The Dumpling Party
The gymnasium within the Immanuel Lutheran Church was immersed in a pleasant climate last Saturday. A dumpling party arranged by the Light of Christ Lutheran Chinese Mission was aimed at bringing God’s family members from either China or America together to have a fellowship. The Immuanuel Lutheran Church and the Light of Christ Lutheran Chinese Mission are located in the Chinese community of St. Louis, Missouri, a unique area that perfectly represents diversity in terms of culture, tradition, language, lifestyle and even pattern of thoughts. However, we are one church and one family.
The proposal of dumpling party was raised weeks ago and soon received support from both sides. Dumplings are a special treat to Chinese. It’s a living tradition that has been passed on to generations. Dumplings are made to celebrate harvest, greet guests and enjoy family reunion during the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year). It’s a touch of joy. And joy needs to be shared with more. 40 pounds of flour was prepared for the dumpling party; the kitchen was warmed up; the gymnasium was decorated and loaded with homemade dishes from Chinese families who wanted to share with American friends a taste of family.[vc_row][vc_column]
Three long tables for dumpling-making were gathered gradually by Chinese and Americans. Although the American English might be flavored by accent, smiles grew big on our faces. Chinese families slow motioned the steps of folding with separated finger actions and, repeated patiently until all the American families were able to fold a sealed dumpling. American families were actively engaged in learning folding wraps to different shapes and the meanings behind dumplings. It took hours to knead dough, roll wraps, season fillings and fold dumplings; however, we enjoyed sharing personal stories and experience without noticing the time flew.
The Saturday night worship service at the Immanuel Lutheran Church was followed by the dumpling making and all participants walked into God’s family with a deeper understanding with one another. We sang in one voice and appreciated diverse backgrounds. After the worship, dumplings were cooked to be served and our expectation grew widely. It might be interesting to see dumplings were served with potato salad, eggplant on the same plate and deserted with cornbread and cheesecake. Our lips rose up that’s just like the curve on dumplings. It’s also a blessing to find generations from little babies to seniors rejoicing together with various accents and body language. At last, we fed more than 100 people with thousands dumplings. And all of us were nourished by grace.[vc_row][vc_column]