So I went to church with Vika yesterday. Before we got there I was so scared it was going to be some crazy Russian orthodox church where I would have to go to confession and cover my head (I’d put a scarf in my bag just in case!) Fortunately it turned out to be a Baptist church. Less scary, but still very different to my church. It was really traditional – we had to stand up whenever someone read from the bible, prayed, moved… I noticed that of course there were no women in positions of leadership – I wonder what they would have thought if I’d told them that I was on the leadership team of a church in England? Probably that England was a very crazy country!
Of course I didn’t understand anything that the pastor said and I didn’t know any of the songs. So I think Vika was a bit worried I was bored. But I wasn’t, I was fascinated by the people there. I looked around the church and realised me and Vika were the youngest there by a long way! I can see why this kind of church doesn’t appeal at all to young people. We sung two very traditional songs, then listened to a choir and then we had to listen to not one but TWO sermons. I can’t keep attention for longer than 20mins on a sermon so it didn’t really matter that I didn’t understand it as I’m pretty sure I would’ve switched off after 20mins anyway! I’d really like to go and see if there are any more lively churches in Moscow with younger people there.
Behind the place the pastor stood (I don’t even know what this is called?! Clearly I don’t go to ‘traditional’ churches in the UK) was a huge stained glass window that said ‘Бог есть любов’ (God is Love). The fact that I understood this and could relate to it really moved me and I realised how I was worshipping God in such a different way and in such a different place, but it was still possible. He really is God of the whole world.