Blogger set to explore 100 Edmonton churches
Alanna Lastiwka plans to attend 100 different churches in 100 Sundays
Edmonton's Alanna Lastiwka goes to church every Sunday, but her place of worship changes week to week.
The liquor store employee isn't your typical church-goer. The self-described "sinner" parties, cusses and indulges a nightcap or two, every now and then.
Baptized in the Ukrainian Catholic Church and raised in the United Church, Lastiwka started the blog as a way to explore her faith and relationship with Christianity.
Lastiwka picks churches across the city at random, and gives each one a detailed review online.
Her blog takes into account the venue, the pastor, the sermon and even the friendliness of the congregation. And she doesn't mince words.
"Anything I find interesting, strange or funny. Any points of interest, anything you would come home and tell your family around the dinner table. I also love to add my quirks and rants and humour to it."
Lastiwka says much of the feedback from her readers has been positive. After exploring a gamut of religious assemblies in the city, she's become a consultant of sorts for other 'seekers' in the Edmonton area.
"Some people aren't happy with their churches, and some are just curious to know what else is out there and they've used this to better themselves," she said. "Some have moved churches, some have changed their opinions on some matters, it's been really interesting to see."
Lastiwka says what started as an experiment has turned into a passion.
"You can look up the Wikipedia definition of what a certain denomination believes, but the person in charge, the building and all the little factors that make the community hugely changes one church from another."
From massive cathedrals to tiny congregations tucked away in shopping malls, Lastiwka has explored more than 50 churches so far. She's now expanding her reach beyond the Christian faith and has begun attending temples and synagogues.
She even plans to attend a Norse Faith gathering and participate in a pagan belief system that dates back to the time of the Vikings.