There are more than a dozen languages used in worship on any given Sunday in the state of Missouri. If you are stopping by Light of Christ in Olivette, you can hear (and participate in) a Chinese- English bilingual Divine Service. It’s an amazing experience. Lutheran Liturgy spoken side by side in two languages.
Light of Christ is in an area where many Chinese families have settled over time. Graduate students and professionals from China bring their family to live with them, so there are often multi-generations present. This is one of the reasons Light of Christ shifted to offering a bilingual service several years ago, not just a Chinese service. As with many new-to-America families, youth and kids often speak mostly English. And some families have interracial marriages. So now families can worship together regardless of which language they know better.
Additionally, senior citizens in the neighborhood can take part in Light of Christ’s Chinese Community Center. They offer weekly classes in painting, English, Bible study, and singing and dancing. The community center is managed by Helen Qiu, a Deaconess student at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis in the EIIT program (Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology).
The Lord has blessed the ministry at Light of Christ, as they continue to grow and bring new members via transfer or baptism. They are very good at blending community activities and needs with theological learning. Like their annual dumpling party in January. Over 270 people came to partake in the homemade feast, watch musicians, dance performances, and listen to the beautiful witness of faith from another EIIT Deaconess student, Kan Hsu.
Pastor Lim notes that many Chinese people are from non-Christian backgrounds and many are atheist. He says that often someone will arrive in the U.S. as a student and learn about Christianity through a campus ministry. So Pastor Lim, also a first generation Christian, does a great job of incorporating studying liturgy, the Apostle’s Creed, and books of the Bible into many aspects of their community life.
If you would like to learn more about Light of Christ, connect with Pastor Lim who is happy to come and speak to your organization or church. And if you are passing through the St. Louis area, Pastor Lim asks for you to stop on by, “Come and worship with us!” (plus there’s a delicious Chinese lunch after the service!)