"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Yoboseyo? Anglicans who don't speak English.

Okay, I know, statistically, that we Americans make up an itsy bitsy teensy weensy portion of the Anglican Communion. And I know that most of us Anglican-types are in very non-American contexts. But I live here, I don't see it every day like some of my missionary friends do.

And Anglican means English. So you do kind of assume....

I'll be in Baltimore this weekend. And usually we would hop on by the Church of the Resurrection, which is a nifty little congregation. I've preached over there twice; great folks. They have a new priest and a new building and it would be nice to visit. But curiosity and cats and all, I hit the "find a church" website for the Anglican Church in North America. There was Resurrection, but listed ahead of them was a rather odd duck, ecclesiastically speaking. I mean how often do you find a church named "The Korean Anglican Church in Maryland." How many Korean Anglicans can there possibly be in Maryland? Most Korean Churches in the US are Presbyterian (they kind of cornered the mission field over there at some point) anyway. Interesting. Short story; I wanna go.

More interestingly, in the multi-cultural sense; they are a CANA parish, which means they have received some degree of oversight, support, and ecclesiastical whatzit from Nigera. Yeah, these guys must be fascinating. Definitely a story I want to hear.

So I looked for a website. None.
After a little internet stalking, still no website.
So I decided to pony up and call. Yeah, telephone. Retro.
Dialing... ringing. ringing. still ringing. Obviously either no one is in the office on Fridays (clearly not a big industrial strength church, but again how many Korean Anglicans can there be in America?)... more ringing. Sneaking suspicion that the number is the pastor's home phone.
click.
"Yoboseyo?"

Now I know just enough Korean to recognize that as standard answer the telephone fare. I also know just enough Korean to ask for a glass of water but not enough to say "please don't kill me" if I'm ever mugged in a dark alley by a Korean pastor. yeah.

um, hello. I managed that in Korean. Yea.
Rats... then the words of American-centric Euroshame... At least I uttered them haltingly in Korean.... "English... do you speak?"

Thankfully his English, for which he was apologetic, was far superior to my Korean. I can't make the service (maybe next time I'm in the area) which he informed me was in Korean only (no English service in this Anglican Church). I don't mind the language barrier, but the schedule problem is a bummer. Maybe next time I'm in Baltimore. I managed to thank the guy in Korean, learn a more authentic pronunciation of "you're welcome." And I think they're truly welcoming, although obviously a little flummoxed about why a non-Korean speaker from Pittsburgh was inquiring.

Anyway, I hope to drop in some day. They seem really cool.

But mostly I'm thankful that just because you call yourselves Anglican doesn't mean you have to speak English or wear pale skin or eat bland food and tea. I'm thankful that there are brothers and sisters I'm called to love and be in relationship with that don't have to live in my country, speak my language. We're all citizens of a higher kingdom.

And if you're ever in Baltimore; tell the Korean Anglican Church of Maryland "anyonghaseyo" for me.

1 comment:

  1. I've been slowly sinking this week as I contemplated the potential loss of a nice little church into a swamp created by another "Christian" church. Then this little breath of fresh air. Imagine a bunch of Koreans in Baltimore believing they are Anglicans - and they don't even speak much English! It just reminds me that there's a whole big world going on. I'll bet these Christians never even think about Schori's mitre. They're probably so busy being and doing Christianity that they don't have time for petty and righteous pride and getting even and beating "them" down.

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