As a second-generation Chinese Canadian worshiping in a C
“¡Buenos dias, hermana! ¿Cómo amaneció? ¡Good, morning, sister! ¿How are you today?” These are the words I hear every Sunday when I arrive at my congregation. We start the day with a short prayer meeting. We sing a hymn, read a psalm, and then voice the petitions and prayers for the day: healing for those who are ill, safe journeys for those who are traveling, jobs for those who are unemployed, and the needs of the community, both local and global.
Is there a place for a gospel choir in a predominantly white Christian high school? What would such a choir look like? What would it sound like? What would be the benefits to the choir members and their communities? In this article Nate Glasper shares his heart and his journey with a group of high school students from Grand Rapids Christian High School. —JB
Tucked into a neighborhood of middle class homes in Denver where South Race Street makes a diagonal intersection with East Cornell Avenue sits a 1960s-style building covered by a low-hanging shake roof. For 30 years, a vibrant congregation filled the pews on Sundays, engaging various generations in worship and experimenting with newer styles of outreach and music. Then, 20 years ago, the congregation voted to accept an opportunity to merge with another church in order to plant a ministry in a newer part of the Denver metro area that had few worship options.
As we work to create multicultural communities and worship, we must at some point talk about belonging and what it means to be part of our community. What does it mean to belong to our group, our tribe? More important, perhaps, is the question “What makes a person feel that they belong?”
About ten years ago I was given the chance to work at the national offices of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in Louisville, Kentucky. I had never lived outside of Puerto Rico and had only experienced church as a Presbyterian in the context of the island. Coming over to the United States provided unique opportunities and challenges. I had to navigate a language other than Spanish. I had to live in a place where I became a minority. I had to deal with a different culture (or cultures). It was fascinating and terrifying at the same time.