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Year of Sundays

Year of Sundays

Year of Sundays Archives

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 Witnesses, Disfellowshipping and the Art of Civil Disobedience

posted by Joel Gunz

Each week, Amanda and I visit a different church, sitting quietly, taking notes and—if granted permission to do so—discreetly taking a few pictures. As journalists, we tend not to participate in their rituals, maintaining an (ahem) “objective” distance from the […]

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 […]

Crashing the Memorial: Better than a 1000 Therapy Sessions Spent Elsewhere

posted by Joel Gunz

This was my childhood Kingdom Hall. Originally it had windows through which I could watch airplanes leaving contrails in the sky during the meeting. Since then, Kingdom Halls have been required to seal up their windows, one of dozens of […]

This Sunday: Celebrating Jesus’ Funeral with the Jehovah’s Witnesses

posted by Evan Derrick

When Amanda and I began our Year of Sundays project, it was inevitable that one day we would visit the Jehovah’s Witnesses, my old religion. Inevitable, that is, in the way jail time inevitably follows sentencing. Seven years, 415 therapy […]

She Blinded Me with Scientology!

posted by Joel Gunz

All right. I admit it. I blew the experiment. Normally, Amanda and I try to reach out to church officials to let them know that we’ll be visiting their service. But this time around, we felt that if we wanted […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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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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