For a few years now our church has partnered with an inner city church in Inglewood (Faithful Central Bible Church) for outreach to the City of Los Angeles. Once a year our church has a combined service with Faithful Central at The Forum (formerly home of the L.A. Lakers) where they meet for worship. We haven't gone on those days because they did not offer Nursery Service and we didn't think Marlie could sit still and be quiet for their 2 and 1/2 hour service.
But for a while now we've been wanting to visit them. Especially since Marlie is a little older now. We decided this past Sunday to attend their church service. If you want to get a quick picture of what their services are like, CLICK HERE for a 40 second clip.
Haven and Seamus were both uncomfortable being dropped off in classes at a different church with a bunch of kids they didn't know. In fact, Seamus looked so scared that we second guessed whether we should drop him off or keep him with us. But we went ahead and left for the service. Marlie stayed with us.
The music was awesome! The Bishop was a bit like James Brown in his sermon delivery, which while not at all what we're used to, was still very cool. We were greeted by a bunch of other church goers who were all very welcoming to us. Yes it's true... it was very different from our Presbyterian Church service. Since we're the "Frozen Chosen" and everything. Not really used to people yelling out praises during the service and especially during the prayers. Not really used to people jumping up and down and raising their hands and dancing in the aisles. Nope... doesn't happen so much in the Presbyterian Church. But we loved it. We really did. Marlie clearly does not have Presbyterian blood in her and was very eager to clap along with the congregation throughout the service.
Haven wasn't thrilled with his class, mainly because for 3rd grade, it was set up like a college lecture. The teacher looked like he was in his 80's and the kids just had to sit down and listen to the lesson. Haven said the other kids were very interested in him and asked him how he felt about being "white". He was pretty surprised by that question and just said he didn't care what color he was. He told them he had a brown-skinned sister like them. He did make some friends but didn't like the "school" part of the Sunday School.
Now Seamus was the one we had been worried about the most. When we walked into his classroom, he was on the floor playing with a bunch of kids. He had the biggest smile on his face when he saw us and told us he had such a great time, he can't WAIT to come back! He told us about all the friends he made.
Faithful Central is a bit far to attend regularly and we really do love our home church. But we want to try to visit Faithful Central at least a few times a year. Marlie is going to spend a good percentage of her life as the fish out of water. It will be good for her (and us) to have experiences where she fits in and we're the ones who don't.
And who knows... maybe some of their praise & worship practices will rub off on us... perhaps one day we'll be able to raise our hands in praise during the service. Ok, maybe just one hand. Ok, maybe not so much of a raised hand, maybe more like an upturned hand held close to our bodies for a couple of seconds before we put our hands down. Baby steps.