Entering the Gethsemane Church of East Meadow, NY, we were welcomed by some of the young parishioners. We were dressed in traditional garb and took pictures by the Photo Wall designed by Eunji Kim whose laugh floats on the wind like a breeze of fresh air.
In the main area Reverend JiYoung Lee a Pastor of the Church spoke of sharing, unity and neighborly acceptance, an appropriate speech of words so close to our own Thanksgiving holiday and family traditions.
Making Kimchi at the Gethsemane Church. Image courtesy of Mindy Marcus
To the right of the stage tables had a full variety of tasty foods and desserts made fresh on the spot, of which we were each able to sample and eat with our choice of chopsticks or forks. While Yong-Jung Park prepared the food she allowed me to participate in the making of some kimchi–something that apparently takes a lot of preparation and can be spicy to the tongue.
Drummers at the Gethsemane Church. Image courtesy of Mindy Marcus
We were entertained by a variety of Korean performances ranging from a beautiful feather fan dance, to a percussion ensemble of lady drummers. It was enriching to see the pride of the parents as their children sang in the chorus. How do you follow that? With an entertaining performance from Tae Kwon Do Master "Ki Young Choi" from the Woodbury Young's school.
Tae Kwon Do Master Ki Young Choi. Image courtesy of Mindy Marcus.
Some children of different ages went outside in the cold to play games while a young man David supervised. One game of paper arrows with the goal to get them into a bucket target was done with great form and, try that I might, it was not so easy to hit that target.
Children take part in the festivities at Gethsemane Church. Image courtesy of Mindy Marcus.
This day was complete with every visitor getting a personally designed tee shirt. My husband and I each got a shirt from helper HyeSun Lee who wrote our names in Korean and the wonderful artist Younkyo and his daughter drew and colored a beautiful flower design on mine.
Younkyo (top-left) and others design tee-shirts. Image courtesy of Mindy Marcus.
As often with something new, occasional difficulties arose; as the computer decided not to cooperate or the performers needed a bit more time to change costumes. The truly lovely young lady Julia Jee was a natural and as fine an M.C. as she could be. She kept the audience's attention in an even flow and even sang a little ditty, then had me come up and try to sing and repeat the fragmented words.
People gather to design tee-shirts at the Gethsemane Church. Image courtesy of Mindy Marcus.
All in all it was great fun. I was so glad we were able to attend and be part of it sharing the sameness and kindnesses of people and the rich awareness of differences in culture.
These people want to continue and share within the community.
A solo drummer at the Gethsemance Church. Image courtesy of Mindy Marcus.
Their next venture is December 17th with an approximate start time of 6 or 7 pm. It is a Music Concert Fundraiser with a variety of professional musicians performing, welcoming all the neighbors, with the collection going 100% to the needs of the community.
Musicians at the Gethsemane Church. Image courtesy of Mindy Marcus.
Come and meet your neighbors, see listen, and share for yourselves.