk about going to Synagogue without talking about Rebecca Long, my grade school BFF. We were attached at the hip for a good chunk of our childhoods, which, in hindsight, makes her just as much a sister as […]

Year of Sundays Project: WHO? WHAT? WHY?

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

Since we’re new to beliefnet.com, I figured it might be a good idea for us to introduce ourselves. So, HI! I’m Amanda P. Westmont. This is the bio Joel wrote for me when we started this project back in January: […]

Jehovah’s Witness Memorial: The Great Partakening

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

This is how it began: over a month ago, I informed Joel that I’d Googled “2011 Jehovah’s Witness Memorial” and that the smackdown was happening on Sunday, April 17th. “Good. But let’s go somewhere well out of the way, so […]

Scientology: I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you…

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

If Scientology is the religion where nothing is true unless you personally have observed it to be true, then I can say with confidence: THESE PEOPLE ARE BATSHITOODLES. But let me start from the beginning and walk you through our […]

Imago Dei: 300 Pounds and Not An OUNCE of Humility

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

Every Sunday, Joel and I stay as long as possible after the service to hear more about the church, get a feel for its groupies and talk about our project. And nearly every week, Portland’s pew-huggers have been saying the […]

Apostolic Lutheran: The Begotten

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

This Sunday we trekked out to Brush Prairie in search of a very traditional congregation that seems to have found its home in the wild jungle rolling pastures of rural Washington. I thought we were on our way to a […]

Christian Science: As Beautiful As Grandma Ardie Herself

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

The Wednesday night service was held in the reading room, which felt like a carbon copy of our Grandmother’s living room. The same smell. The same pink walls. The same arm chairs upholstered in a bright flowery pattern. Even the […]

Today’s Entertainment: Finnish Bunheads*

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

Thanks to a comment and a few e-mails with “Former Bunhead” (who wishes to remain anonymous, but who “left the Old Aps when [she] was 18 (as soon as [she] could without taking to the streets) and has spent the […]

Christian Science: This Time It’s Personal

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

Before braving my first Christian Science service, I called my dad for moral support. I wanted to pick his brain a bit and get the perspective of a long-lapsed member of the church. He had a lot to share and […]

This Sunday: Christian Science

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

This Sunday is a bit of a reconnaissance mission for me. I come from a big family of Christian Scientists whose church membership ended with my father’s generation. I’ve never been to a Christian Science church before, in spite of […]

Sunset Presbyterian: Come for the Sermon, Stay for the SAUSAGE

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

I arrived at Sunset Presbyterian on Sunday thinking about my siblings. It was not only my brother Dan’s 38th birthday (dayem we’re getting old!) (Happy Birthday, Dan!) but we’d picked the church specifically because my sister was slated to perform […]

St. Mary’s Cathedral Gives Good Church

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

It’s not going to come as a shock to anyone that the likelihood of me ever ending up a Catholic is slim (See also: never). I have no intention of becoming a Scientologist, either, but wild horses couldn’t keep me […]

The Bridge: A Perfectly (Im)Perfect Christian Experience

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

Let me just start with a disclosure: if you’re looking for a post where I snark on the hypocrisy of your average Christian church, look elsewhere because I have absolutely nothing bad to say about The Bridge. It isn’t because […]

Church of the day: The Bridge

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

I’ve wanted to attend a service at The Bridge ever since I first heard about it, which was long before I started this little spiritual journey of mine. People talk about this church. Even a quick visit to their website […]

Beaverton Four$quare Church

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

The Official Church of Lilith Fair!
Free Radicals for Jesus!
Je$us Chri$t is the $ame Yesterday, Today and Forever!
Official Church of the Cash Cow

Jesus an’ Cocktails*

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

When I picked my kids up from their dad’s house on Thursday after work, the first thing out of my seven-year-old son’s mouth was, “Hey Mom, how many days left till we get to go to church again?” Not how […]

Hells Bells!

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

Somehow I accidentally published a draft of my next post before it was finished! (Kids: don’t drink and write.) I’m editing away and Joel and I will be posting both of our reports soon. Now I feel like I just […]

Thank You For Your Kind Attention

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

I went into the temple last Sunday knowing next to nothing about Buddhism. I’ve never been to a service and I’m attempting to approach this project with an open mind so I can get a fresh perspective, which mean aside […]

Behold Thy Mother

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

If the AMEZ Church was God from the inside out, The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother was God from the outside in. First, let’s ponder that name, shall we? I mean, as if it’s not bad enough that the […]

Gimme that old time religion

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

I’ll be honest, I had HIGH expectations for this church. I had my mouth watered for audaciously be-feathered hats, jerry curl, purple pin-striped suits and the kind of fire and brimstone that would make my grandmother weep for my poor, […]

First Church of IS THAT A BANANA IN YOUR POCKET?

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

This Sunday’s church was recommended by one of my blog readers in Florida. She wanted to see how her church represented itself on the opposite coast. I immediately said YES! (It’s my policy for a reason!) So we hightailed it […]

Unitarian Universalist: A Queer Church Indeed

posted by Amanda P. Westmont

[Insert EYEROLL here] I’ve already written about my experience at the Unitarian Universalist church, but sadly, it took me a while to muster up the nuts to publish this letter I sent to the Reverend the next day. Here it […]

Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting A Year of Sundays page. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Religion 101 Fellowship of Saints and Sinners Happy Reading!!! ...

posted 8:38:43am Jul. 10, 2012 | read full post »

Gnock Gnock Gnocking on the Gnostics' Door
When Amanda and I started our church tour, I'd had it up to here with vanilla religion. I wanted to take a walk on the wild side (read: nothing Christian), but it turns out that, for a city that prides itself on "keeping weird," Portland doesn't ...

posted 1:39:14am Feb. 14, 2012 | read full post »

Home PDX: A Church By Any Other Name
Yesterday, we went downtown to check out Home PDX. If you want to make head honcho Bruce Arnold, squirm, call their community a church.  The word has so many negative connotations, they'd just as soon not use it. Then again, the PDX Homeys ...

posted 6:54:51pm Feb. 06, 2012 | read full post »

Full-On Faith
It's been almost a year since the inspiration for this blog began with a trip to the First A.M.E. Zion Church in North Portland. It was a predominantly black church in a predominantly black neighborhood and what I wrote about it ended up being ...

posted 7:25:08pm Jan. 26, 2012 | read full post »

Happy Anniversary from Emmanuel Temple Church
One year ago, Amanda and I embarked on our Year of Sundays tour of the Portland church scene. To celebrate, we decided to head back to my roots in North Portland and visit a full gospel church, just like we did in our first week of blogging. ...

posted 12:40:57am Jan. 23, 2012 | read full post »

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