Saturday, May 26, 2012

#58- My Church Life 2

I settled on New Vision Emmanuel as my home church.  Sunday School was cool.  The teacher was a peer and I liked her so I wasn't so rough on her.  So I would get off on showing how knowledgeable I was in the morning and then go to what essentially was a pep rally downstairs.

Our pastor was a man young enough to be hip but old enough to demand Haitian respect.  His passion for the church was apparent.  His alter calls were pretty good.  I stepped up a few times.  I used to feel tingly inside like most people.  I had developed my own voice of God in my head that nagged me when I needed a guilt trip.

As I was building my rep in Sunday School all the extra curricular stuff started to grab my attention.  I asked myself why the church had to be divided in 2.  One side was the older Haitians and the other were the young.  We were losing our culture and I didn't like that too much.  I would ask around and people didn't care so I went to the older side.

Big mistake!!!  Those Haitians are in a time warp.  The women bleep like sheep with their "Ah Men".  The men are stuffy and austere.  Almost everyone take mental vacations during those boring services.  The women wore crazy hats that made them look like clowns.  They would do what I call the "Haitian 2 Step" where they would sway back and forth while holding their hands up.  The pastor's face was classic.  He looked like he was in a pensive and regal state.  This was HIS church, his organization, his mini country.  I'm sure that must be an ego rush.

The French flew relentlessly out the pastor's mouth.  The mundane was the standard.  It was extraordinarily boring in the older side.  I had few points of relation with them.  It made me question my Haitianhood.  I couldn't take it no more so I returned to the English speaking youth side.

This was between 1999-2001.  I tried to fit in as best as I could.  I played the rear or the fringes of the seating arrangements downstairs.  Sometimes the message was live and relevant other times it was nothing but ranting about going to hell.  I'm not sure if it was before or after 9/11 but I sincerely tried to make friends at church; especially with the Men Ministry dudes.

Haitians are very speculative people so I stayed away from the females only because I wanted to stay out the rumor mills.  I befriended a guy or two but it was a very superficial and uncomfortable deal.  I was a late comer into the church and it seemed like some of the members were literally born in that building.  Their parents and other relatives went there so I was trying to penetrate that type of family atmosphere.

I attended functions at my pastor's house, picnics, stuff like that.  I never felt all the way comfortable.  But I tried.


  1. Reginald -- I don't have any specific comments on this post, but I don't know if you get a lot of feedback. I subscribed a while ago, before you went on hiatus. I really enjoy reading your recent posts on your journey, and I look forward to reading more.

    Thank you. Merci. Mèsi poutèt ou (?).

    1. Oh wow, Howard. I did take a break. I started to a group on Facebook called "Haitian FREE Thinkers". I am always doing stuff. I think you for your comment. It keeps a brother motivated.