For this site visit project, our class had to attend a religious service or ceremony outside of our own religious tradition. Since I am not familiar with the Christian faith, I decided to go to a Christian church service. At first, I had trouble finding a religious service that I would like to go to and not feel too uncomfortable, however I remembered that I had an aunt that was Christian so I talked with her about my project and I went to church with her. I attended a Christian Nondenominational Church called “Iglesia Cristiana Clinica del Alma” that is located in Hialeah Florida. The language spoken in this church is Spanish and its name translates to “Clinic of the Soul.” I went on a Sunday morning which their service starts at 11:00 a.m. and ends at 1:30 p.m.
I thought that it was not going to be easy entering the church because I am not a Christian however entering the actual church was no problem for two reasons. One is that the church is open to everyone and second because I was with my aunt who is a Christian and a member of this church. I was began to feel a bit uncomfortable as I got closer but it soon went away. The members of the church were nice and welcoming. It shocked me that it was that easy to enter their religious site and be welcomed by their members even though I was not a Christian.
Once I was in, the service had started. First, the members were all praying in the front by the stage with a woman leading the prayer on top of the stage. Even though I could have gone up, I stayed at my seat but my aunt went up to pray. After the prayer, they started to sing songs to worship their God. Once they finished worshipping, the sermon began and was given by the pastor.
Throughout the whole service, I did not feel as if I was excluded from anything that was happening inside the church and with what they consider to be sacred. That’s the thing that really caught my attention during my time there. I was able to walk inside the church without a problem, then during the prayer time, I was also allowed to go right in front of the stage and be with the rest of the members and take part in their “ritual” even though I was not a Christian. When they started to sign and dance, I was allowed to join them and they even have a projector with the words to the songs on the screen so that people that have never gone to the church could sing along with all the members. When the sermon began, anybody was allowed to stay and listen to the teachings that the pastor gave. Once everything was over, many members of the church came to me and talked with me and they asked me questions and I asked them questions as well. They were very much interested in taking the time to talk to me and answer any and every question that I had on the church and their beliefs. The members of the church did not make me feel excluded at all.
Overall, I would have to say that I had a great experience going to Clinic of the Soul. Even though I was very nervous and scared at first, it all went away and that was probably because of how welcoming the members of the church made me feel. They let me take part in everything that was going on in the church during the service and did not really deny me from anything. That was what probably impacted me the most. I really liked how nice everyone was and how they don’t care if you are a Christian or not. It seemed to like they want people who are not Christians to come to their church but I think that is because they want to convert people to their faith. Whatever the case may be, the experience impacted me and I am glad that I was able to attend the service at Clinic Of The Soul.