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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Month of Sundays

posted by on June 14 at 10:48 AM

Not everybody is ticked off about our “Month of Sundays” package. This letter just arrived from Eugene Cho, the founder and leader of Quest Church, which is the church I visited last Sunday…


The visit 30 churches idea and article was brilliant. Loved your piece about Quest. Seriously. Brutal, hilarious, and damn good writing.

I do have one correction. I also did pour wine!

Thanks for the visit and swing by again next year…


Swing by next year? Is Eugene suggesting that we make “Month of Sundays” an annual event? It’s not a bad idea…

Oh, and Eugene Cho has a blog—“Beauty and Depravity”. It’s worth reading—hell, seeing as Cho actually has a sense of humor, we might have to add his blog to our “Friends of Slog” list.

UPDATE: Here’s what Cho has to say about “Month of Sundays” at his blog…

Best Press About Our Church Ever

The title is not a joke. We received—what I perceive to be the best press about our church ever. Bar none. We’ve had our share of media from the local press. Last week, there was a solid article and great pic of the merger story. This past December, there was a dedicated “portrait” of my personal story in the popular magazine insert called Pacific Northwest in the Sunday paper. But this morning, someone sent me some info of a great article from The Stranger—the premier rebellious, hilarious, provocative, alternative, and very popular weekly newspaper. They advertise themselves as the “only newspaper in Seattle.” [It’s a good paper - minus the raunchy over the top sex ads near the back of the magazine.]

Seattle is infamously known as the least “unchurched city in America.” The Northwest is the least unchurched region in America. But it isn’t godless or spiritual. It’s a beautiful place - full of life, questions, conversations, and such. What I love the most about living in this city and this region is that you have to earn the right to have your voice in the larger marketplace of thoughts, ideas, and philosophies.

Anyway, the Stranger staff sent 30 of their staff to visit 30 churches this past Sunday and they wrote up the most brutal and simultaneously, hilarious “reviews” of these churches. I am so excited - honestly - that Quest actually made the list! I feel so cool. Like, I finally have been accepted as a true Seattle-ite.

RSS icon Comments


Hooray for having a sense of perspective!

Posted by Tiffany | June 14, 2007 10:59 AM

So is that correction forthcoming? ;)

Posted by Sam | June 14, 2007 11:14 AM

i liked the article. it was funny in places, and informative in others. with was at some times brutal and other times sincere.

Posted by infrequent | June 14, 2007 11:39 AM

Least unchurched?

Posted by annie | June 14, 2007 11:39 AM

Dan, your whole religion-bashing schtick really gets old. You are as abrasive and intolerant as the people you profess to hate so much. With a Catholic mother, one would think that you would have deeper insight on these matters. Clearly, that is not the case. Your blather is as hard to listen to as an O'Reilly Factor marathon. Speaking of him, I'll never forget that deer-in-the headlights interview of yours a few years back. And that's exactly what I'm talking about - you are capable of conveying an intelligent perspective on these matters, but instead, you seem to let your anger get in the way and you come off like a hate-filled dipshit. Instead of being the anti-Falwell, you could be a much more persuasive public figure. You certainly have a broad enough audience to pull that off. It is just too easy for a lot of middle-ground people to write you off. Good perspectives; bad tactics.

Your Friend,
The Devil

Posted by The Devil | June 14, 2007 11:47 AM

Annual? Hell, while I was reading it I found myself wishing it was a permanent feature, like the restaurant reviews.

Posted by Thel | June 14, 2007 11:50 AM

Wow, so on Cho's blog he mentions that he is a Star Wars fan (not surprising) and has a son named "Jedi"!

I guess "Jesus" would have been too awkward.

Posted by dirge | June 14, 2007 12:01 PM

"Seattle is infamously known as the least 'unchurched city in America.' The Northwest is the least unchurched region in America."

Seattle and the Northwest then set an example for the nation. Don't go changing, y'all. This Southern boy needs to move to a place like that!

Posted by Jonathon | June 14, 2007 12:06 PM

some papers do have a "religion" section. it would be funny to have a review of a different church or topic each issue. then again, i'm not going to be the one who recommends sending a stranger writer to do work each sunday morning. unless they can find an intern for that...

Posted by infrequent | June 14, 2007 12:06 PM

And Dan, "The Devil" doesn't know what the hell he's talking about. Keep it up man... you're one of my heroes.

Posted by Jonathon | June 14, 2007 12:07 PM

Whoever had the seagull shit on their windshield. Trent Mooreman?

Well, I went to my car during lunch and there was shit on it. I looked for the Virgin Mary.

No Virgin for me either. But lets keep looking, she's bound to turn up one of these days.

Posted by glendale | June 14, 2007 12:21 PM

Jonathon @ 8,

It's also worth noting that Seattle residents have the highest education attainment rates in the US, with some 50% having at least a Bachelor's Degree, and there is an inverse relationship between education level and religiosity.

Posted by Original Andrew | June 14, 2007 12:28 PM

i wouldnt really call your 30 churches piece journalistic. it was more just "let's make fun of christians". 90% of your writers missed the point of church in the first place. i mean it's understandable. who doesn't like a good church bashing from time to time. it's so easy. perhaps an intellectually challenging approach would have been a search for why these churches are either growing (the mega's), or dwindling. and intellectual is actually why i have been an avid stranger reader for 10 yrs.

Posted by merktuttle | June 14, 2007 12:43 PM

Yeah... I think Cho meant to say *most* unchurched city in America... and Dan, you rock in a plethora of ways.

Posted by Angela | June 14, 2007 12:45 PM

That was interesting and not all that offensive, I didn't think. Coming from a religious family and knowing how the uptighty-whities take their religiousness so seriously I'm not surprised by any of the responses.

I'm still not going though. :)

Posted by monkey | June 14, 2007 12:56 PM

My church is quite happy they got a surprisingly positive review.

Annual? Hell, while I was reading it I found myself wishing it was a permanent feature, like the restaurant reviews.

Hell, if The Stranger doesn't do it, I will on Metblogs. Or I'll do it for The Stranger. I'm not kidding.

Posted by dw | June 14, 2007 1:21 PM

I'd offer to write a review or two if I wasn't so deathly allergic to churches. I went to St. Marks on Easter (yeah, yeah, maybe it was bad timing, but if an ex-Christian can't go to church on the most important liturgical day of the religious year, when CAN she go to church?). It was so horrifying I had to leave ten minutes into the service. This is part of the problem with the church review concept... It seems like a good knowledge of religious culture and history comes with either refusal to darken the church doors or an insider's gushing smugness. And those who don't know enough about the faith and US church culture couldn't possibly write consistently fair reviews!! Good luck with that, Stranger.

Posted by Katelyn | June 14, 2007 1:40 PM


"church" aint't that bad. [at least, i hope not]. it's a good venue for "community" and the last time i checked, we're all designed for community.

the way i look at it is this: if you can force yourself to sit through two hours of pirates of the carribeans, you can get and sit your ass at church.

but that's me. and part of it might be because i'm the eugene cho in this article. peace out.

Posted by Eugene | June 14, 2007 2:40 PM

Yeah well, even the worst Pirates of the Caribbean film is still more entertaining than church. Oh, and movie theater seats don't make your ass sore.

Posted by keshmeshi | June 14, 2007 3:41 PM

In his review of Quest Church, Dan Savage mentions Jim Jones and David Koresh. Unfortunately -- because of horrific tragedies like these -- I always look at any new religious movements with suspicion. So, no matter how normal and hip and kind someone like Eugene Cho seems, I think: "Okay, where's the dark side?"

Maybe I'm pessimistic. But I just feel like people are too fucked up,in general, to do something like start a church -- if they don't have a deep and sinister megalomania. But maybe not. Maybe Eugene Cho and Quest Church are just good, spiritual people.

Posted by Pauls Toutonghi | June 14, 2007 4:00 PM

I'd like to apply for the position of Stranger Religion Reviewer. I liked the piece - it read like a collection of honest reactions.

Also, Eugene@18: The only thing Disney asked me to believe is that Jack Sparrow is a character in a story. If you can similarly limit your claims about Jesus, and maybe have him fight some CGI ghost pirates, you might have something.

Posted by pox | June 14, 2007 4:33 PM

I change my mind: I AM offering to write some reviews, damnit. I'd be good at it.

Posted by Katelyn | June 14, 2007 6:34 PM

In reflection I don't think that Mr. Cho necessarily has a good sense of humor. I suspect the pastor thinks Dan Savage was joking when he described the music as insipid, the sanctuary as homely, the prayer position as a "double armed fascist salute", or the church as a "Mars Hill wannabee". But he wasn't. His phrases were glib but I'd guess honest. Mr. Cho finds these things hilarious.

I do think that "establish rapport with edgy urban media" is on Mr. Cho's marketing to-do list. Mars Hill had the Paradox venue as it's subtle youth outreach. Quest has it's Q Cafe and, now possibly, the Stranger.

Posted by dirge | June 14, 2007 8:23 PM

It is possible for Christians to exist outside of your preconcieved ideas. There are actually churches and pastors out there who don't insist that you agree with them on everything. You can actually explore spirituality and journey alongside others who are doing the same. I would be the first to acknowledge that I don't want to be associated with the vast majority of Christianity, but Eugene is the real deal.

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