Tuesday, October 11, 2011

First Sunday

I know, it's already Tuesday, but I wanted to write about my first church service. I was tired yesterday.

Worship was the same but different than at home. I liked a lot of what went on actually. When we got started, there was singing of course, but one thing we did which I think we don't do enough of at home, was scripture reading. Between every song, there were chunks of scripture that were read. Sometimes we read them all together and sometimes, one of the men would read them. We went through a good chunk of Matthew 5 which was pretty cool.

Another interesting thing, I knew all the songs but one. How? Well because they were all songs we sing at home, but (obviously) in Russian. We actually sang one of my favorite songs, "We Shall Assemble." I'm hoping to learn the Russian version. I guess it should be obvious that we sing the same songs, but I wasn't expecting it to be quite so many. Maybe because the Baptist church I attended in Yakutsk sang a lot of different songs. I've only been here one Sunday though, so what else is sung remains to be seen.

After much singing and scripture reading led by Igor, it was time for communion. Dima got up and said a few words and then we passed around the bread. It was much like home (Well, the bread was a little different. Was all crunchy) except that instead of eating it right away, we waited until everyone had a piece. Then Dima quoted Jesus "This is my body, do this in remembrance of me." And we all ate. We did the same thing with the juice after passing it around, then our little communion cups were collected.

Oleg, who I guess you could consider the main preacher, did the offering. Following that, they had all the children come to the front. It was cool because they asked the kids if there was anything they'd like to pray for and then they had a prayer for the children. After the prayer, the kids went to their respective classes.

Oleg then preached the sermon. It was pretty interesting, what I understood of it anyway. About halfway through it got easier to understand which was awesome. The lesson was about persecution.

Oh and apparently, worship here (like the scripture and stuff) isn't always the same. I just got done having tea with Dima, Sergei and Galina and they told me that the beginning part changes depending on who is leading that part of the worship. Dima also told me that this congregation is actually one of the more progressive churches of Christ in Russia. Which was interesting. It would be interesting to see how some of the more traditional churches run worship and interact with each other and the world.

There wasn't an invitation song or anything which was actually kind of nice. We just prayed at the end of the sermon. Then there were announcements. Igor got up and congratulated the couple who got married last Wednesday and then they introduced me and Joel talked a little bit about who I was and why I was here. Then we said a prayer and dismissed.

I really enjoyed worship and I've been enjoying getting to know people and getting involved with the stuff going on here. Doing this is one of the best decisions I've ever made...

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