Our last lecture was about ethnography. It was enlightening to be able to learn about this type of study after doing a congregation visit myself. I really appreciate all of the different stages of ethnography and how each form of ethnography generates its own results and conclusions. This was especially interesting given that the congregation visit presentations were on the class following the lecture. It made me appreciate the dedication and effort that goes into observing a religious organization by an ethnographer. We only visited a single congregational service at our assigned congregation and from that wrote an essay and did a presentation. After learning about the process that ethnographers go through it seems funny to think that we can go to a congregational service and somehow leave with a good understanding of the people and the tradition. Ethnographer or sociologist spend months even years with a group before drawing conclusions or writing about them. I also appreciate the connectedness of the entire process. An ethnographer isn’t a judgmental observer instead they participate to an extent and respect and partner with their subjects which seems incredibly transparent and refreshing especially given the religious biases inherent in nearly all observers. Additionally, it seems difficult for me to comprehend the level of analysis and depth that ethnographers are able to gather, as a religious studies major, these types of ‘site visits’ have been a regular occurrence in my life. Each time is nearly the same process, and I leave feeling fairly satisfied with my knowledge of the tradition and what is happening within the congregation. However, learning that an ethnographer spends years observing congregations was shocking!