The day began with 26 different national flags paraded through the church in Dundee, as the congregation sang "We have this Hope". This colourful parade preceded a well packed programme of song and story, music and poem. The two hour event reminded every participant that the church is rich with culture, language and ideas. Two hours sounds like a long service, but with all the items and events taking place, it goes by too quickly. Not to mention that expectation that everyone has for what lunch would include.
The flags that were paraded through the church were all planted on stage to form a colourful backdrop for the rest of the procedings. A warm welcome was extended by each nationality represented in their native language followed by opening prayer shared in three different languages. The Bible reading selected for this special day was also shared in three different languages.
The special guest for the day was Pr. Adam Ramdin, Youth Director for the North England Conference. Pr. Ramdin and his family fitted in perfectly as Aiko, Pr. Adam's wife, dressed in her beautiful comono to celebrate her Japanese heritage and proudly carrying the Japanese flag, shared with the congregation the inspiring story of the calling of just a few individuals who were instrumental in bringing the gospel to Japan many years ago.
Pr. Ramdin did a wonderful sermon simplifying the theme of the day "God's Uniting Grace". The theme was chosen after lots of thinking and discussion about what the church wants to say to its visitors and members alike. The conversation about who we are in Christ is an important one in a world where our identity is often blurred with so much information. Cedrene Botha told the children a story making use of crisps. They had to taste crisps from three different bowls, and guess which packet each came from. We sometimes think the better looking package holds the better tasting crisps, but this is not always the case. Our identity in Christ is about who He is, and we in Him.
Lunch finally arrived, and it was interesting going around the table and holding out a plate, where every person with a dish wanted you to taste their traditional food. It is during a lunch like this when you hear people say, "we aught to do this more often". Many different dishes and desserts were offered. It was hard to get everyone together after lunch, but the congregation finally made it back in the church to start the afternoon programme. Mervyn Ovuso-Ayim, the Youth Leader of the Dundee Church, organised the afternoon programme, which the youth ran filled with music and closing thoughts from Pr. Ramdin.
A good full day of worship, good music, discussion and plenty of laughter, finally came to an end. The team thought that the day went well. Thanks were expressed around the room to all who participated. The vacuum cleaner got pulled out and already talk about the Internation Day for 2020 got underway. Each year, this event showcases how diverse we are. Each year it becomes more enjoyable and promises improvement. What will it be in 2020? Who will come? Why don't you come and find out?
A special thank you to those who participated. The Dundee church indeed enjoys plenty of talent. A very special thank you has to be said to Dr. Bankole Davies-Browne, and Dr. John Walton, who always work together to organise the day. This year has been truly one of the best, and these men and their team did really well to pull it all together. Until the fall of 2020.
More photos of the event here.