Initiating contacts

  • All religious traditions want to have their stories told, particularly when they see that you value their stories and their place in the community of faiths. Therefore, you can feel at ease in requesting a group visit to a house of worship because virtually every religious community is welcoming to visitors.
  • Before booking a group visit, visit the facility to insure that it includes the kind of features, activities and community that you want to emphasize to your visiting group.
  • Become familiar with the locations of proper entrances/exits, worship hall, washrooms, coat racks, shoe shelves and other places in the facility that your group will need. When a visiting group enters unfamiliar space, its comfort level is raised if it knows that the space is already familiar to you, the organizer.
  • If you would like the visitors to observe a worship service, ritual or ceremony as part of their visit, you may want to attend such a service in advance to make sure it is appropriate for your time schedule, purposes and audience.
  • Clarify with your host to what extent guests are free to participate in rituals, if at all. Such involvement can range from full participation (without restriction) to simple observation only.
  • Avoid requesting group visits on holy days, festivals or “busy” days. For example, Sunday is not the best day for a group visit to a Christian facility, nor Friday to a mosque, nor Saturday to a synagogue, nor the festival of Diwali to a Hindu temple.
  • Request the site visit at least a month in advance of the anticipated visitation date. It may take several days for the house of worship to inform the appropriate faith leaders who will speak to your group.
Native Canadian drummers in Regina, Canada. Photo credit: Greg Harder

Native Canadian drummers in Regina, Canada. Photo credit: Greg Harder


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