I was born and raised a Catholic Christian, going to church every Sunday, at Holy Infant Catholic Church in Durham, at the will of my parents. Of course I was baptized, had my first communion, and when I got older and more involved, I had my confirmation; about two years ago. Point is, I have attended the same church for a long time, and have grown accustomed to the traditions and customs of my church, and my faith. For this assignment, I chose to visit a synagogue, specifically Sha’arei Shalom Messianic, in Cary, and Mormon Church, specifically The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints, in Apex. I’ve always been a bit of a history fan, and after taking a religions class in high school, found I enjoyed learning about other religions as well. I cannot say I was made uncomfortable by visiting these places. Honestly, I was looking forward to it, but I can say the experiences from my own religion and church made me find many differences, along with some practices I would call strange; not that I am calling these practices wrong in any way.
The first place I will talk about is the synagogue, Sha’arei Shalom Messianic. When I first arrived, I was greeted by a man who I later deduced was the designator greeter. He was very nice, warm, and welcoming. After I told him I was visiting, he explained to me that this service was devoted to a Bar Mitzvah for a boy in the community. He told me that most men in the synagogue wear kippah, which we learned in class, and showed me a bowl of kippah for visitors, and I put one on. The service was scheduled for 10:00, did not actually begin till about 10:10, which was strange to me, because my church always begins at the time it is scheduled, as did the Mormon servi...
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... body and blood is a very special and important event.
Overall my experience visiting these places of worship was interesting and in the end a positive experience. I found many things strange, but I do not pass any judgement on the differences I saw, only that they are strange to me. I found it very interesting the similarities between my church, the synagogue, and the Mormon Church. Most of the similarities revolved around the messages portrayed by each of the religions. Also, however, the attendees are warm and welcoming to visitors it all three places of worship. When it comes to just between the Mormon Church and my own, when I was looking through the hymn book, I found many familiar songs, although none were sung during my visit. Other than the messages of the religions and the attitude of the followers, the synagogue and the Mormon Church were starkly opposite.
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