I belong to a church that is Vietnamese in Southern California. Right now we are not affiliated with any group, sect or denomination.
I think it may be wrong to state I am a Christian. For I only try to be one and fall far short. I am not Vietnamese American. About 8 years ago I used to go to an earlier English service, then a Vietnamese Service and then a Southern Baptist service that was all done in song. I was the only white guy at the Vietnamese Service and the only white guy at the Baptist service. I am kind of glad that the two churches kept their traditions so I could feel good with both.
Some folks like to go to parties on Friday and Saturday nights. I hang out with family. My party time is around noon on Sundays. I get dressed up and work on my best one liners and get all excited. I am the guy with the party favors and lampshade for a hat. You see I am a preacher and a teacher in a church.
Do you go to church to celebrate and enjoy of because you have to. Do you get all excited and look forward to the feast and dancing and singing and happy days and holding hands and hugging? Well I do.
I don't go to church anymore, but I think I would go to yours.
You remind me of a young former coworkers in Vienna, Austria. He just glowed with joy when he talked about his church and his beliefs. No smacking anyone with a bible, no denunciation and treats of damnation, no you’re either with us or against us mentality.
He reached out to others, without pushing his beliefs or demanding they follow his way. His church was fun and full of joy but also hardworking and helpful to those in need.
From what I've just read, dear brother, you are the perfect kind of Christian so have no qualms about stating it. Are you a perfect Christian? Of course not, there is only one of those and He sits at the right hand of the Father. The rest of us, try as hard as we might, can never measure up to that without the light of His unending love to guide us each and every day. For myself I'm quite comfortable being a Methodist but I think I'd like your church. Our congregation is quite conservative and doesn't take to demonstrative expressions of faith. Heavens! It's taken a few years to get them to applaud the choir when they've done well and a heartfelt "Amen!" for an uplifting sermon is still looked on with raised eyebrows! Yet still we look at our Sunday mornings together as a time of sharing, singing, and at least for me, a time of celebration. It took me a long time to come to Christ and even longer to find a church that accepted sinners. I've found one here in little Carlin, Nevada-of all places. Perhaps someday I can come to yours in sunny southern California. I pray this can be so.
I was born and raised in what was called a Federation Church, got Baptised there and got my Life Scout achievement there. There simply were not enough folk to have a Presbyterian and a Methodist Church so they got together. My music teacher in school was our choir director.
These memories are never sour. And always fresh.
It is time to party and celebrate!!!
It sounds like you come from a small town-small enough where the Presbyterians and Methodists were able to come together to worship by mutual consent. (sigh) I wish it were so here. I recently got myself into a lot of trouble in speaking at the Presbyterian church when I gave the Lord's prayer, but said, "...forgive us our trespasses... instead of ...forgive us our debts... Apparently this is a REALLY big deal with the Presbyterians as I was "admonished" to say it "correctly" if I ever got invited back, which I haven't. Up until that time I was led to believe we were all rowing the same boat. Apparently I was wrong. Honestly, the things that keep some people up at night. I'd like to take a sampling of these two congregations to visit your ministry and see how it's really done.
Thanks for the heads up on the "debts" vs. "trespasses" difference.
In case you find yourself in a Catholic church, be forewarned. YOu WILL be caught up short!
The Lord's Prayer Words
Our Father, which* art in heaven, *most of us say "who"
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in* earth, *on earth
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
Here the priest says something like "Deliver us Lord from every evil and grant us peace in our days"
Then we all come back in and raise our hands up and end the prayer:
For the kingdom,
And the power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.
You have to go to church to do that? Is it not a common thing where you are from?
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