Friday, May 2, 2008

Monrovia Christian Fellowship

I know what some of you are thinking….I finally made it to the ‘white church’. I have to admit, I was showing up with hesitations…I’ve never experienced non-Liberian church. And, when it’s affectionately called the ‘white church’, well, I wasn’t too sure. I have to admit, I enjoyed it. I think it was mostly because I’ve really been missing church….in the sense of there being familiar songs to sing and corporate worship and things. We were invited to MCF by a friend because the choir was having a gowning ceremony after the service, and she thought we’d enjoy it. There was an actual praise band….yea, with guitars, keyboards, a drum set and microphones?! My only complaints are that the sanctuary is full of light coming in from outside, and they were using a overhead projector… you can’t really read the words, so if you don’t know the song, then you just kind of clap along. And the wood benches are super uncomfortable (it made me realize how much weight I’ve lost). Anyway, the church was founded like 15+ years ago by an American pastor, and then there’s also a Liberian pastor. The Liberian pastor preached….and what he had to say was fairly decent. He also had his wife and the American pastor’s wife both share what God had been teaching them lately….and said for the next few weeks he’s going to call on people to share. It is true though, it is the ‘white church’—I’ve never seen so many white people in one place in Liberia. It’s mostly UN and NGO people, but there was also a good amount of Liberians. I think MCF is great when you really need a ‘familiar’ church experience, and I would like to go back. I’m interested in hearing the American pastor preach.

Ok, so the gowning ceremony….first of all, the choir sang two songs in the service as a preview for the ceremony. The best description would be to think Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, but Liberian style and with half the amount of people. It was awesome! They sang “He Knows My Name”….which has a special place in my heart…working with orphans and all. Their singing gave me goosebumps… I was sweating in the Liberian heat! The ceremony was after church, and we just expected it to be a concert and then present the new robes. Boy were we wrong….which should have been expected, since this is Liberia. The choir sang 5 songs, then there was 3 solo artists (2 singers, 1 guitar player) who each sang/played 2 songs. While they sang, if ‘your heart was blessed’, then you were supposed to go to the front and put your offering in the box. Then they started the gowning…..they would call a few people up on stage, present them with their gowns, and then their family and friends would come up and help them put the gown on and then they pinned pieces of metallic paper on their gowns (not sure what that was all about). This process went on for probably an hour (they ran out of papers), and after we realized they were still gowning the girls, we decided to duck out and go for some ice cream at Delish! Banana and chocolate ice cream—which was super good since we’d been sitting in the heat all afternoon! $1 a scoop, so it’s well worth it! It was a good Sunday!

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