Internet search engines (optional but useful), Internet, Use of library, phone books
Why students should do this exercise: 1) Through this exercise students will become more aware of the demographics of religion in their geographic area. 2) The results of their hunt will also be useful to students in locating religious sites they might visit for field research.
Internet Browser, Instructor might use worksheet at noted URL, use or modify list noted below based on their locale.
Text of Learning Exercise:
Religious Scavenger Hunt
Directions: using the worksheet, locate at least one local worship community (i.e., church, synagogue, temple, mosque, etc.) for each religion listed. For each group:
1) write down the name, address and phone number of the communities that are closest to you and
2) indicate how many other such communities there are in the area.
In some cases, you may need to look beyond your immediate local area, extending your search to include nearby counties or nearest major city. But do NOT use too large an area (generally speaking, a search within a 25 - 50 mile radius should suffice for most Urban areas though you may need to go a bit further to find a few less common religions). For the sake of good demographics,
try to be consistant in your search area.
You can begin with the yellow pages of the phone book (under "churches" and "synagogues"). You can also do an Internet search for places of worship: using a search engine, enter key words for geographical location (e.g. your town, your county, nearest major city, etc.) and the name of the religion you wish to locate (you may want to narrow your search by also entering terms such as "temple" or "worship"). A good on-line directory can be found at "The Pluralism Project Directory of Religious Centers" (http://www.pluralism.org/directory/index.php) Students have also had success using the "yahoo yellow pages."
Religions to locate:
Eastern Orthodox (Greek, Russian, etc.)
Lutheran (all kinds)
Methodist (all kinds)
United Church of Christ
Baptist (all kinds)
Pentecostal (Assembly of God, Holiness, etc)
Seventh Day Adventist
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon)
Other Christian (non-denominational,etc.)
Once you have located various places of worship, write an evaluation of your findings: What did you learn from this exercise? Were you surprised by the results? Why or why not? Which of these groups were new to you? What sources did you use to locate the information? How far did you have to look to find some of them?