“When the day of Pentecost had come…”
This Sunday, 23rd May, is the day of Pentecost and like that early group of Jesus’ friends, we too, are invited to be, “all together in one place”.
From 8am to 9:50am (when we’ll make our way into church) you are invited to gather in the Lounge for prayer, Bible reading and some meditative music. You’re welcome to arrive when you can and duck out when you need to (i.e. if you’re singing in the choir!) It will be a wonderful opportunity to pray for the Holy Spirit’s ongoing leading of our mission activity – that we have reflected on over this month – and to ask for the Holy Spirit’s ongoing empowering and enlivening and love-generating work in our own lives.
In some parts of the church you are also encouraged to wear red on Pentecost Sunday. They were wearing red at the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Service at St Andrews on Sunday night and it looked fantastic, so let me encourage you to wear red on Sunday too!
I must say I was hard pressed to decided which service to choose last Sunday night!
At Sundays @6 on Zoom we had Rev Andrew Dodd, the pastor of Hamilton Baptist Church speaking about their experience over the past few years of being the target of the motions that were brought to the Special Assembly. The group was able to listen to a recording of Andrew’s speech that was given at the Special Assembly. It was incredibly moving and inspiring stuff! The Spirit of God is clearly working in and through the congregation at Hamilton.
However, just up the road here, at St Andrews the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Service was being held (and I had committed to be involved) and there was a special focus on the 30th anniversary of the World Council of Churches event here in Canberra. It was wonderful – as I mentioned – to see everyone dressed in red, but it was even more wonderful to hear the songs of the World Council – songs that brought the melodies and rhythms and faith expressions of different parts of the world here to us.
As we continue to think about how our faith – and our love for our brothers and sisters – connects us with others, please remember the Thank Offering which will close on Sunday 6th June.
And this Sunday – which is also wrapped up in our celebration of Pentecost – is also an opportunity to share the good news of what God has been doing in our congregation here at the church meeting (11:30am to 12:30pm after a brief morning tea). I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we look forward to these church meetings as a chance to encourage each other – to spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24) – as friends of Jesus in this work here.
So – please come on Sunday! Come early and pray! Wear red! And stay for that opportunity to encourage others and be encouraged as we continue to explore what it means to follow Jesus today, build an inclusive, caring community, and share God’s love and justice in words and actions.
Grace and peace,