Last week I promised to offer advice on making that all-important first visit to a church. I also shared information about selecting a group or denomination consistent with core beliefs you might already have about religion.
My personal results, after using those tools, were surprisingly accurate for many of my beliefs.
The premise is to target churches that mirror the religious community you'd like to ultimately be a part of. There is also value in visiting churches you've heard about or have been suggested to you, as much can be learned from particular faith groups by observing their worship practices.
Selecting a church to visit
By now, you may have already selected a church you'd like to visit. Look it up on the Internet using Google or another search engine. You'll want to find out where it is and what time they meet.
Be forewarned that many churches fail to list their worship times and meeting location on their home page. You'll have to hunt for it. Sometimes you might have to call the church.
You can also check whether the Church Visits column has reported on a particular church. I've visited most of the larger churches in Anchorage, and my reviews can offer a general idea of what to expect.
The Anchorage Daily News archives stretch back longer than I've been visiting churches. Over the years I've observed that when visiting a church more than one time the dynamics of that church are usually the same.
If a church is unfriendly on the first visit, it'll likely be unfriendly on the third visit. You can find these reports on a search engine.
For example, if you're looking for Methodist churches I've reviewed, you can enter
By CHRIS THOMPSON