You didn’t need to speak Portuguese to be moved by the joyous pageantry of religious celebration and gospel song at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown last Sunday afternoon.
The speakers and the congregation demonstrated a natural ebullience in their culture of worship that carried non-speakers with them in a language-free celebration of spiritual life.
The event, sponsored by Mission Calvary Church in Vineyard Haven, was highlighted by the appearance of Donte Do Trono, Brazil’s most popular gospel group led by Mariana and Felipe Valadao (marianavaladao.com). Pastor Valadao also serves one of the largest ministries in Rio de Janeiro.
Mission Calvary Pastor Joao Barbosa was beaming on Sunday before the three-hour celebration began. “We are happy to welcome Mariana and Pastor Felipe to the Island,” he said, noting that friends in ministries in Boston helped to arrange the visit by the Valadaos and their Christian gospel musical group. The Vavaldao’s would be the Brazilian equivalents of the Winans family gospel singers in the U.S.
The fast-moving afternoon included gospel readings and sharing by several pastors, interspersed with music provided by vocalists Alison B. Frazier Hayden, Lauriete Miller, Sonia Barbosa, Eloizio Gomes, Darlene Honorato, and Aparecida Campos. The vocalists were supported by musicians Guy Hayden, Eloizio Gomes, Otoniel Santos, and Oziel Santos. Island pastor Leomar de Oliveira provided English translation of Gospel text and remarks by the pastors.
More than 100 worshipers in the audience provided an additional feel-good flavor to the event, particularly through the presence of several dozen children, ranging from tykes to pre-teens, perfectly attentive despite the allure of swinging doors on the end of the pews.
As an extension of its ministry, Mission Calvary Church has scheduled two breast-cancer awareness events at the church this month. An event for women will be held at 6 pm on October 18 at the church, 32 Surveyors Lane in Vineyard Haven. A second event, for men and women, will be held on Sunday, Oct. 19, at 6 pm at the church. The events are being organized by Sonia Barbosa and Lauriete Miller. More information is available at 508-685-2737 or at 508-521-6294.