Sunday, August 27, 2006

I sang in church this morning. I haven't gone to any church regularly since I left Boston, so it's been a while. My dad has been trying to get me to sing at his church since I got to Syracuse, so finally I consented. His church is unitarian (I'll have to write some reflections on unitarianism sometime...) and the service focused on a group of Sudanese refugees, aka The Lost Boys, who live here in Syracuse. I confess that I am still largely ignorant about the situation, because the young man who spoke to the congregation was pretty difficult to understand. What I do understand is that thousands of young men had to flee from Sudan to save their own lives after a very bloody civil war broke out and a humanitarian effort brought many of them to the United States (via Kenya). They came here as orphans with nothing (but each other) and are still now largely protected by various church groups. I was uncomfortable with the idea of singing in the service because I didn't feel like anything I could sing would really be relevant to the theme (I ended up choosing "Nacht und TraĆ¼me" - Schubert) and afterwards I still feel really uncomfortable with it, because almost everyone in the congregation came up to me afterwards and complimented my singing, but I barely saw anyone talking to the three Sudanese men who came to the service. Maybe it's because they, like me, had trouble understanding the english of the man who spoke and were concerned about starting a conversation in which they might have to spend half the time saying, "could you please repeat that?", but I fear it's really because they found it easier to talk to a young girl who seemed to not be in want of anything than to talk to someone who is really, truly in need of financial and emotional support. Did my singing actually in essense distract people from the true purpose of the service? I'm sure I'm just being paranoid (as usual) and that the service was as effective as it could have been. Who knows, maybe people will think of Sudan now whenever they hear Schubert? Anyway, someday I would like to be in a position to put on benefit recitals for causes/people I want to give lots of money to. I suppose I should start by finding a way to pay my own rent, but eventually...

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