Church Stories

So we went to church today, for the first time since leaving American Samoa. My Dad has insisted every Sunday since he got here, he clearly thinks I need Jesus, and today I got it together enough to find the nearest Samoan church, and get the kids dressed and out of the house in time.

Because my Dad is that Dad that is early for everything, we were an hour and a half early for Church. We were also early because I had no idea what time it started, and none of my atheist, Jesus-needing friends knew either so I was winging it.

The service was a typical Samoan service, which was strangely comforting. Some observations:
  • They had a choir, and lead singers up the front, and a small band set up. They sang modern Hillsong’esque music before the service started and my kids both piped up and said, “Mom! Is this church or are we at a party?” Or as Miss 2 put it, “Mommy, is this MY party?” Lol… My response, of course was, “Yes, baby it is!”
  • Everyone was dressed head to toe in white being that it was Fa’amanatuga today. I of course, don’t own anything that pure, wore a pencil skirt and a light purple top. This was met with a few raised eyebrows. Lol There was also a most impressive assortment of church hats that would put the Melbourne Cup hat parade to shame. And it's not even a special occasion service. Tuff le competition. 
  • Perhaps my favorite thing about going to Samoan church services is being immersed in the eloquence of the Samoan language. Even if the words are often dripping with hypocrisy, emo as I am, I always find it uplifting. Today was no different. 
  • The pastor, in the second sentence of his prayer, asked for protection from ISIS. He mentioned cancer and family hardships around midway. I looked around the room to see if I was the only one that found that amusing. Nobody else flinched. Alrighty then. 
  • In his sermon, he said, “I don’t want to preach, that’s not what the pulpit is for, I just want to talk to you,” a statement that made me feel uneasy. Lol. Seriously though, what’s it for then? 
  • As usual, my kids were a damn nuisance, I outfoxed them and pummeled them with snacks and muted smartphones to keep them out of the aisles. 
  • I saw a relative (of course!) who ran up to me after church calling my name. I recognized her, and dug through my memory to recall her name. Thanks to Facebook, I remembered and called her by her name and we exchanged numbers. In the car, I checked Facebook and realized I called her the wrong name. LOL! Next time, I shall stick to the safe words, cuz, sis or dear. 
  • My Dad and I went to the Samoan Food store to pick up some lunch essentials and we met up with more relatives (of course!) Both are from the ville in Savaii, and used to work for my parents when we lived there. I wasn’t sure about their names (cringe) and I remembered a tip from somewhere to ask the person to spell their name so you can get it correct without offending them. So, I thought I was being slick asking her to please spell her name. She goes, “R-U-T-A” Lol! Then she added me on Facebook and sent me a message that started with, “I know you don’t know who I am but… “ Hahaha… Aue, ia I’m sorry for my wrong.

So, in closing, some Church Pro Tips for ya:
  1. Church starts at 10.30am
  2. Take snacks.
  3. Just call everyone “dear”.