Monday, April 25, 2005

The Mystery Worshipper goes to All Saints Episcopal in Phoenix

Ship of Fools is a network of Mystery Worshippers. BBC News is among the latest to cover their exploits.

The link above goes to a recent Ship of Fools review of an Episcopal Church in Phoenix. It includes two revealing photographs, and a polished review which ends as follows,

What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
I was completely ignored.

How would you describe the after-service coffee?
Weak, flavorless coffee served in styrofoam cups. There were, however, several kinds of cookies set out, which were delicious. Fruit punch was also available, which I didn't sample.

How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
8 – I intend to retire to Phoenix, and when I do I will consider this church among others. The congregation seemed very friendly amongst themselves, even if not to a stranger; the liturgy was conducted with dignity; and the church maintains an active presence in the community.

Did the service make you feel glad to be a Christian?
Yes. It was one of the most inspiring services I have attended in a very long time in any church.

What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
All of the above, especially the Biery O Sacrum Convivium. But it's going to take me a while to put those ficus trees and birdhouses out of my mind.
Some things to work on, but it sounds as if All Saints has it together. However, note that the Mystery Reporter attended the day the bishop was there. Perhaps that explains some of both the good and the bad. The sample is unlikely to be representative.

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