Sunday, December 9, 2012

A new church adventure

Today the three of us had a new adventure!  The entire garrison closed chapels due to the snow fall that hit early this morning dropping 4 to 5 inches of beautiful snow on the ground.  Making the road conditions to RED.

So, instead of driving in to post for chapel, we walked about 30 steps from our front door to the door of the local evangelical church right outside our windows.

We had been there before mid week to view the architecture and the beautiful murals that are on the ceiling.  The church dates back to the 12th century and is pretty impressive.  Marble columns, stained glass windows, cathedral altar area gated off to the public, preaching points where even Martin Luther is to have visited and preached.

As you can imagine, it doesn't look anything like the churches in the states or even on post here. It is unique and beautiful.

Well, part of the adventure was that the entire service was done in Deutsch including the 6 songs we sung. It was interesting trying to catch words and phrases we know and understand but the fun was the hymn numbers. Instead of saying one hundred and sixty two, they say the two then the sixty then the hundred and by the time my mind reversed it all, I forgot the number...oh well...thankful for the Rosetta Stone we were blessed with and need to keep working on it.

The other interesting adventure was we were never verbally greeted by anyone there. When we walked in, we were handed a hymnal and a song sheet. We greeted them with the standard, Guten Tag, meaning Good Day. No response back.

We made our way to three seats and sat there. No one greeted or acknowledged us. When we left, no one thanked us for coming except for one man that I approached and initiated a conversation in some Deutsch and mostly english.  Even at that, it was all business about the question I asked.

My take away from this adventure, it is crucial to greet people, welcome people and engage them in conversation when at church.  The isolation that I felt in a church that didn't speak my native tongue and did things differently, was very not inviting or welcoming.  That makes me aware of what I need to do when I see someone at chapel that I don't know or have never met.

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