A friend of mine made the above comment as he is traveling in India and was trying to find a place to worship. This comment also was made during an episode of Sex and the City.
As someone who has been doing a lot of research on religion as of late, I think a guide would be a terrific idea. What would be some of the criteria? What are people looking for when they seek out a Church or Temple when traveling? Good music? Fire and brimstone? I was thinking, you would have to discuss length of service, if there is coffee time after or scripture study. Do they have Sunday school that children could attend if need be? Think about it, you are from Chicago and visiting New Orleans and you want to attend services. Are you looking for Catholic? Episcopal? Baptist? And every religion has different variants. High Catholic, Catholic light....there has to be a market for this. I just wonder how detailed in the description one would need to get.
This is timely for me because I myself have not been thrilled with the Churches I have attended as of late. Mostly Episcopal, what I find missing is a vibrancy and a passion imbued by the pastor and its attendants. One Episcopal church we have gone to does have a powerful vibe, but truth be told I still feel something is missing. This is why I want to go to Saint John the Divine in NYC because I believe there is a strong feeling of God there that I am not getting elsewhere. I am hoping to go there in the near future so I will let you know how it goes. Let me add that I have listened to and watched online sermons of the new fangled contemporary Christian churches that lure the young ones in with tattooed preachers and rock music, but for me they hide the Puritanical swill underneath that suave hair cut and drum solo.
All of this makes me think, while the comment was made in jest, perhaps this is something I should seriously consider putting together. I would have to start with the area I know. I would attend Lutheran, Christian, Catholic, etc. services and do summaries of the services. I would have to remain unbiased of course and as I listen to the sermons must put it into context of the faith. Regardless of my belief system, I would have to keep them from tainting the reviews. Which of course makes me wonder what would be something that is bad in the service? I can say I have seen many a poorly given sermon. Music that would make your ears split since it was off key, but would that be unChristian and unprofessional? This is something to muse over and seriously consider. Perhaps, once I get my fiction published, I could start culling this list and see if it is something anyone would even have an interest in reading and following. The most important factor would be to not insult the various congregations I would be discussing as faith is extremely personal. Definitely something to ponder.