The Stranger reports on 30 Churches in Seattle

Just for clarification the word “reports” should appear exactly like quotation marks. As should the word “churches“. I stumbled across this article today and am not sure what to make of it. It’s a year old and somewhat entertaining a little informative and a little something else. I would put it into the “worth being aware of” category.

Here’s their description:cover-big

“Last weekend, we sent 30 writers into 30 houses of worship to find out. We packed a month’s worth of worship into a single day so that we could report back to you, our readers, about just what the Seventh-day Adventists, the Presbyterians, the Methodists, the Catholics, and the Jesus freaks at Mars Hill are up to. We also snuck into a mosque, a synagogue, and Sea-Tac’s meditation room. We took a look inside their sanctuaries, we took in their sermons, we took Communion, and we took notes.”

Here are some of the Churches that are mentioned:

  • Mars Hill
  • Christian Faith Center (Casey Treat)
  • Overlake
  • Seattle Vineyard
  • St. James Cathedral
  • Bethany Community Church
  • Antioch Bible Church

You can read the article here


9 thoughts

  1. I didn’t read all of them thoroughly, but it was interesting to see the differences between the writers and their openness (or lack thereof) for the church and/or experience. Overall, I think that it resembles a lot of the general non-church going people that I know in this area and makes me sad.

  2. Here’s a group of comments I moved over from facebook about the link to this blog because it was getting to confusing re respond and keep track of both.

    Reuben said:

    interesting to say the least. thanks for the link ben. i’m having trouble figuring out their purpose for it and what is actually valuable about what was “reported”. thank goodness they didn’t call themselves investigators or something rediculous like that.

    Jamie Said:

    oh man, you got me excited. i thought they did a new one but this is the same one from a while back.

    Ben Said

    reuben, i tried to post this on the articles page but it seems like comments are disabled. entertainment value is medium. information value is low. i’m not sure if i’m missing something. that idea as a whole is pretty interesting.

    jamie, yeah sorry, i wish. let me know if you hear of anything new.

    Stephanie Said:

    It’s awesome that they went to churches and wrote their thoughts candidly.

    Jaymie Said:

    yeah, I was not impressed with that article. they already had their preconceived ideas about what ‘church’ was, so why even do that type of assignment? well, that seems to be the media & journalism for you these days-biased.
    Charles Dean (Seattle, WA) Yesterday at 9:49pm

    Disappointed personally. They ran a really good article about 6-8 years back where they sent someone to review a Christian Music Festival at the Gorge. It was a really great honest article about what it felt like to be an outsider there and what he thought of the whole event.

    I think it’s a pretty interesting idea for an article for The Stranger, but as writers it seems to me like they didn’t take it seriously and that they were more interested in out-witting or out-scenestering each other.

    Stephanie Said

    I hear all that from Charles & Jaymie, and yet I still think it’s awesome.

  3. charles, holy crap! i totally forgot about that article. talk about a blast from the past. i looked it up.

    stephanie, it think the thing that was somewhat annoying or me (and maybe charles?) was that it felt to me like they could have written that article having stayed home. the viewpoints and opinions were already formed (maybe rightfully so) but it just kind of made for bad reporting. just to clarify, i think the opposite is an equal tragedy. i could go to some gay bar in seattle and talk about how from the second i walked in it just felt like Soddom and Gommorah. I could bash and demean the artwork on the walls and read into all of the rebelion and sin the is present in the body language of the people present…..but that would be a pretty lame thing to do.

  4. They couldn’t have done all of that from their homes. They talked about what it was like to be there. Of course they had preconceived notions going in. I didn’t expect them to think every church was much better than they had anticipated. Do you think you and Charles might have been annoyed because you feel they were slighting God somehow?

  5. You should read the article that Ben posted. In that story, he actually as a journalist and a writer took his assignment seriously and reported on the whole Creationfest in a professional and I feel honest manner. When it came out I actually forwarded it to alot of friends because I felt that it gave a great insight for bury your head in the sand Christians into what non-churched people feel like in religious situations.

    This article was lazy journalism. Some of the writers didn’t actually make it to their assignment. Many left early. Most made no attempt to talk to anyone or make any contact at any of the churches. I would think that as a writer and journalist that maybe you’d want to at least TALK to someone at the church? A member? The pastor maybe?

    So it’s not the content that bothers me. It’s that from the writing it seemed pretty obvious that none of them took the assignment seriously. Bad writing in my opinion.

    It could’ve been a really interesting article otherwise.

  6. There are a lot of Jamies quoted here but I would like to state for the record that none of them are me.

    I thought one or two of the write ups were good and insightful but the rest seemed like immature writers excited for the chance to tear down and make fun of something without actually really keeping in open mind. While agree with a lot of their comments, it seemed as though the opinions were coming from Jr. High boys. I expected a “writers” opinion.

  7. I don’t feel like God was “slighted”

    Charles, I think I had a hard copy of that article when it came out and I remember talking to quite a few people about it too.

    My same point stands: If a Christian did this same thing to any number of “devil’s dens” with the same attitude and process it would and should be considered unprofessional, inconclusive and definitely NON-journalistic.

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