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A Different Type of Church Service

474px-Edouard_Manet_006According to international surveys (questionnaires), including a much cited (referred to by other people) 2004 poll (research where many people are asked the same question(s)) by the Gallup organization, the United States has one of the highest percentages of church attendance (percentage of people going to church) in the world. At about 43%, the figure is much higher than many other so-called (what is called; what is often referred to as) “developed” (industrialized) countries.

While church attendance for some Christian denominations (branches or separate groups of Christians) have held steady (remained the same) over time, some have had steady (continuing) and steep (very sharp or large) declines. To combat (fight; slow or stop) this decline, some churches have tried to lure (attract) churchgoers (people who attend or go to church) in creative ways.

Do you like beer? Would you like to worship (do things to feel closer to and to honor God) at a bar instead of a church? If you do, you’re in luck (fortunate).

Some churches are holding services (performing the rituals and actions normally done in church) in bars and other more informal places, inviting people to enjoy beer as they listen to sermons (talks, usually given by a priest or minister, about religious subjects), sing hymns (religious songs), and even take communion (participate in a religious ritual involving bread and wine).

These services have names such as “Church-in-a Pub” (bar) and “Beer & Hymns,” and tend to attract young people who don’t usually go to church on Sundays. Some church leaders are skeptical (not convinced; have doubts) about these types of services, but others are optimistic (feel encouraged) about the number and types of people choosing to attend.

Is church attendance common where you live? If you don’t go to church but consider yourself religious, would a more relaxed atmosphere like this tempt you (make you want) to attend?

– Lucy

Photo Credit: Edouard Manet from Wikipedia

35 Responses to “A Different Type of Church Service”

  1. Aécio Flávio Perim Says:

    How come it is real? Are you serious? No way! How can people pray and honor God at a bar with drink and dance? Actually, this world is going crazier and crazier day by day. That’s why religions are growing in a great amount each day. The problem is that no church convinces its followers. There are delusions, lies, commerce and other things worse than those. One day after life men will see God and it will be too late to cry.
    Aecio, from beautiful Brazil.

  2. Dan Says:

    Hi Lucy, thank you.

    I am afraid I am going to have to push really hard my mind today ’cause I am neither a church goer nor a beer drinker.

    So, I guess that for pulling myself outside that is not enough force. Since religion and beer are not longer in my field of interests.

    I have to clarify though, that I have nothing against both activities.

    I would suggest to take both in moderation, too much of both is not good.

    To certain people too much beer and religion might have strange/dangerous consequences.

    Thank you

  3. emiliano Says:

    Very few people goes to the church here in Madrid or the rest of Spain.
    In fact if you go to one in Sunday´s morning mass you are going to
    see persons with more tan fifty or sixty years old, more women than
    men and it is difficult to see Young.

    The rest of the day churches are closed full day except when there is
    a mass, one or two may be along the day or the rosario pray.

    Too much robberies inside the chuches have been the reason to close
    the church´s doors.
    When we were travelling round France, Portugal or Germany all churches
    were open, but this was on 90´s years.
    Now I don´t know.

    Hard days for churches or religión, so to me is really good this kind
    of Church services in order to get more people to pray or to receive
    some religión teaching or speech.

    Being a child or a young I have to be in mass every day, every morning
    all days of the year, als we pray the rosario every evening.
    Now I don´t use to go to mass or to the church by my personal circunstances.

    Some how I am recovering my faith now but it is difficult to go to a chuch
    and pray To God, I would like or even I would like to cofess after more
    than fourty or fifty years without doing it, but again when and how?.

    After all I have confess my sins directly with God, that´s enough I think.

    My best, emiliano

  4. Betty Says:

    Hello Everyone!

    It is very quiet here. As quiet as the churches in Spain?

    Dear Lucy

    Thank you for this interesting (or crazy?) story of church in a pub.

    Although I have many friends who are very religious, I have been trying very hard not to start becoming religious. My friends understand and they will not force me. They just pray to God that one day I will get to know God – that’s what my friend says all the time.

    My friends always say “you must come to join us, you must get closer to God”. I just say, “one day”.

    In answering your question “Is church attendance common where you live?”

    Yes, it’s very common in Hong Kong. But I have not been to one since I left my primary Catholic School at the age of 12. I sometimes walk past the churches when they are having a mass. I just walk pass quietly because I believe that churches are solemn places and I mustn’t make any noise.

    The second question doesn’t apply to me because I don’t consider myself religious.

    Many thanks again Lucy, good to learn more every day.

    Best Regards

    Betty :)

  5. Parviz Says:

    Hi Lucy,
    Thank you very much for this interestingly different topic.
    I am not much of a church goer.
    I supposed to be Muslim, according to my parents orientation and what is the common sense in my country, but I am not. Nor do I no much about Christianity.
    Here The majority of people are seemingly Muslim and go to Mosque to tell their prayer. But the number of Mosque goers has had a sharp decline.
    I have taken part in some of their daily ceremony when I was very young.
    But I bothered by what people did after they left. Or by some of the people who were in charge of the ceremony.
    Unfortunately, here is something that I hate about this issue, and that’s the privilege counted people in charge as paragon of virtue, when in the shadow they would do every pretty funky things.
    If you are a mosque goer and you have friends among the clerics, you would be considered an insider, and would be recommended for a good job or to a good position in the government, if you are very loyal, .
    This is why I have kept myself out of the religion matters for so long.
    ______
    On the other, hand I love it if can find something cool to drink.

    Thank,
    Parviz

  6. Myo ko ko Says:

    A serious subject you’ve brought up, Lucy!

    Here I have to echo some of what Aecio said above.
    And personally I have to dislike those services.
    Yes, dislike them from a theist’s view.
    My disliking comes from this simple logic;
    Every time we’ve got to think of God, we get this sense of ‘purity’ coming to our minds and thoughts. Beer, a kind of alcoholic drink, a liquor, is something that ‘toxicates’ our minds and thoughts, that makes our souls dirty.
    I don’t think God wants to see his followers sipping beers and listening to sermons at the same time, Does He?!! ;)

    Ok, from an atheist’s perspective,
    I don’t have no word to comment because they are doing their best to get the churchgoer trend up.
    Totally no cynicism from me and, if you can believe it, I’m even optimistic enough to invent one
    more new name “Sipping & Sermons” for those who are considering opening up a pub or an inn for that reason! ;)

    Myo ko ko

  7. Parviz Says:

    Me again,
    I hope churches are not doing this for money.
    Last week they sold one their heirlooms, One of the first-printed religious books (the book of psalms), and now offering religious services in a bar.
    Thanks,
    Parviz

  8. emiliano Says:

    Dear Parviz more or less the same it happened when I was a boy or a Young man, educated by monks
    “jesuits” for more than ten years, it could be easy to remind inside and have good Jobs, good recomendations
    and powerful people to help me if I was in trouble finding a job or similar.

    No I didn´t like to be ruled that way and I got away even being a boy of twelf years, not mind cleaned
    with that methods and just till this moment I remaind like an outsider with his own criteria, right or
    not I don´t know but I am self satisfied being so.

    It is a pleasure to see you are some way similar to a Young Emiliano.

    My best dear Parviz and luck for everything you do.

    emiliano

  9. elcomandant Says:

    I’m a believer in God and a Christian man. I also go to the Church but It’s true too that I don’t go necessarily on Sunday.

    I’ve gone to mass in different places like in the field, in a classroom even in the beach. Why not this celebration can take place in a bar or in a pub?.

    I think God is the same for everybody, whatever the religion that you practice. It’s the same if you is Buddhist, Christian, Islamist or Hindu. It doesn’t matter. God is wherever you are and you can speak to Him wherever and whenever. You can be sure of that.

    Have a good day.

  10. Dan Says:

    Hey Betty,

    Thank you, you made me laugh with your post. And while reading it I had this feeling of reading between the lines
    that you have more to say about the subject. But, we know you as this intelligent and reasonable woman, you do not want to offend other people’s believes.
    Did I read you well?

    See Betty, I can only write good things about you, and u are even funny! at least in here.
    I mean, I do not really know you in person, I can only guess by your writings.

    Since I writing to you, may I ask about your daughters? how are they doing? the one studying in CA, is she still there?

    Thank you Betty, it’s always an enjoyment reading from you.
    **************************************************

    Hey Parviz,

    Your post taught me I am prejudiced about your country.
    That because I taught you could not, or dare writing something such as that.
    And for that I kind of acknowledge my ignorance.

    At the same time your post made me laugh ’cause that is the same thing that used to happen here as well with priests.
    It must be said though, that that happened mostly in the past when the vast part of the population was illiterate.

    See, that confirm a saying we have over here that goes “Tutto il Mondo è Paese” now, I have been looking over the internet to see the English version of it

    I have found: “Country and around the world” but I am not sure it’s the same thing.
    I have been reading that Mrs Hillary Clinton’s slogan is “the world is a village” but I am not sure about that either.

    What we mean with that saying is that if you take what happens in a small town/village, and you change the setting; Political situation, Country, culture, religion and so on.
    There happens the same things that’s because at the core we are all the same.
    Hope I made myself clear.

    Thank you

  11. Dan Says:

    Hey Myo.

    Congrats! Sipping and Sermons is good you are good at it! are you in the field of advertising?

    And congrats for noticing Jeff writing a few words using a different font. What an eye you have got! I did not see that. Again, are you in the field of, I do not know, editing?

    Thanks

  12. Dan Says:

    Hey Emiliano,

    Why do not you tells us more about your experience growing up in that environment?

    I mean, did you learn something useful there or what?
    Did you acquire a particular skill at the time or not?
    Would you suggest today’s parents to grow up their kids like that?

    Thank you Emiliano and say Hi to Cuca and Gatufo

  13. Betty Says:

    Hi Dan

    Thank you for reading my post and for the compliments. You have been very kind.

    About my daughter, she is doing fine in LA. She is in the second year of college and she has been doing some teachings in the college to earn some pocket money. She shares the same birthday with you. Might be that’s why she is the hard working one.

    Now all my children are in university or finished university and working. I have entered the third stage of my life, to spend more time on those thing that I neglected before.

    Don’t think that means eating and drinking all day long. I have been doing lots of cleaning and gardening and other house chores.

    I have also spent more time on listening to Jeff and Lucy’s podcast. I listen to earlier podcasts and have learned a lot from them. They are very useful.

    Thanks again Dan, you have been a good reader and writer here.

    Best Regards

    Betty :)

  14. Myo ko ko Says:

    Thanks Dan.
    You are very much of an interest-chaser, who chases after things that interest you.
    Tons of things are out there in this world and of course also in this universe for you.
    Hope you don’t miss out on them! ;)

    Myo ko ko
    Hopefully, l’m not an interesting for you!
    (Thanking my lucky star for that! ;) )

  15. Parviz Says:

    Dear emiliano
    I am sure you have everything going for you. That beauty of it, when you decide to eliminate every thing gets between You and The God.
    I wanted to talk to gad, but that was a chat mostly happens in silence.
    I hated it when someone else wanted to determine whether I was a good person or Bad.
    I went to Mosque to say prayer with the crowed. But I didn’t know I was being misused for an evil purposes.
    That was a Youthful indiscretion.
    _______
    You are my hero, And I praise you so much for managing to build you life true and right.
    God bless you
    Thank,
    Parviz

  16. Myo ko ko Says:

    Guys
    elcomandant is one of our “old” friends here.
    I’m glad he is still with us and still has Jeff and Lucy in his mind! ;)
    Hope he writes here when he can.

    Myo ko ko
    A friend-finder
    (You know, friends are like stars, you don’t always see them, but you know they are always there.)
    These are, of course, Tania’s words.
    So much thanks Tania for this beautiful sentence about friendship.

  17. Parviz Says:

    Hey Dan
    I should quote Dear Betty’s word here: Dan you are a hard working of the kind.
    How do you manage to read all of our posts and reply to them, and at the same time get in with you job and life and girlfriend?
    Did I put it right? or wrong?

    —————
    True enough. Here people are a little confused. They don’t know if it’s better to say the god really exist or not.
    I don’t care if something is going to happen to me or not. But I am just telling it as it is.
    Me personally think That God is not something that should be worshiped few hours a day and be ignored the rest of the day.
    Nor it should be limited to those few hours communication with the god.
    I don’t want to go anywhere farther than my own privacy to talk to Gad. Doesn’t he needs someone else to translate me.

    God, as far as I am concerned, is an omnipotent entity which never sleeps or gets up.
    It is close to me more than my skin.
    This life duties that make me forget about it – or worse ignore it- for a while. But I am always God-oriented.
    If I had anything to say, it is better to remain between me and Him.
    __________
    Dan
    Were I able to explain myself?
    Did I see what you mean?
    Nice reading your posts as well.

  18. Myo ko ko Says:

    Thanks Parviz.

    Your second comment tickles my funny bone and makes me laugh.
    I like it, although I don’t know if you’re trying to be funny or not in it.
    In a sense, it is a funny note for me.

    Myo ko ko

  19. Myo ko ko Says:

    Well,
    Now is Lucy’s turn.
    I forgot to thank her for her post today.

    So, Lucy, accept my belated “Thank you’ for your elbow grease for today’s post.

    Myo ko ko

  20. Dan Says:

    Hey Hi there guys,

    I have seen through a webcam in downtown yesterday in LA the weather was awful.

    Over here south of the Alps is just amazing. To give you an idea, you can stay outside in the sun just in t-shirt
    You probably heard that in the north part of Europe it was bad.

    Thanks to the Alps that shield us from those storms.

    Hey, looking for a webcam I have even found out there is one called earthquake cam.

    Hey Parviz,

    Help me in pushing Myo revealing something of himself…he’s always evading my questions. ;-)

    Actually, I am single. And that fact alone, let me in posses of a large amount of free time.
    Free time that I do not spend finding a partner.

    Thanks a lot.

  21. emiliano Says:

    Hello everyone, as Betty said, and yes Betty churches in Spain being closed are very quiete despite now Caritas is doing a very
    good job here with por people that have nothing.
    Caritas is a catholic religous asociation that helps persons who have very few or nothing, inmigrants who live in the streets, families
    who are without a job to survive, people who are alone without enough mone to buy food and so forth.

    So, not everything about The Catholic Church are so bad as many people think. We know The Catholic Church has a lot of money
    and lot of treasures, if you go to Rome you´ll be astonished looking The Vaticano City, one State inside another, and the St. Peters
    Church is incredible beauty full of treasures in art, buildings and everything.

    Despite so many wealthy look every where round the world there is also lot of good actions round the world too. Even here in Spain
    that it is an occidental wealthy country there are many por people who need everything and the Spanish Church Caritas is doing
    a good job.

    ***

    Nice to see you again dear elcomandat, so long without news from you my friend that frequently I was thinking in you and how
    was going your life. Welcome to the Blog.

    ***

    Congratulations Dear LUCY, you get the point absolutely giving us ideas about this interesting topic.
    Thanks a lot.

    ***
    It was clear for me Dan that my daughters or sons, if we would have sons, were not going to a religious school when they were
    children and I was a Young man.
    In fact they went to a public school being childs, youngs, and afterward they went to a public university here in Madrid.

    Now I have not so clear ideas as I don´t like the way of teaching in public schools at all. No, I don´t like the kind of education
    they are teaching the children or the Young, to my point of view it is really bad.
    Yes, if I have children now, imposible, it is sure I would find anothe kind of teaching may be a religious good one.

    What I did get going to a religious school for so many years?. That is a real good question Dan, thanks a lot as you gave me
    the opportunity of thinking about that……and it is easy, they taught me just what I am now, the person and the personality
    I have it is what the monks and the religious school gave me after all.
    So, good things and not so good things, but a clear individual mind accustomed to fight and to be myself even in difficult
    times or environments. A person that is difficult to be influenced by other or circunstances, even a person that questioned
    nearly everything and have to think a lot about everything that listened, see or read.
    Yes, that has been the result dear DAN, good? bad? I don´t know, but it is so.
    Thanks a lot, Gatufo is now on my lap and Cuca is tapping right close to me working with her p.c., so yes the happy family
    all together.

    ***

    BETTY, MYO KO KO, TANIA, AND THE REST OF THE BLOG´S FRIENDS round the world, ALL of you, without any difference, are a force
    here in this my blog as you give a lot of strength continously with your commets just the same like Dan or Aecio.

    Yes I LOVE THE SITE……AN THANKS SO MUCH PARVIZ YOU ARE REALLY AN HERO FOR ALL OF US, BE SURE ABOUT THAT
    MY DEAR FRIEND FROM IRAN.

    Kisses for all of you, girls or boys it is the same.

    emiliano

  22. emiliano Says:

    DAN, that´s very good question from you as frequently I have asked myself just the same, what I got
    from the jesuits education for so many years?, and the answer has been changing with emiliano´s age.
    First being a Young man I was fed up with so many religious rituals, my faith went off for years.
    In fact I was sceptic nearly about everything. But it was good as little by little you start to think just
    a lot about the subjects.
    I think God was always inside me but even I didn´t see Him for a long time.
    Not any more rituals, not mass, not rosary praying, not churches at all. In fact I got married by the
    Church because Cuca wanted and she didn´t go to live with me if we don´t get married by the Catholic
    Church, so Emiliano went to the church and said “yes I do”.
    Cuca is catholic and she believes in God and another life, but her religious feelings are some how differents
    from the commonn or general, Cuca has her own beliefs not shared with the majority.
    May be by this reason, she belifs in God and she is Catholic more or less, our daughters were educated
    inside the religious traditions and rituals.

    Time passes and all beliefs some how changes, for good or fo bad, I do think in my case for good.

    Now since may be twenty years o more I didn´t regret anything about the jesuits education as having
    to struggle in an hostile environment made me strong, very strong in fact, so no, I think it was a right
    education after all. Fighting among too many difficuntlies, the post civil war here, the other great war
    in Europe that carries lot of incredible ways of living, the imposed Christian ideas, lack of nearly everything
    even bread, strict discipline with the monks, at home, and so forth it strengthened my carácter so I have
    to be grateful to this kind of education and even to the jesuits who give us strict rules of a way to go
    through the life.

    May be as a consequence of this kind of education I have been or I have tried to be, a loyal husband, son, and father
    doing my best to reach this goal.
    Did I do right?, well with lot of mistake I think the result has been not so bad.
    More than forty years together with Cuca without any woman tan her, I remember my parents with pleasure and
    my daughters are good persons with good criteria despite i didn´t see them frequently, you know that.
    But they are inteligent good persons with work the three of them.
    Now I have my loving Gatufo who is one of the best friends I ever have, he makes my life easier as I laugh and
    play with him like a boy.

    Yes, feeling and ideas changes with the age and the passage of time.

    It is funny after all, don´t you think so Dan?.

    My best dear, I think I have answer your question?, ja,ja, any other thing more my dear friend Dan?
    or from all of you?, don´t be shy ask which ever subject you want to, it is good for me as my ideas
    are more clear just writing here.
    THE BEST SITE TO DO THAT BY ALL MEANS.

    emiliano

  23. Dan Says:

    Thank you Emiliano for taking the time answering my questions.
    I enjoy listening to people’s stories. That is why I love the program “Storycorps”.

    I guess Lucy’s post went well after all. You guys know that when you ask about religion you are in dangerous water.
    Lucy knows that, she’s got brain to sell, just look at all these podcast! unbelievable.

    Hey Emiliano, do not you think as well Myo is evading my questions?
    I think we should come up with a plan to make him talk..;-)

    thanks

  24. emiliano Says:

    Wise Words Parviz I do think the same like you, we don´t need other persons to be in touch with OUR FATHER GOOD and feel HIM close to us all day following the real truth about life and brotheship AY, that´s what make us, humans, so alike.

    You PERSIAN an old civilization, me SPANIARD not so old but enough, but we do think the same having also
    other way of living, or teaching?, but inside our mind or our souls are just the same.

    Brothers after all despite distance, age, religión, and so forth.

    THANKS PARVIZ, emilliano

  25. emiliano Says:

    Dan, may be you are right.

    Our friend Myo Ko Ko is really Smart and Inteligent.
    I know that as we change some mails some time ago.

    I do know how old is he or something about his life
    but it must be him who tell you, not me, of course.

    What a friend tell me it is a secret between him and
    me.

    But I am sure that is a question of time that
    Myo Ko Ko open their heart to us, sure Dan.

    You know that europeans are just a little more
    speaking people than Asia persons, they smile
    a lot, always, but it is difficult to know what
    they feel or think.
    I am fascinated with people from the South
    of Asia, not to talk about women so incredible
    beautiful, adding Chinese and Japanese
    girls, incredible nice and feminine woman for
    me, some how Cuca my wife is so, sweet,
    educated, polite, nice words always and
    loving person, if not would be so may be a long
    time ago I´ll go to South Asia to find a woman
    this way.

    Well, too much talking, but what I mean is
    that Asians persons are some how more kind
    than us, more sweet and nice.

    Europeans just a litte more rude.

    I love all that comes from Orient and Asia.

    emiliano

  26. Parviz Says:

    Hi Dan
    Ever since Myo appeared in this blog, I have always been thinking about him/her personality.
    But here is something I have from folks: someone who never talks, always has the most to say.
    Here is the problem between us and Myo.
    Either she/he is analyzing us or his/her experiences are so painful to share.
    So, be patient Dan, Myo will tweets finally.
    Thanks
    Parviz

  27. Parviz Says:

    Hey Myo,
    You reminded me of loyal friends we have here.
    speaking of which, Tania was the first person welcomed me here.
    That very surprising for me, I was astonished how could she remember who was new, who was old.
    By the way, That was the first clue for me to Understand what a great community I was about to enter to.
    I guess that was two or three years ago. but it is still alive in me.
    ——-Thank you Tania——–.
    I hope you are happy as the ray of sunshine.

  28. emiliano Says:

    sure Tania is happy Parviz, Tania´s memory is splendid and incredible.

  29. Parviz Says:

    Hi emiliano
    May be this is a good time to do a favor for my aunt.
    She is very charming, attractive….. more importantly rich.
    Did you just said you loved Asian women, or am I delusional that I finally found my aunt’s lost soul mate :)?
    So why are you waiting for…Why wasting the time…
    Of course, I have tried several time to sell her on the eBay. But the offers were not inviting.
    So I decided to find a true love for her. You know, Someone who can make her happy.
    There is no ulterior motive, believe me…. I am nor trying to pawn off my aunt…
    If you marry her and take her to Europe, I would never stay at your home on holidays.
    I will read your Reply to her…

    Thanks
    Parviz

  30. emiliano Says:

    Parviz

    Sure, I love Asian women always, and sure she is absolutely charming as you said and
    I will love her too, but there is a big problema about my feeling I love my wife first
    and of course there is only one in this life for me, my dear Cuca till I promised to be her
    husband along all my life, till dead separate us.

    Women from Iran, Persia, are absolutely beautiful and kind, I know that perfectly well
    as I met many on then when I was working in the Bank and several Iran people came
    to Madrid.
    Just a pity my dear friend but Emiliano is still keeping his love entirely to Cuca his spouse.

    Give all my respects to your aunt Parviz.

    emiliano

  31. elcomandant Says:

    Thanks Mio Ko Ko and Emiliano for your greetings.

    You must to know that I never lost sight of you. I’ve always enjoyed reading this blog because it help me very much to improve my English. Besides, I specially enjoy reading what both of you write here.

    ;)
    Elcomandant

  32. Øyvor Says:

    Thanks Lucy, interesting..! I knew that people in America has a many churchgoers..it was kind of a huge surprise about going to a bar though..
    There has been a big change here in Norway over the past years, I think most people go to church more seldom now, on Chritmas Eve there
    are many churchgoers.. as for me..I have to say like “Anne of Avonlea”..if I`m going to pray, I will go out into the woods to a pieceful place
    and thank the Lord for everythibg I have=) If you haven`t listened Anne of Avonlea`s first prayer you ought to..=)))

  33. elcomandant Says:

    Sorry. I had to write “You must know”.

    :)
    Elcomandant

  34. Val Says:

    First of all, it’s wierd for so-called developed country to have such a high percentage of church attendance. Because every religion is a sign of underdevelopment and backwardness of the community.

    And, I suppose, that 90% of these church goers are not catholics, muslims or buddists, they are participants of different sects, and this is sad and scary.

  35. Aécio Flávio Perim Says:

    I say good bye until the next time. I’ll be back prety soon. Just wait.
    Here lies Aecio.