Congregation Picnic & Worship Service

One of the responsibilities of any chaplain is to contribute to the religious support mission of the garrison on which he/she serves. While in Korea I had the opportunity to pastor the Yongsan Traditional Protestant Congregation at Memorial Chapel, which is coming to a close after over 25 years due to the transformation of U.S. forces to Camp Humphreys in order to return the area now occupied by USAG Yongsan to the Republic of Korea.

One of the traditions of this congregation that took place annually for many of those 25 years was taking the worship service to a park with a cook-out and picnic following. Today was the day for this annual picnic. We had over 40 in attendance, which represented most of the congregation. There was a threat of rain, but it held off until we were through so we only dealt with the wind that kept us holding our papers tightly.

Yongsan Traditional Protestant Service picnic
Congregation and choir worshiping in the park

The choir joined in the hymns and sang the anthem as well as they do in the chapel. When I first arrived in the service, I was amazed at the quality of the music for such a small congregation. Here’s a short video of the chorus of today’s anthem:

Yongsan Traditional Protestant Congregation Picnic Worship
Richard reads the Scripture.
Yongsan Traditional Protestant Congregation Picnic Worship Service
The keyboard was not the same as the grand piano in the chapel, but it did the trick.
Yongsan Traditional Protestant Congregation Picnic Worship
Me preaching from Acts 2 (It was Pentecost Sunday).
Yongsan Traditional Protestant Congregation Picnic Worship
The meat, buns, condiments, etc. were purchased from congregation funds. The other dishes were brought by congregation members. Many of the dishes were brought in wrapped in gold cloth. Some seemed to have something embroidered on them. Maybe a traditional way of carrying in side dishes?
Yongsan Traditional Protestant Congregation Picnic Worship
Kalbi marinated short ribs, sausages, hamburgers, and many American and Korean side dishes made for a great lunch.
Yongsan Traditional Protestant Congregation Picnic Worship
Some of the men of the congregation cooking the meat.

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