Yesterday Chain of Lakes had the joyous privilege of hosting Presbyterian Day. This is an annual event where the Cameroonian community in the Twin Cities celebrates the independence of the Presbyterian Church of Cameroon at a Presbyterian church in the Twin Cities. This is the second year of the celebration. Last year Arlington Hills Presbyterian Church hosted the event.
This is a very big deal for our Cameroonian friends. We had 320 people attend worship at Chain of Lakes yesterday. The planning team for the event had been meeting for the last two months.
We at Chain of Lakes turned over our worship to the Cameroonian community. I preached and led community only because the community asked if I would. I even wore a robe for the first time on a Sunday morning since I’ve come to Chain of Lakes—the planning team asked me to do it!
For many of us yesterday’s worship experience was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Our friends from the Cameroon arrived early and streamed into our worship location at Da Vinci Academy. We set up seats for 250; they were completely full. Those who couldn’t find a seat stood while the children went to Sunday School or Child Care.
And did we worship!! Three separate choirs sang—one from Arlington Hills and another from Presbyterian Church of the Master. During the sermon—which can be viewed at http://blip.tv/chain-of-lakes-church/presbyterian-day-6433724 I talked about the rapidly changing demographics of our country and area. Did you know that o9ver 21,000 people in Anoka County were not born in the United States? Approximately 55 languages are spoken in the Anoka-Hennepin School District.
One way for the church to address these changing demographics is to have many more events like yesterday where all of us learn about another culture—and for us in the church to put our first allegiance to Jesus Christ.
Worship lasted for close to two hours. I would be surprised if anyone left early. After worship everyone feasted on terrific food that the Cameroonian community had prepared. We then enjoyed another program of singing and dancing and speeches. Many of the children in the Cameroonian community shared some memory verses. At 2:00 at least 200 people were still present.
I was touched by the spiritual energy of the Cameroonian community. They came willing to spend a lot of time in worship and with each other. They were not looking at the clock wondering when they could get back to life. Being in worship and community is a central part of their life. They have much to teach many of us in America who are so accustomed and comfortable in an individual faith. For the Cameroonians much revolves around their own deep sense of community.
What a privilege!