"Chinese Christian Church"
University of Michigan
Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it.
100 - 300 words
(University of Michigan)
As you walk onto my church grounds, you would be a little befuddled. What used to be a small one-story home now houses the Chinese Christian Church of Columbia--the former garage/carport is now the sanctuary, the swimming pool has been replaced with the education building, and the old house is now the kitchen and fellowship building. But the most glaring aspect is the separate services, divided by language not time. Our church walks between traditional Chinese culture and contemporary American beliefs. Many of the ABCs (American-born Chinese) and the few Americans join together for the English service, centered around more contemporary worship and disciple-building. The older immigrant population and the Chinese students from the surrounding universities gather for the Chinese service, featuring more conservative worship with hymns and focused on outreach.
Though we are divided by language and cultural barriers, we are joined together with a shared faith. While I call the English congregation home, I occasionally serve on the worship team for the Chinese service and as an interpreter for joint adult and youth events (when the Chinese and English service join together). While I serve in both congregations, my main focus is the children’s ministry where I am a Sunday school teacher and an activities coordinator. Every week, I love walking into the classroom, seeing the happy faces of curious children ready to learn new Bible stories despite their occasional rowdy and disobedient behavior. While the students learn, I share the same search for answers in my faith. With my church being a melting pot of cultures and language, we work to push aside those barriers to be joined together under one faith. Despite the challenges, the tight-knit community that has sprung up from our tiny house church has won my heart.