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Churches Are Holding Speed-Dating Events

Okay, not really, but special programs and parties are encouraging romantic relationships.

As I'm sure you all know, I wouldn't label myself as religious -- so I always find reading about religion particularly interesting. When I saw the headline on WashingtonPost.com about churches encouraging singles to engage in relationships, you know it got my click. What I read was that churches in Washington, DC, are not only promoting, but are arranging what I can only describe as mixers or the modern church's idea of speed dating.

According to the article, houses of worship are playing key roles in the dating scene, apparently trying to lead couples away from such popular online sites like Match.com and OkCupid.com, and toward the old-school way of meeting people -- in person. They're holding seminars and discussions in conjunction with these events to help "nurture healthy relationships and put off sex until marriage, among other concerns." The events are now so popular in the area that it's becoming a trend for people to "church shop" to find the hottest dates.

I'm all for some good wholesome fun -- and from what my single friends tell me, online dating can be a jungle. But I can't help it -- these church mixers sound like they have all the romantic appeal of a chaperoned seventh-grade school dance. "Church officials monitored the party, ready to step in if necessary. A video camera was also keeping an eye out," says the article. We're talking about consenting adults, well into their 20s and 30s, being watched over like they're little children. I like the intention of the church -- a real-life alternative to cyber dating. Good old-fashioned meeting people. But the execution? They might want to make it a little less PG-13. You know, lose the guardians -- and the Big Brother-esque cameras.

What do you think about these modern-day church mixers? Do they stand a chance, or are they a little too last-generation for singles today?

-- Holly