Sunday, November 9, 2014

Church #28. Ansgar Danish Lutheran Church. Nov 9, 2014.

10:30 am Church time! So remember That Cree Catholic church I found? Well guess what? Just across the street was another church! and another and another. The whole block is packed with them! literately a whole street of churches. So i thought i would just go down the block. This is church #2 of what i will refer to as my "Jesus Street" series .

So as you can see this is a wee little church. It's cute and cozy. I like it. I checked on the web sight ahead of time because i knew that there was a possible chance that there would be certain services that would not be in English. Which was correct. But thankfully this particular Sunday was not going to be spoken in Danish, so i took up the opportunity and went.

There was a little singe on the doors entering the main area of the church which indicated that today's service was in English. (they also have one of these electric door bells that indicates when the door opens, kind of caught me off-gard.) I entered the main area to find one senior lady sitting there. I thought it just might be me and her, but there were others that joined us. There was a total of about 12 people today. that includes the lady playing piano and the pastor. The lady sitting beside me said that she expected today's group to be small because of the recent snowfall, and difficult driving conditions.

Everyone was real friendly here. I met the pastor right away. Definitely has the whole Danish accent going on, but still fully understandable while speaking English. He explained to me right off the bat that they like to do their service at this church the say way they would be done in Denmark. Needles to say i was interested.
The pastor changed into his robes. which were of a very unique fashion that i have never seen before. He explained to me that they were custom tailored for him and cost him a pretty penny. Sanzy Duds.
The service started with church bells ringing via audio recording ( i guess they were short a bell tower) that went on for a few minutes. I noticed that this service was done with the congregation sitting down to sing and standing to listen to the scripture reading of the day (thankfully it was short). Normally people stand to sing and sit for scripture. So we were just operating in reverse today.

the scripture reading today referred to Jesus being questioned on a certain political situation. But that question was a double edge sward. The problem was that regardless of which side he took on the issue it would turn him into someones political enemy. So to save the situation he diverted the conversation to a similar situation that happened early that had no political attachments. A tower collapsed  and killed 18 people. when the people asked if these 18 people were more sinful then others? Did they deserve it more then the next person? Jesus answered no. There is no solid connection between how much of a "good Christian" a person is and  how often they encounter tragedy or bad luck. there may appear to be a lose one at times, but nothing solid.
There was also a reading that told about a fig tree. Now i grew up around fruit trees. and i know that ypu almost never get anything the first year, the second year there might be something, and by the thrid you normaly have moderate production. well this farmer had a fig tree, big healthy tree, and it was on its third year. The land owner came out to check the gardens and discoved this great tree that despite 3 years in the garden, had produced nothing. He told the farmer it was a waste of space and to cut it down. That he could use all that space and resorces to put in new plants that would use bear much fruit and be very productive. (if any of you have been laid off from a job because you were not learning fast enought/or being the most productive you know this feeling all too well). But the farmer said that he would take the tree and give it extra care, and pleaded with the owner to give it one more year to bear fruit. The owner agreed and the tree was given another chance. The pastor conculded buy explainging that when we are failing to bear fruit, God dose not simply chop us down, he gives us another year. And that in my mind is a clear example that our god is one of love and mercy.

Communion as definitely done different at this church ( but i the back of my memory i think i may have encountered something similar). we all went up to the front of the church to kneel on this raised red velvet bar and rest our arms on a little 2 foot fence that had been put up, the pastor stood behind the fence and we all knelled in front of it. He gave us the body of the lord. aka.rice crackers. After that we received the blood of the lord, but instead of having little pre-filled cups or all of us drinking out of one, we each had our own min silver cups where he individual poured us each a 1.5 ounce serving.

Buy the way, the wine was a sweat port, that was brought in from Europe with a full body and fruity after-tones. I give it 4 out of 5. Yes i am a smart ass. Moving on.

After we had received the two pieces of communion he passed us over wit this hands raised just above our heads and declared us forgiven of our sins.
After the service was done the question then becomes,why on gods green earth does this church have a model boat hanging from the ceiling? The answer from the pastor was that no one honestly knows where the tradition started but every danish church has one. He thinks it is obviously related to the danish lifestyle where  a large majority of the population worked on the seas.  It my also have to do with the fact that the danish word that describes the part of the church were everyone sits together is the same word for "ship" . It signifies that we are all together on a journey moving forward and the Lord is our captain as he directs the ship. And that when the ship faces stormy seas we call all pull together to get thru it. I have mentioned in past times that sometimes the church ceilings resemble a flipped over boat. That is where this comes from.

there was also this written just above the door for people to see as they leave.

Apparently is translates out to "Carry Each-others Burdens".  to remind people to be loving and supportive to their fellow man as they go out into the world.
I was asked if I was willing to come back and present my findings at the end of my 100 church mission.  I would like to say this place would make me very happy to come back to drop in for a visit. Its like a ginger bread house in their...there  may be icing sugar on the outside but there is definitely hot chocolate inside. This is a very cozy little church full of love and warmth.
Till next week, keep warm everyone!