>One of the more exciting opportunities so far in Washington, DC has been the pleasure to worship with an African American Catholic church. We spent about two hours in fellowship worshipping God, and there are several aspects about the service that I feel encouraged to share:
• Although the community surrounding the church was poor, the church itself appeared vibrant. Everyone was dressed in their Sunday best and the art on the walls and windows of the church itself were beautiful. I felt privileged to be in the midst of such a vibrant church.
• The congregation was enthusiastic during the whole service. People were singing, clapping their hands, dancing, and jumping in joy.
• The church was responsive to the priest. Throughout the service, when the Word was quoted, I would hear a loud “AHMEN!” or Praise Jesus!
• The congregation did everything they could to make us, the strangers to the congregation, feel welcomed. The priest had us stand up amidst the whole church to be introduced, and told us that the congregation had “gifts” for all of us. We were then given the gift of hugs from all the members of the congregation near us.
I was humbled by the sense of unity and love the congregation had for each other. I was amazed that the congregation felt compelled to come up to greet and hug a stranger like myself. I recognize that materially I was one of the richest people at the church service. However, in terms of the currency of love, I felt poor compared to these people. I am not about to say that the people of this Church are more spiritual than myself or other Christians I know. However, I do feel like I can be more enthusiastic in my worship and more outgoing with strangers. One thing is for certain: The next time Pastor Mitchel Lee does a sermon and I am in the congregation, he’s going to get a loud “AHMEN!”