Over 35 Twin Cities metro area churches are expected to participate in “Back To Church Sunday,” part of a national movement of churches throughout the U.S. to encourage people to attend worship services.

The “Back To Church Sunday” (www.backtochurch.com) initiative is aimed at reaching the “un-churched” and “de-churched” – people who once attended church, but don’t any more – and invite them to return for a special Sunday. This year’s event is slated for Sept. 18.

It was launched three years ago in response to a survey of 15,000 adults in the U.S. Results showed a personal invitation from a family member would prompt 67 percent of Americans to visit a church, and 63 percent said an invitation from a friend or neighbor would cause them to attend a service.

Since its inception, “Back To Church Sunday” participants have invited more than 3 million family members, friends and neighbors to their churches, according to the group’s website.

About 10,000 churches are expected to participate this year, inviting more than 1 million visitors.