Easter Sunday in Koreatown
This past Easter Sunday Emvy, also known as the 26th on 6th Project, were invited along with the greater Los Angeles community to celebrate the rising of the messiah (or at least one of them) at the First Congregational Church in Koreatown. This endoit is home to the world’s largest church organ.
Easter, as we were told by the head minister/preacher-man of the congregation, is the “reference point” for Christians. It is a time for remembering the foundations of their faith; a time for reconnecting. V, our Alaskan native, took this message to heart participating in the ceremonious singing, communal confessions, and selfless donations that other members of the congregation so readily submitted to. M, the skeptical Chicagoan, gazed in amazement at her friend (V) as well as the rest of the joyful participants in the church, mouthing subtle yet quite vocal comments on the ceremonies of the religious. She was, to say the least, taken aback by the rituals. “Holy fuck! Communal confession?” was just one of her several insightful comments throughout the morning service.
After the formal services we partook of some coffee and light snacks in the courtyard, quietly observing as little girls ran about in white dresses searching for Easter eggs. We contemplated how this church, while of course religious, had quite a secular feel to it. With their large instrument they attract people (like us) who are curious about the music they play and what it feels like to sit inside the building that houses the world largest church organ. Going to the church on this morning was like attending a concert: we were there for the spectacle. We wanted to hear the choirs, see the eggs, and throw side-long looks at the Easter Bunny, only mildly interested in the people who flock to this church every week, a minimal commitment to a certain way of life. In a way, church has always been about spectacle.
We didn’t feel like outsiders, although we probably were. Emvy tends to get strange looks regardless of what holy spaces they inhabit. We were given, despite our outside status, a space at this church. We were not frowned up (as some of us frowned upon the church goers); we were left to be comfortable. We were accepted without giving much acceptance in return. We laughed as the Easter Bunny scared the little Chinese girls and stood in-line with housewives to get coffee. It all seemed too easy…too calm…too friendly.
Afterward V had a revelation and decided that she would, after all, get married. We entertained the idea and spent the next few hours planning how V would execute this conservative ceremony while still living her some-what liberal life. Despite not being of profound faith, Jesus was the subject of the day all of us here at Emvy. He died for our sins, therefore it is only fair that we give him a shout-out once a year.
Faith, belonging, and space. Not bad for a mild Sunday afternoon.