Robyn and Joel's Blog: Chronicling our Copenhagen Adventures

Yes, we're that interesting.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Our church in Copenhagen

We visited one of three (that I know of) English speaking churches in Copenhagen. The church is just a 20 minute walk from our house. The church is the International Church of Copenhagen -- the ICC ( The church is a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, but they made it very clear through their service that they are there to minister to Christians from all denominations. And, while the service was rather traditional, they also attempted to incorporate worship traditions from other denominations and parts of the world. For example, while we sang a hymn in preparation for prayer we were invited to walk to the alter to light a candle. We also sang traditional hymns, songs that were new to us, and songs that I call "oldie, Sunday-night" hymns. They even had this sort of "participatory prayer" where a woman prayed aloud (in a beautiful British accent) following the model of the Lord's prayer and after each part the congregation sang the very familiar song "Lord, listen to your children praying..." As part of the prayer each week the congregation prays for three countries as well as individual members of the congregation. It felt deeply international and very personal at the same time. Another powerful moment occurred later in the service when we each said the Lord's prayer together in each of our native tongues. When I read that in the bulletin I thought it would be chaotic and distracting, but it wasn't. It was really moving to hear most of us praying the Lord's prayer (with a variety of accents) but then to hear some different languages too. It was almost comforting -- knowing that God is truly God of all the earth and its many languages!

The congregation meets at a beautiful church, Sct. Andreas Church -- it was truly moving to worship in such a grand sanctuary. The pastor is a rather young guy (we think about our age) with a very friendly wife and two very cute young sons. They are actually from North Carolina (he is a UNC grad -- we were there at the same time!) and he went to seminary at Gettysberg. His wife began her masters at Millersville University (where I did my undergraduate!). Small world!

I really enjoyed his message (you may be able to hear it on their website) and the music and prayers were beautiful. I really enjoyed the organ music (see it in the picture). At the end of the service the pastor invited visitors to stand and introduce themselves. There were probably 20 families or individuals visiting! Some are just visiting as tourists; some are here for the summer. Two gentlemen are here for the summer, teaching at the CBS! After the introduction we all walked upstairs for a coffee fellowship. There we met several of the "regulars" including several congregants who work at the embassy. Now we have some connections in case we run into trouble!

All in all I am really glad we found the church (thanks to Joel's father, Silas!) and look forward to going back.

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