Transcript: English Circle Builds Church Community

View full video.

Transcript:

(Silver Spring, Maryland)

Jayne: “What would you like today?”

Pedro: “I want to buy a sandwich.”

Xiong: "I need a bread."

Participant: “What kind of meat?”

Xiong: “Buffalo. Buffalo chicken.”

Pedro: “Italian bread. 12-inch.”

Each week at Silver Spring United Methodist Church in Maryland, language classes and lots of laughter build community.

Xiong: “Do you need a toast? Oh, no no. What kind of cheese?” (both laugh)

The English Conversation Circle is a place where English learners can practice with native speakers, and English speakers can brush up on their Spanish.

Pedro: “You. How many brothers and sisters?” Pastor Joey: “Una hermana.”

Jayne Park, Silver Spring United Methodist Church: “Our belief is that everybody in the community has something to teach and to offer one another. And so this is sort of our effort to create a space where people can come together across lines of difference to teach and support one another.”

The circle was created after clients of the church’s fresh produce pantry expressed an interest in practicing language skills with native speakers.

Pedro: “I tried for everything to learn English. For that reason, I here in these classes.”

The Rev. Rachel Cornwell Silver Spring United Methodist Church: “There are lots of social service agencies that are feeding people, clothing people, teaching people English. We’re not a social service agency. We’re a church. We’re followers of Jesus. And so, you know, it is about meeting an immediate need. But it’s also building a relationship and being neighbors.”

Xiong Hao Lin enjoys learning American traditions and sharing about his native China. Linn feels a genuine connection to “the circle.”

Xiong Hao Lin: “For foreigner, we don’t have the many friends here. So, lonely is always a problem.”

Xiong: “American cheese. Toasted.”

In many cultures, food is a way of welcoming. This congregation runs a variety of feeding ministries from fresh and canned good food pantries to making sandwiches for emergency food programs. These efforts are starting conversations and bringing new people to church.  

The Rev. Rachel Cornwell: “It’s intentional, when you walk into church you see the food ministry. And when you walk out you see the food ministry. And when people come to be fed, they see the sanctuary.”

Silver Spring’s mission statement is to “Feed people body, mind and spirit so that no one goes hungry.”

Jayne Park: “Too often in our efforts to help and support people we end up making them feel marginalized and as if they have nothing themselves to contribute to the community and to others. And so this is really our effort to create space where people who are traditionally thought of as needy can come into space and to enter into relationships with us and others and help to teach us.”

(Group interaction) “Meteorology… weather.” Pedro: “Like on TV.”

Xiong Hao Lin: “They invited me to join to celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year. I have great fun with them."

Pedro: “For me, new friends. (points around the room) Very nice for me.”

Tag:

For more information on the English Conversation Circle or to find out how you can volunteer, contact Silver Spring United Methodist Church, at 301-587-1215.

Sign up for our newsletter!

SUBSCRIBE

Latest News

Daily Digest - April 17, 2019

Centrists, progressives to discuss church's future; Creative spirit lifts Philippines' churches; Bishops discuss GC2019 at BMCR
General Church
The Rev. Jasmine Smothers, lead pastor of Atlanta First United Methodist Church, has been among the conveners of recent meetings by centrists and progressives to discuss the denomination's future. Photo by Les Scarbrough, Atlanta First United Methodist Church.

Centrists, progressives to discuss church's future

Unhappiness with General Conference 2019 prompts plan for big meeting, with dissolution and ‘gracious exit’ among the options.
General Church
A United Methodist deaf choir signs the words of a hymn during worship in the Baguio Area in northern Philippines. Across the country, an assessment team saw evidence of church vitality. Photo courtesy of the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters.

Creative spirit lifts Philippines’ churches

A United Methodist team looked at whether the Philippines should have more bishops. The group’s report highlighted church strengths and needs.