I am back in the States. I spent the past two weeks in Shanghai (mostly in conference rooms in an office building or in my room in the hotel). The highlight of the trip was last Sunday when I went to worship at the Shanghai Community Fellowship, which is a church for English-speaking expatriates living in Shanghai.
53 Hengshan Road, Xuhui District
(intersection with Wulumuqi Rd)
衡山路 53号 (近乌鲁木齐路) 徐汇区
The Sunday services in English are at 2pm and 4pm. I went to the 2pm one.
Directions (if you are ever in Shanghai and want to attend):
I rode Metro’s line No. 1 (red) to the station “Hengshan Road.” The ride cost me about $1.20 for a round trip. There are a number of exits from the underground. I used the exit #4. Once on the street, I turned right (don’t cross the street) and walked two hundred or so feet until I saw to the right a long fence and an iron gate with crosses. (Blackberry does a poor job as a camera)
That’s Community Church of Shanghai.
Before and during the service, the overhead projectors displayed the following message,
In observance of Chinese government regulations, our English Services are open to foreign passport holders or foreign residence permit holders only.
Although I had my non-Chinese passport, I was able to slip into the sanctuary without showing it to anyone (you never know). There are three other services on Sundays (which I did not attend) for Chinese locals at 7AM, 10AM, and 6:30PM. I do not know if foreigners are allowed to attend those.
The sanctuary is full of security cameras. I wondered if the feed was going directly to the government or CPC.
As I have mentioned, the services are for the expat community: I saw faces of different colors and heard several languages in addition to various accents of English. Although the building looks old and very traditional, the service itself had a lively worship (with electric guitars, drums, worship leaders).
The pastor is an American (judging by the accent) who appears to be a Pentecostal. The church itself is styled as non-denominational. The sermon was about Holy Spirit, the third Person of Trinity. I truly enjoyed worshiping with so many strangers – “foreigners and exiles” in China. A black guy next to me was a foreign student who had just graduated from a Chinese college.
After the service, people congregated outside. There were several desks showcasing church’s ministries (cell groups, a foreign student ministry, a summer camp that needs volunteers, etc.).
Now you know where to go if you find yourself in Shanghai on a Sunday.