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Philip churches unite in religious survey

The Philip Ministerial Association is conducting a survey in order to better serve the residents of Philip and the immediate area.

Beginning this week, the respective leaders of the churches and volunteer assistants from those congregations will be traveling door to door. The town of Philip and the area within a few miles around it has been divided into five sections and each church will be responsible for canvassing one of those areas.

“This is a joint survey. We feel it is better to have only one person knocking on your door once, rather than five different people asking the same questions,” said Pastor Robert Oettel. It will also be easier and more productive for each church leader.

Several of the church leaders commented that they have never before been a part of a joint community religious effort such as this. They do not believe that such a project has been done in Philip.

Each church will share the gathered information with the other churches. Each will do its best to cover its area and interview everyone, “but even the United States Census Bureau misses a few people,” joked Oettel. Residents who may soon be on vacation, are rarely home, or are otherwise hard to contact are requested to contact one of the churches.

The effort follows comments registered during the economic development survey taken during the last half of 2004. One of Philip’s strengths is it has strong churches. “We hope to keep the churches strong so they can continue to serve the community,” said Oettel.

“It’s great to be in a community where all the churches are willing to work together for the benefit of the universal Christian church,” said Pastor Mark Ford.

The ministerial association hopes that those being interviewed feel comfortable enough to answer these simple questions:

•Are you or your household members affiliated with any church or religious group? If so, which church or group?

•Do you or your household members attend any church or religious meetings? If so, which church or group?

•If not: if you or your household members were to choose a church or religious group to attend or affiliate with, which one would it most likely be?

•How can the churches of Philip help you and your family in practical matters and to grow spiritually?

•What is the family name and how many people are in the household?

The survey only covers the Philip area, though surveyors will gladly receive information from residents of other areas such as Midland, Milesville and the outlying areas of Haakon County, then pass it on to the appropriate church.