I spent much of 2014 and 2015 visiting a different church each week and then writing a newspaper article/blog post about what I saw and experienced there. The United Methodist Church news organization interviewed me after it was over and wrote of my experience here. I thought it was kind of funny how the journalist summarized some of my visits:
When Thomas had a bad experience, her reports for the newspaper were restrained — notable more for lack of enthusiasm than for outright criticism. But she would post the columns on her blog and then offer more commentary, a kind of director’s cut of her impressions.
Of one megachurch where she heard the prosperity gospel preached amid aggressive appeals for money, Thomas wrote on her blog: “I think it is the most evil place I have ever seen.”
The prosperity gospel, Neo-Calvinist theology, lousy biblical exegesis and any worship service where the pastor and praise band’s performance seemed to matter more than the congregation’s involvement in worship — all these were subjects for hot comment on Thomas’ blog. When any of those elements was combined with male-only church leadership, she felt even more need to vent.
But I also learned a lot about what our next door neighbors believed and it opened a different world for me.
If you are interested in my doing a Mystery Worship at your church, please get in touch with me and let me know.
Here are a few of the places I visited: