I like "Year of Sundays." Especially the tag line under the blog's name: we go to church so you don't have to
Thanks, Joel Gunz and Amanda Westmont, who are fellow Oregonians.
I've taken you up on your offer. You're both terrific writers (after each visit to a church or other spiritual gathering, Joel and Amanda compose separate descriptions of their experience).
Portland, Oregon's alternative newspaper, Willamette Week, gave them a 2011 "Best Divine Dilettantes" award.
Joel is a recovering Jehovah's Witness. He's got another blog where he trashes his former religion. Good for him. Religious true believers usually are annoying. When they knock on your door uninvited and hand you literature, they're super annoying.
(I've learned to only waste a few seconds with them by taking the Jehovah's Witnesses piece of dogmatic crap propaganda, say "Thanks, I'll get this in our recycling bin right away," and close the door in their preachy faces.)
I saw that according to the Year of Sundays sidebar, a post about their visit to a Jehovah's Witnesses service was #1 on the most popular list. Written by Amanda, it was indeed entertaining.
Having been forced to go to a Catholic Church when I was a kid, and stumble my through the first communion ritual (I had trouble swallowing the wafer and almost coughed it out), I didn't realize that some Christians pass on what's offered in the bread and wine/ body and blood part of a church service.
Amanda explains that Jehovah's Witnesses believe that only 144,000 Christians will be with God in an afterlife. These already have been selected. You're only supposed to take the Jehovah's Witnesses version of communion if you think one of those 144,000 slots is reserved for you.
Given that Joel had become a Jehovah's Witnesses reprobate, her description of what happened when the wafer basket came around to their pew was churchlessly marvelous.
The service itself was bland, largely unremarkable and without the cult-like flavor I was expecting. I did learn a few things, however, like how only 144,000 people will receive the afterlife and since those words were written 1,987 years ago, it’s a pretty safe bet that heaven is already full.
It took me a few minutes to put it all together what with the speaker’s superfluous analogies about giving gifts to your cousin’s uncle and what if the wrong person got your gift or… something? It was too dumbed down for a non-believer like me to understand. I think he was basically trying to say that heaven is like a giant game of musical chairs. There are only so many spots and the music is getting faster and louder.
I also learned that apparently you can only partake of the sacraments if you actually believe one of those chairs has your name on it.
...Of the 18 million people who attended the Memorial service worldwide in 2010, only 11,200 of them partook of the Lord’s evening meal, which is less than one percent (actually it’s .062 percent).