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Year of Sundays

Year of Sundays

Christianity Archives

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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Join Us for a Trip to Mars… Hill Church, That Is

posted by Joel Gunz

After what has been Portland’s bitterest commercial real estate battle since Wal-Mart tried to move into Hayden Meadows five years ago, today, Seattle-based Mars Hill (mega)Church celebrated the grand opening of its new “church plant” on SE 32nd and Taylor. […]

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Orthodox Christianity: It’s All Greek To Me

posted by Joel Gunz

In an era of secularism and do-it-yourself community, why do churches still exist? I believe a big part of the answer lies in the power of the ineffable. Everybody loves a good mystery. And that’s the one aspect of human […]

Attention shoppers! Looking for a helluva church at heavenly prices?

posted by Joel Gunz

Sunday, September 25 at 9:47 a.m “Where are we going for church?” “Is it Sunday already?” “’Fraid so, babe. Get up. Have some coffee and an Emergen-C.” “God…. Ow…. Why am I wearing your bra? How about the Hare Krishnas? […]

Night of the Living Hope

posted by Joel Gunz

If, for some strange reason, you happen to venture into Vancouver, Washington — just a stone’s throw from Portland, barring traffic congestion — you might notice more than few cars bearing the bumper sticker “Only God.” Its white-on-black design (opposite […]

Hey Buddy, Wanna Buy a Piece of Millennial Religious History?

posted by Joel Gunz

Amanda and I took the day off today from church in order to get a head start on Halloween decorating. Which means that I ducked into our home office to escape the chaos of three kids unpacking styrofoam spiders to, […]

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.

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 […]

What We Did on Our Summer Vacation, By Joel Gunz

posted by Joel Gunz

Whoosh! Where has the summer gone? Amanda and I have missed you, dear hot and sweaty reader, and you might be wondering what the hell happened to us the last few weeks as well. Let’s just chalk our hiatus up […]

Knocking on Mormons’ Door

posted by Joel Gunz

You probably know them by their bikes, white shirts, dark ties, lily-white complexions and the fact they show up at your front door at the worst possible time. Today we decided to turn the tables and show up on their […]

Tonight: Portland’s Top Jazz at Augustana Lutheran Church

posted by Joel Gunz

By Joel Gunz Every Sunday at 6 p.m., Augustana Lutheran Church does a Jazz Service, starring some of Portland’s musical luminaries, like diva Marilyn Keller and legendary drummer and Pope of the jam session scene Ron Steen.  I’m sure the […]

The Mild Bunch: Mill Plain United Methodist Church

posted by Joel Gunz

The United Methodist church is big. How big? Worldwide, about 12 million members and over 40,000 congregations big. Put another way, UMC is the largest mainline (read: establishment, fairly liberal, non-Catholic) religion and the second-largest Protestant religion in the United […]

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! […]

Metropolitan Community Church of Portland: Observing the High Holy Day of Gay Pride

posted by Joel Gunz

By Joel Gunz In a perfect world, you would never see a church set aside just for gay people. It makes about as much sense as starting a church for the left-handed, the red-headed  or the peanut-intolerant. But we don’t […]

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?

Taking Pride in Metropolitan Community Church

posted by Joel Gunz

By Joel Gunz I don’t think it’s any coincidence that in Portland, Father’s Day coincides with its annual Pride Festival, which celebrates our local lesbian/gay/bisexual/transexual/queer (LGBTQ) community with a parade, live entertainment and more. It’s kind of a big deal […]

Pentecostal Services at Trinity Episcopal–FTW!

posted by Joel Gunz

“What’s a nice atheist like you doing in a church like this?” That, more or less, is the reaction we get from many religious leaders when we show up on their doorstep on Sundays. At least, that’s what they seem […]

Visit City Bible Church, Led by Pastor Frank Bossypants

posted by Joel Gunz

By Joel Gunz Woweeeeee! At City Bible Church (total membership, 6,000), they sure have fun. They clap. They sing songs. Oh, and they love to play Repeat After Me. As in: CBC Lead Pastor Frank Damazio: “Jesus says, ‘Love God.’ […]

Upcoming: Pentecost at Trinity Episcopal–Plus, Joel hasn’t Forgotten About Ya!

posted by Joel Gunz

Today we visited Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. I know what you’re thinking:  With it being Pentecost Sunday and all, we should have visited a charismatic church for some good old-fashioned speaking in tongues, healing and other nonsense.  But we heard the […]

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 […]

City Bible Church: I Can’t Believe I Sat Through the Whole Thing

posted by Joel Gunz

Portland’s City Bible Church has a logo. It looks like this: It also has a tagline, which looks like this: Discover. Experience. Celebrate. Barf. Okay, I made that fourth sentence up myself.  But if you want to know why, stop […]

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 […]

Celebrating Memorial Day at the Church on the Mountain

posted by Joel Gunz

By Joel Gunz Hitting a different church each week can be addicting. Case in point: when, this last weekend, we took a trip to Mt. Hood’s Resort on the Mountain for a last gasp of fun in the snow, it […]

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 […]

Getting My Fill at Theophilus Church

posted by Joel Gunz

By Joel Gunz I’m a communion junkie. After leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who restrict their bread and wine to only a tiny fraction of their members, I’ve made it a point to receive the sacraments from any church that allows […]

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. […]

Taizé—You’re it!

posted by Joel Gunz

By Joel Gunz In 1940, the year France was trampled under the heel of Hitler’s army, Roger Schutz hopped on his bike and pedaled 90 miles west from neutral Geneva, Switzerland to the French town of Taizé. There he settled, […]

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 […]

The Portland Pentecostals: Calisthenics for Christ

posted by Joel Gunz

I like to imagine that our blog readers are secretly jealous of us. While you go about your humdrum lives, sleeping in on Sundays and lingering over brunch and the Sunday Times, we’re like Stanley and Livingstone in the Congo, […]

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 […]

Holy Vocal Chords! Our Visit to the Portland Pentecostal Church

posted by Joel Gunz

Praise the lord! We dropped by the Portland Pentecostal church today for our weekly dose of shouting, speaking in tongues and wild gesticulating from the pastors. According to the Pentecostals, we are all fallen sinners who deeply need Jesus (and […]

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 […]

Friday and Sunday Two-fer: Jewish Shabbat and Sunrise Easter Service

posted by Joel Gunz

Call us gluttons for punishment. But this weekend, it wasn’t enough to fill up on one church service. We had to go back for seconds. And so, on Friday evening, we shlepped over to the Reformed Jewish synagogue of Congregation […]

Um, Wow: It’s The Imago Dei Show, Starring Rick McKinley!

posted by Joel Gunz

A couple of weeks ago, me and my friend went to this show in the student art gallery and then we went and hung out in the coffee shop for a while and then later that night we went to […]

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 […]

Imago Dei: Hot or Not?

posted by Joel Gunz

They’re hip. They’re Christian. They keep an artist’s loft in the Pearl District. They’re Imago Dei, and they reallyreallyreally want you to know they’re not like other churches. Several alert readers have recommended that we visit this way-cool church in […]

A Brush Prairie Home Companion

posted by Joel Gunz

It’s been a quiet week in Brush Prairie, Washington. The last of the snow finally disappeared from the shaded North sides of the old barns, leaving the ground spongy and wet and making room for the crocuses and daffodils to […]

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 […]

There’s Something About Mary Baker Eddy

posted by Joel Gunz

When Mary Baker Eddy was a young girl, farmers used to bring their sick animals to her for healing. Of course, this was New England in the 1820’s, the birthplace of American transcendentalism. In Russia, Madame Blavatsky was soon to […]

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 […]

Oh, the Places You’ll Go When You Join Sunset Presbyterian!

posted by Joel Gunz

The first thing you should know about Sunset Presbyterian Church is that, for me, the experience was weirdly reminiscent of the years I spent as a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Emblazoned over its front door was a scripture that […]

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 […]

Church of the Day: Sunset Presbyterian

posted by Joel Gunz

We dragged our sorry, atheist, hungover asses out of bed this morning to attend Sunset Presbyterian Church — the ridiculously early 9 a.m. service made even more ungodly by the onset of Daylight Savings Time. I hope you appreciate the […]

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 have much to offer in that regard. And then I heard

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 have a different word for everything. Take the word "hom

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 our most controversial post to date. To this day, it's a

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. That's how we landed at Emmanuel Temple Church. Can I have

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

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