Sunday, March 23, 2008

Visited other church. Sun, Mar 23, 2008.

03/23/2008. Journal Entry. Easter Sunday. I showed up early at the church of the man I met yesterday at the car service shop. I would have time to go to their services, and socialize a little after and still make our sacrament meeting.

I got there early and their choir was practicing in the sanctuary. The man I met was in the choir. We waved to each other as I sat in the back. They were singing in their native language, and it was apparently a hymn written in their language, and in an Asian or Oriental scale. I did not recognize the tune, and it did not feel like a western-style hymn. The hymn was beautiful and moving.

Just listening to them sing that hymn was worth the trip to visit their church. I was really wow-ed.

After the choir was done practicing, my new friend came to greet me and introduced me around.

They were very welcoming to me as a visitor. They did a much better job of welcoming me and making me feel at home than my ward (or even most LDS wards) does with visitors.

They were part of one of the major Christian denominations in the US. Almost all of the congretation was from their native country, with a couple of other English-only speaking people. Everyone was pretty much bi-lingual. The service was in their language, with a few English remarks also thrown in by the pastor.

They provided English translation through a radio-headset, so everything was accessible and understandable. Their hymn books were bilingual.

A few years ago I visited another church similar to this one, and guessed that they might invite me to a meal afterward. So, not wanting to be a mooch, I made a small donation when they passed the plate in the worship service, so I wouldn't feel guilty eating their food. After the service, they did invite me to join them in a meal in their fellowship hall. Their pastor invited me to sit with him. The food was so good, I should have made a bigger donation.

In order to not be too late for our sacrament meeting, I wasn't able to stay until they finished up. But I did stay long enough so that I hope I wasn't rude by leaving when I did. I thanked the pastor, some of the ladies who prepared the food, and my new friend and his peers. I gave my new friend an info-flyer that lists the chapel addresses, and indicated which one I attend, and the time, and wrote him a brief thank-you at the bottom.

They invited me to come back next week. I think I will. Next week is our ward's "Linger Longer" so I'll have something to invite them to, in addition to just the normal meetings.

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