Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sunday Worship at St. Paul's Presby

We sang unknown tunes to unknown hymns
In an unknown tongue
Listening to the congregants for direction
And example
And to our own voices as we mimicked theirs.
Exhausting yet exhilarating.

How cordially we strangers were welcomed.
How comfortable to be there
Yet so different for us o’brunyis.
Priscilla, though, felt right at home during the Greeting portion;
The singing and dancing,
The infectious music,
The happy smiling faces
The joyous activity.
At “home” though 5,000 miles from Carolina.
A black American fellowshipping on the continent of her ancestors.

The service lasted 3 hours
Mostly in Fante, the language of the congregation.
The pews were narrow, hard and straight-backed,
Unpadded wood smoothed by years of faithful use
And our bodies unaccustomed to such angularity
Had to be reminded
That comfort is not a necessity of worship.

While the words were foreign to us
The spirit was all so familiar
The songs were new
But the faith ancient and shared
The presence of the same Lord and Savior
Was evident, warm and comforting
And our hearts were joyful as we bid goodbye
To new friends and fellow believers.

(Don Clerico, June 2011)

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