Multicultural Experience Paper
Social Psychology - PSY/400
June 14, 2010
Instructor: Dr. Poole
The location of Cathedral of Faith is 5314 Bingle Road in Houston, Texas. Cathedral of Faith believes that the Bible is the all-sufficient rule for faith and practice. The church claim a non-denominational status but does believe that being saved and receiving the Holy Spirit are two separate events, which is markedly different from the church that I attend; Northeast Community Church, which believes that the Holy Spirit dwells in us when we are saved. Northeast Community Church seems to, at least from my perspective, put less emphasis on the works of the Holy Spirit, such as ...view middle of the document...
Rev. Willie Kelly is the senior pastor at the church. The service began with prayer and singing, much like at Northeast Community Church. Everyone stayed in his or her seats during the singing and no one did anything out of the ordinary. Most of the songs I knew from my own church. As we were singing I looked around the congregation and noticed that well over half of the participants were Caucasian, which is markedly different from my home church. At Northeast Community Church there would be no point in assigning demographics. The percentages would be small and even then varied across many socio-cultural spectrums.
However, as Rev. Kelly took the stage the ambiance began to change from a time of singing fellowship to a time of listening and affirming. Rev. Kelly was speaking about renewing our mind and how this renewal can lead to a renewal of spirit. When the words, "renewal of spirit" came out of the speaker's mouth most of the congregation answered with an enthusiastic "Amen" that shook my seat and caused me to look around in surprise. Furthermore, to my astonishment every time the speaker said something that the congregation agreed with they would almost yell all manner of affirmation: "Amen, Preach Preacher, and Halleluiah God". At first I felt uncomfortable by the verbal confirmations. In my home church the most we would do is clap if, we agreed. This type of vocalization would be completely out of place and most likely frowned upon at Northeast Community Church. As I listened to the speaker and watched the crowd response, I unexpectedly began to fell discomfort at not participating. In fact, I felt conspicuous when I agreed with something that the speaker said and did not offer verbal confirmation. Furthermore, by the end of the service I was mumbling amen when I agreed with the speaker and even at one point said "Praise God" to a particularly moving statement. I remember feeling part of the group fellowship at the end of the service. We were all one, all agreeing with the same statement, and all acting completely out of character if considered individually. For, I could not imagine one person yelling amen when he or she agreed with the speaker, but in a group this size the pendulum had shifted the other way, I felt conspicuous when not yelling affirmations. It was a liberating experience to say the least. After the service my grandmother asked me what I thought. I told her "I am speechless."
A group is, "…[t]wo or more people who, for longer than a few moments, interact with and influence one another and perceive one another as [us]" (Myers, 2008, p. 262). Groups exist for the potential purposes of providing information, realizing goals, supplying reinforcement, and offering belongingness. The collective action of a group exerts influence on co-actors through the minimally interactive mechanisms of social facilitation, social loafing, and deindividuation. At the cross-roads of these social devices sits the...