Fieldwork Paper about My Church Experience
Christianity is a brand new thing for me. In my entire 19 years of life, I haven’t had a lot chance to get involved with any church related activities. I have read it from books, seen it from movies, but I have never experienced what is Christianity all about by myself. From where I grew up, most of the people will claim themselves atheist. Lots of us were convinced that here were no Gods or any spiritual power existed in this world. Although our government will claim that China is a country of religious freedom, such claim really makes me laugh. People should not take Chinese government’s word really seriously. Communist governors are masters of manipulating. They promise us that we can believe in any religion as we wish, as long as it did not involve illegal activity. However, the government keeps indoctrinating Chinese people with all those negative ideas about religious beliefs, especially about Christianity. They make us believe that people who believe in God are maniacs and people who have religious beliefs are not allowed to work for the government. They made us believe that all religions are just people having blind faith. We were raised to believe that all the things in the world can all be explained by science. However, “Is that really the truth?” I asked myself. In case to get more point of views on this question, I think it would be a good idea for me to attend one of the church events with one of my American friend’s family in Pittsburgh. The family that I went to church with is the Ackerman family. I know the family’s oldest son as a friend from Virginia Tech. They invited me over their house to spent spring break with them. Mrs. Ackerman is the worship arts associate at her church, all of her family members are really devout believers. Mrs. Ackerman told me she was raised in a Christian family and she started to accept God when she was only six years old. Therefore, I decided to go to church with them at the following Sunday. It was a cold Sunday morning. Although it was already March, it was still snowing in Pittsburg. I remembered I had to get up at 5:45 in the morning because Mrs. Ackerman had to get to the church pretty early. It was a half hour drive from Mrs. Ackerman’s house to the Chapel. There were lots of hills in Pittsburgh area, therefore, I often got car sick from the driving and plus that day was quite cold so that half hour drive was really painful. However, compare to the early morning driving, my experience at the church that day was quite interesting and exciting. The name of the church that I went to is called the Bible Chapel. It is located at the south hill of Pittsburgh. It was founded by nine couples who lived in the South Hills of Pittsburgh in 1963. On June 15, 1965, these couples held their first Sunday worship service in one of the couples’ house and there were only few people attended the worship. However, after about 50 years of development, more and more families in this area became involved with The Bible Chapel. And right now, The Bible Chapel became a relative large church that can hold approximately thousands of people. My first glance of the church was the backside of the church. Be honest, the church building itself did not look like a church for me. First of all, the decoration of the building looked really different than what I had in mind. In my impression, I always thought a Christian church should look more like a Middle Ages Roman castle. They should all have those tall spires stand at the front side of the church building. And the spire should all be well decorated with fine carved sculpture. Also, the church building should be covered with delicate stained glass. However, The Bible Chapel church building looks totally different than the church I saw in the movies. For me, it looks more like a modern hotel. The church building was painted white and rooftop was painted...
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