I’m pseudo-religious. My parents sent me eight years to religious instruction. Up to the 8th grade I spent every Monday afternoon at the priest’s office for reading the bible and singing songs. But I’ve seen our beautiful village church only once a year from the inside – for christmas. I never really thought about if I believe in God or not. Still today I don’t have an answer, when people ask me if I’m faithful.
Independently from a godly existence I like the fact, that there’s a place for hope. A place that reminds you to believe in something, especially yourself. When I read about a modern church service in English I got curious. A heavy social media presence, showing pictures of a young beautiful crowd are things, I usally don’t associate with church. Cinema hall 3 of the Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauer Berg as the event location made it even more interesting. Additionally a humanly starting time at 1pm on a Sunday motivated me finally for a visit today.
It was an intensive and disturbing experience. When I arrived a nice girl from the community involved me instantly in some smalltalk and guided me to a seat in one of the first rows. Shortly afterwards another firsttimer arrived and grabbed the seat besides me. We had a short chat before the service started with a big band concert. The whole cinema hall stood up from their seats to dance and sing full-throatedly. Everyone did it, so me as well. Ok, that’s for sure modern.
The following preachment revealed it’s worldkindnessday today. “Kindness dignifies” was the motto and the preacher talked about the 7 ways and results of acting kind. The words visualised what everyone of us knows but forgets in everyday-life: kindness works like a mirror. Be kind you’ll receive kindness. I’m a supporter for more compliments in everyday-life. Tell your fellows what you like about them. Make at least one person happy per day with a honest compliment and profit from the joy!
As it seems the community has a strong american influence and I can’t deny, I had to struggle with some cultural differences. It’s the extremeness. To make his words more powerful the preacher started screaming everytime he finalized a statement. Not only from the historic perspective I don’t agree with this way of mobilization. Even though he said many carefully considered things I was a bit astonished about his passage of Jesus as a strong name. He effectively started to list names, which aren’t as powerful as the name of Jesus. “I don’t want to be offensive, but Jimmy isn’t a powerful name.” he said. Seriously?
By far the most astonishing and new experience was the whole interaction between the preacher and the audience. Germans are quiet in church, they are not even smiling a bit. The church service today was accompanied by constant cheers of “Yes” and “Right” and “Come on”. One guy next to me called literally “So good. Come on!”. If I had closed my eyes, it could have been porn.
As I’m not sure about God’s existence I’m not sure, if this kind of church is my church. I still have to think about it. What I know for sure is, experience like this give you a new impulse to reflect. And that’s quite important. With starting tomorrow I’ll try to be more kind.
Almost forgotten: They stole my font for their bag print. Have you seen it?