Sunday, July 8, 2007

Church on the Island

It was time to get grounded again. I skimmed the yellow pages under churches and found Emmanual Methodist Church, listed amongst a mostly Catholic crowd. My interest was further peaked when Nicholas's school-mate's mom (who is involved in a same-sex partnership) invited us to the only Methodist church 'on island'. We arrived just in time on Sun. morning and as per their custom, we took our shoes off before entering the small sanctuary. We certainly stood out as we entered in an unavoidable raucous manner. We took one of several empty pews. The crowd smiled and we were asked to introduce ourselves. The crowd was a mix of Filipino, Korean, and North American. After the introduction, a loud welcoming chant followed, accompanied by tambourines, drums, and moroccas. We were adorned with shell necklaces as everyone clapped in unison. This was quite a welcome and I felt a huge lump in my throat. The pastor, Bud, was American and is completing his 4 year term in Saipan after 25 years in Hong Kong. A new pastor (and apparently a new building) are forthcoming in August. We have found a church!


Ron and Sherry said...

Good morning! As we prepare to attend church, it was fun reading about your initial experience. How large is the church? Do they have a Sunday School program? A nursery?! Love to all, Mom and Dad

Diana Gallaher said...

What a wonderful welcoming tradition! No sliding into the back pew and leaving unnoticed, I take it. Do you know who the new pastor will be? lovelovelove, Diana

becky eberhart said...

It's so great to hear what you all are up to! We miss you!!

Glad you found a church - it's sounds great! I think Belmont may need to add more drumming and tambourines!


karen&ted said...

We have really enjoyed reading about all you have done in the short period of time that you have been on the island. What a wonderful experience that all of you will remember! We are looking forward to hearing more from you.
Love, Karen and Ted

Kim said...

thanks for your comments and support. The church has 'sunday school' for the kids which starts mid-way through the service. No nursery although Morgan lasted in the kids program for most of the time. No sign of adult sunday school. There is a UMW group that is meeting next week. The attendance for the service is around 50.