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Multicultural Experience Paper

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I attended a non-denominational religious ceremony this past weekend and I must say that it was not what I thought it would be. I became a Christian by way of the Pentecostal denomination and I learned the doctrine when I became a member of the Baptist congregation. I would say that I enjoyed the non-denominational ceremony more because it was a taste of both the Baptist and the Pentecostal forum that I am already accustomed to. I was always curious about the non-denominational ministries. Because to me it did not seem that they could conduct a service without any denomination. It seemed to me that the denominations were created to conduct the service in a particular order. The denominations were thought to be the guidelines of the service. I thought the services would be an indefinite “circus act” without the guideline to be followed. I am happy to say that the “circus act” was not the case. The service was not conducted for a very long time. The Sunday school service was over-extended into the worship service. The content, and the discussion were joyous to participate in. The Praise and Worship portion was very entertaining as everyone participated, including the children. The Pastor allowed whoever wanted to stand and testify the opportunity and the time to speak whatever they had to say. The members had received the message that they needed to hear before the Pastor stood up to speak. Therefore, she dismissed the congregation, without prolonging the service any longer. Afterwards, the congregation went to a nice restaurant and had a light meal, where we talked about the service for a few hours. The Assistant Pastor kept commenting on how pleased she was with me in how I raised my children all while living as a single-mother. She liked how respectful they were and how attentive the boys were to their little sister. She was pleased that to look at me, you would think that I was a happily married woman. Because I do not fit the stereo-type of many single-mothers who are depressed, lonely, and looking for a hand-out that frequently appears in my community. My experience with these members proved to be more liberal than within any other congregation that I have ever attended. This denomination adhered to the Holy Bible, but they did not adhere to most of the traditional standards that religious officials have placed into the church setting. They were more accepting and more open than either of the previous denominations that I have attended. The Pastor was female which I have not been accustomed to is. Because the Pentecostal denomination does not promote female Pastors as much and the Baptist denominations that I have been affiliated with have shunned the idea of women acquiring any authority of having a position over a male. The Pastor was more approachable than most traditional staff members. She did not carry a persona of being better than anyone else. She did not appear to act as if she was closer to God than anyone else. She made me feel as she was a friend who I could talk to about anything. She did not appear to be judgmental about anyone, but that she was a person who would work through your issues with you. The Pentecostal division seemed to be basically designed for praise and worship. They have strict guidelines about the way a member, especially a female member should dress. They are very liberal with the males, but the females find themselves to have more restrictions in place. The ceremony seems to be happier and more joyous than the Baptist ceremonies that I have attended. The restrictions are heavy in regard of the conduct while worshiping. The Baptist division is designed to teach the scriptures and demand order in the service. In regard to the service, everything seemed to be on time and done in an orderly fashion. Although the Pentecostal members may pray, praise, and worship for an indefinite amount of time. The Baptist was not as strict about the attire that the women wore. Women were allowed to wear pants and light cosmetics, which was the opposite for the Pentecostal women. I always assumed that the non-denominational service was a combination of the restrictions of both the Pentecostal and the Baptist ceremonies. I was very pleased to find that it is more liberal than either of the previous mentioned. Members were allowed to praise and worship as they saw fit to do so. Everyone was comfortable wearing what they felt comfortable wearing. No one was too dressy or not dressed enough. It had a casual air about the place. The Pastor was a woman, which is something you would not find in a Baptist church in this present day and time. The room was inviting. The members welcomed me as if I were already family. It felt good to be in a place without so many restrictions and that allowed me to use my integrity in how to act on my own. I was treated as an adult and not a child. There was no taskmaster with a heavy ruler demanding me to do anything. I was able to enjoy the service. It was very rewarding and very edifying. I believe that God was in the room and I enjoyed every moment of the presence. The Pastor saw in my character and the way that I conducted myself that I had been on the ministerial staff at some point in my life and I told her I began on the minister’s board in the Baptist community. She immediately received me and asked that I join her in a seat next to her. I was honored because most churches in my community refuse to stretch out their hand of fellowship in that fashion so soon in fear that their position will be taken from them. I was very pleased with the reactions of the congregation toward me and the reception of me from the Pastor. I enjoyed myself so much that I told them that I would return for Bible study on Wednesday night after work and I joined their congregation. I was pleased that the Pastor immediately gave me a department in the church to tend to and distributed my responsibilities as a member of the pastoral staff. I felt honored to become a part of the congregation and not just a member who sat on a pew. I was delighted that I could be a part of furthering the cause of the ministry and help people in the way that I felt comfortable. Without a load of restrictions that left very little room for things that I would be allowed to do. I felt very proud of my accomplishments at that very moment because she made me realize what I do have. My notions about the non-denominational church have drastically changed. I have judged wrongly this setting for a long time because I had drawn a conclusion before ever attending a service. It has led me to be determined to research something before I conclude anything it. This is because if it had not been for this assignment, I would have still been misjudging this denomination. I would not be experiencing this joy and productivity in my life today. My experience turn into being a life-changing moment and I am happy that I made the decision to have the experience. I feel that my life has a whole new sense of purpose and I am embarking on a whole new direction. I am excited to tell all of my girlfriends about the new single’s ministry that I will be establishing for single women who have nowhere to go on Friday nights. I will also be planning to operate a nonprofit organization that will help women and children, along with a shelter for those that are homeless.
My best friend is excited for me and has given me his blessing. I am excited to have found a balance in the denominations of my faith where I can be productive and purposeful. This experience has led me to feel passionate about people again. It has caused creativity to bloom in my heart once again. I can take every experience that I have been through during my past and teach someone else how to avoid the mistakes that I have made. This ministry has given me hope beyond measure, which I am so glad to have and be a part of this ministry.

References
Proverbs Ministries, Las Vegas, NV

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