Worship with the community of believers at Igreja Comunidade de Cristo in Natal, Brazil, is awe-inspiring, awe-filled, and awesome. People sing enthusiastically, led by Roberto and the praise team.
Our singing along is helped by a couple of things. For one, the hymn may be a tune we know in English. Then it’s a familiar message even though the words are different. Also, the alphabet is generally the same, so we can sing the words as we see them on the screen. In addition, as in new English praise songs, repetition helps tremendously.
The slides are also helpful to introduce each part of the worship service. I’ve figured out that “Leitura”is Scripture reading. I can understand when the reader says “Salmo” and ask a person nearby which Psalm he will read.
“Oferta” is time for the offering, or the collection. Here they pass a bamboo basket in the shape of a treasure chest and money is slipped inside without seeing the contents.
“Confraternizacao” is only obvious if you’re expecting the ten minutes for greeting hugging, and air-kissing everyone present. My high school Latin helps here, since I remember that con means with and fraternizing is a common English word. (Sorry I can’t add the correct squiggles to go with the cao, which sounds like “see-on,” similar to our “tion.”)
“Mensagem” is the message, or sermon, of the day. Today the speaker was exceptional–our son Josh. He spoke in English and our friend Rafael translated after every couple of sentences. His topic was “Unfinished.” We are all unfinished and that the natural order of things. We will leave our readers unfinished as to their lessons or their understanding. We cannot tell when or how God will continue working in their lives–or ours. His final scripture was Philippians 1:j1-3, which ends with “…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”