Believe it or not, this is only the second time I visit a Christian church in my life. 5 years ago, I have been to the church at the Chendu road. It was a Christmas and we rushed to a church just to feel what a Christian evening for Christmas is. It was silly to be there without knowing anything about Christian.
I know in western, most people believe in Christian. That is a major culture shock when people visit China, since the majority of people in China do not believe in God. Actually, people believe in nothing currently. There is a major problem in the current Chinese society because there is no common belief. People did have common believe before 1970’s – the Party. The party was described as more powerful than the God – if you believe in party and show your believe in it, you will get peace. The theory sounds silly recently. However, the rule still lasts that people have religious belief are not permitted to join the Party.
The Shanghai Community Church is located at #53 Henshang Road. It is called Gui Ji Li Bai Tang in Chinese, which can be directly translated into English as International Church. It is one of my most favorite old houses in Shanghai. It was built in 1924.
I went there because my Mom went there this morning. She is a Christian. I drove them to the church before I returned the car to the Car Rental Club. After that, I found I don’t have the key to my door. So I walked 40 minutes along my favorite Hua Shan Road, Huai Hai Rd. West and Heng Shan Rd. to the church. It was a very good experience to walk along these streets in the weekend morning – the Sun was so warm and the streets are clear with less traffic. If it were not to return the car, I will not get up that early since I will typically stay late – so I missed so many wonderful Shanghai morning already.
I heard there is religious service every Sunday at the church. According to other Christian’s explaination, I went there today is not because of my own decision. It is because the God have chose me and guided me there. Wow. Seems reasonable.
The service starts on 7:30 for the first round and 10:00 AM for the second round. I believe it is a trade-off of traditional time-table and the demands of people. There are not many churches in Shanghai and there are so many Christian.
The church is a very nice one. It is the largest church in Shanghai. With the anthem, people pray before the God. It was a nice experience for me. I am very careful to comment anything related to religion. Although I claim not be believe in any religion, I do respect people who have their religious belief.
The Facial Mask
I notices a old woman sitting near me wore facial mask to come to church today. Later, I saw the second person wearing masks today. Does it mean that fear to SARS come back to the city again? Hope not.