By Zita Collins
Last Sunday we attended Mercia’s church, St. Andrew Anglican Church, all of us dressed in our new Ghanaian wear! Since it is the first Sunday of the month, the service was quite long—about 4 hours– as there are many extra components to this service. There were birthdays to bless, condolences for loved ones who had just passed, two newlywed couples to bless and who brought gifts to the church, and many different offerings to collect. One woman who turned 80 got a special birthday blessing.
The music started with hymns, but during the offerings,
the worship band played and sang upbeat praise songs (in the Ghanaian language, Ga, I think) and people danced up to the altar to give their offerings! There was so much joy in giving! Our group went up four times (some sort of dancing): for “visitors,” for “Mother’s Union” (which GMH is involved with), for the day of the week on which we were born or for a “Jesus Special” offering then once more for something else which escapes me right now. And there were many more! At the end of the service, the four groups who gave the most got to keep a special chalice for the month. One of Mercia’s groups, the Guild of St. Mary the Virgin, got the honor of taking one of these. Way to give, St. Mary’s Guild!
There was the usual communion, in which Pastor Becki got to participate as a chalicist. She was asked to sit up on the altar with the other priests. The sermon was done in English and then again in another language, Ga. The readings were done in all three languages, English, Ga, and Twi.
I totally enjoyed the service with all its special parts. The joy, the dancing, the bringing of gifts to the altar by the newlyweds and all their many well-wishers, even the prayers and the somber moments. To me, this is what church is supposed to be—a ‘family’ gathered to worship the Lord together and to heartily thank Him for all He is and for all He has done. And to enjoy each other in that time of worship, to rejoice with those who rejoice and to grieve with those who grieve. These guys really know how to “do church.” I would not have missed this for the world, and am only sad that we will not be here next Sunday to enjoy another service!