Not all of the prayers whispered in Las Vegas happen at the slot machines. But not all of them are offered up at conventional churches, either.
In Las Vegas, members of the clergy are ministering to their flocks in some unconventional places of worship. Reverend Buck Belmore has started a pre-football Sunday service at the Atomic bar in downtown Las Vegas. And Reverend Charles Urnick has the distinction of being the only Catholic priest in the country to offer a service out of a casino.
So is it just as easy to get religion at a bar as it is in a church? And what are the challenges of leading the faithful in a city so devoted to the culture of misbehaving that the word “Sin” is built right into the name?
Rev. Charles Urnick, St. John The Baptist Catholic Church, offers services at the Riverside Resort Hotel and Casino in Laughlin
Rev. Buck Belmore, Episcopalian priest, offers services at The Atomic bar in downtown Las Vegas
Dr. Michael Ian Borer, Associate Professor of Sociology at UNLV, research includes the search for the sacred in Sin City