Hadiya J. Malone
Professor Laurel Holland
22 April 2014
My experience at VOX and The Methodist Easter Sunday Service For my cultural event, I attended the Oak Grove United Methodist Church Café VOX meeting and Easter Sunday service. The church service took place in the main “Sanctuary” hall at Oak Grove United Methodist Church in Decatur, Georgia. Café VOX also takes place at the church in a coffee house-style setting just before the church service. Easter Sunday is an extremely important event in Christian religion, as it is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And Easter Sunday service is a popular tradition among Methodist churches worldwide. According to the church’s website, Oak Grove United Methodist Church, Decatur, is the origin of Café VOX, a community that offers Methodist students the opportunity to be expressive through poetry, music, theater exercises, etc. It’s a weekly gathering of high school and college-aged students, and it strives to encourage sharing in order to celebrate “the diversity of our voices and the wisdom and beauty we can find if we listen well enough.” (OGUMC Altogether, My Experience was extremely interesting and I actually enjoyed it and connected it to a few sociological concepts that I have learned this semester. Religiosity, religious affiliation, and the Micro- A macrosociology link that connects religion to society were three ideas that popped into my head when I thought of my experiences this Sunday at Oak Grove United Methodist Church. When I attended the VOX meeting, I honestly didn’t have a tremendous feeling of awkwardness. The participants were all in my age group, and when they performed their poetry, skits, etc., I could feel a sense of fellowship with them. According to Kenda Dean in her book Almost Christian, “Teenagers demonstrate an openness to religion, but few of them are deeply committed to one.” (Dean), which is something I absolutely felt through the teens’ voices as they shared during the meeting. It showed me that even though we were old enough to make our own decisions we showed a devotion to our religion based on the teachings of our parents. Most of the teens at the VOX event showed a great deal of religiosity which made me feel a little left out because I do not attend church as often as they do. Which comes to the ideas of extrinsic religiosity and Intrinsic Religiosity. I would consider myself more intrinsically religious than the peers that I met at the VOX event when it comes to the Christian faith. The only obvious difference among us was that I was the only African American in a room full of about 30 teens, but I was okay with that because we shared some common threads: age and voice. However, as soon as I went out into a larger area with a larger population of older and younger Caucasian males and females, I began to feel out of place. I remember even telling my mom that I didn’t want to stay at all because I was uncomfortable. I didn’t feel any sort of Ethnocentrism, and I was proud of that. And even though I felt awkward, I actually enjoyed some aspects of the ceremony. For example, the reverend was female, and I have never witnessed that at any of the places of worship that I have attended. In fact, I even read in my textbook that “From a conflict perspective, the doctrines of the three major monotheistic religions- religions that worship one divine figure - are quiet sexist.” (316, Kerry/Stein) I have heard people argue about how wrong or right it is for women to be in the “pulpit,” quoting scriptures such as “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.” (English Standard Version Bible, Timothy 1- 2:12) But I have also heard quoted scriptures such as Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Standard English Bible, Galatians 3:28) So...
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