He is risen indeed! We didn’t get up early enough to make it to the 6 AM Sunrise Service, but we did come to the 10 AM Resurrection Worship Service at Sapan Luang Church. We were greeted warmly by those we had met the previous Sunday and met still more members of the congregation. We arrived early as we knew that – just as in the United States of America – many members who do not normally attend church would be in church today. We were seated in the sanctuary and had the opportunity to hear both the choir and the orchestra complete their final rehearsals for the service. This Sunday, because we wanted to sing the old hymns, Mom and I sang in English from the Chinese-English hymn book, but our voices were drowned out by seven hundred other voices singing in Chinese and Thai. The church was packed with worshipers and, yes, most were wearing the pink polo shirts they had purchased the previous Sunday after worship. What a joyful worship experience it was!
Yes, Sapan Luang Church has a small chamber orchestra that provided special music today for the worship service in addition to the choir. There were 18 strings (violins, violas, two cellos and a string bass) and one saxophone. Accompanied by both the organ and the grand piano, they played all the verses of all the hymns, as well as all the responses throughout the service. The choir numbered thirty voices this week and, this time, they sang a beautiful anthem in Chinese. After the service, I learned that several musicians at the church provide music lessons for the youth who wish to learn. The youth pay a nominal fee, but the church sees this as a ministry and they are raising up a wonderful army of talented musicians! This orchestra rehearses every Saturday morning in the sanctuary.
This morning, the senior pastor preached in Chinese and the other gentleman in the pulpit translated his message into Thai. It was from Luke 8:40-56. The pastor used Powerpoint slides in both Chinese and Thai to illustrate his three main points. The slides were shown on a screen that swings out from the wall and can be lowered electronically. Once his sermon was over, the screen disappeared and folded forward against the side wall, where it was virtually invisible against a beam. The screen was also used early in the service for videotaped testimonials from members, one of which is shown here.
Two other photos I took this morning: The first is a close-up of the altar flowers, which included Easter lilies, carnations, and bird of paradise flowers. Notice that the Bible on the altar is in the Chinese language. The second is a photo of the interior of the church, showing seating (teak wood pews) for seven hundred people on the main floor and balcony. It was completely filled today. The church recently installed a small elevator to assist the elderly in getting into the sanctuary. They really wanted Mom to use it (both because of her age and because they wanted the elevator to get some use), but she climbed the steps instead!