Eldad – Hampton Pastoral Charge of
the United Church of Canada.
Minister: Rev. James Feairs, B. A., M. Div., Retired Supply.
Organist & Choir Leader: Jennifer Pearce-Chambers.
Livestreaming and song leader: Shawn Pearce-Chambers.
May 31, 2020 Pentecost
Livestreaming from Eldad during pandemic precautions.
People’s responses are in bold type.
Song titles, are also links to lyrics.
We Gather with Praise
Gospel Jam: Amen, amen. 958 Halle, halle, hallelujah! 575 I’m gonna live so.
Call to Worship:
We are here to celebrate Pentecost!
It is the birthday of the church.
It is a sign that God moves in human life.
It is a mystery beyond our power to describe.
Jesus said: I pray that all may be one
God’s Spirit makes us one. We are still apart,
But we are together: in faith, in hope, in Spirit.
Let us worship God!
Holy Spirit, dance your light into the corners of our lives. When we are cold, bring us warmth. When we are afraid, bring us comfort. When we are lost, brighten our path. When we are unsure, mark the way. When we are in need, come into our presence. Come, Holy Spirit, come. Amen. (CGP)
Words of Assurance: “Where the Spirit is, there is freedom.”
Life and Work of the Community of Faith
Song: 315 Holy, holy, holy.
We Encounter God’s Word
Book of Acts 2:1-13. On the day of Pentecost, the believers experience, and others witness, the active presence of the Spirit.
Book of Acts 2:14-21. The Spirit had been promised long ago.
The Gospel of John 7:37 – 39. The Spirit is like this…
Reader: The word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.
Special Music Duet: “Once Again.”
Message: Holy Spirit!
We Respond with Prayer and Thanksgiving
Song: 375 Spirit of Gentleness.
Prayer for Gifts and Givers:
Present and active God, with our offerings, we offer also ourselves: what we have been, what we are, what we shall become. We resolve to walk in your way, and trust your Spirit to lead us. Bless the congregations in our Region of East Central Ontario, praying today especially for the people and minister of Goodwood United. May all gifts and givers, all mission and ministry, be helped by your Spirit; in Christ’s name, Amen.
Prayers of the People
The Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Closing Hymn: 376 Spirit of the living God.
based on scriptures for Pentecost Sunday, May 31, 2020.
From your retired supply minister Rev. Jim.
For all members and friends of Eldad and Hampton United Churches.
Greetings again as we see nature hurrying to catch up to itself, trees exploding into leaf, some of them that fresh yellow-green only seen in spring; the sun effortlessly supplying a tiny slice of its unfathomable energy to fund the life of our beautiful little hazy blue green planet.
The good weather brings the folks out, doesn’t it? Gathering suddenly in groups, like mushrooms popping up on your lawn after the rain. ‘Isolation fatigue’ they call it. People have the protocols figured out and are ready to govern themselves (say some), or truly don’t understand what is going on and don’t feel responsible for any of it (say others).
Hmm. That sounds like an introduction to our scriptures, which deal with the original day of Pentecost, when the early church is visited by/empowered by/baptized in/ (there are a lot of ways to describe what happens) the same Spirit which empowered Jesus to do his work. Some call this is the Birthday of the Christian Church. That is as good a way to describe it as any, for, then as now, people are often bewildered as to how to understand, react, and respond to the active moving of God in their midst.
As before, we are encouraged to work through scripture with someone, or by writing or talking oneself. I remember while on retreat at Mount St. Joseph in Peterborough some years ago, the delightful sister who was leading saying, ‘read the scripture over and over, until it begins to look very strange to you.”
Please read the Gospel of John 7:37-39.
Background: Jesus paraphrases his favourite prophet Isaiah’s words, “O ye that thirst, come to the waters” (that is, to God, who in their ‘dry and thirsty land’, is their true source of life.)
Starter: How do you explain things you can’t see? Do you remember your English teacher saying, a simile is a comparison using like or as. A metaphor is a comparison not using like or as.
Reflect: Is the Spirit of God ‘like’ a river? Or is the Spirit an actual river? If the Spirit moves through me, would I like to see myself as: A fountain in the sunlight? A bird-bath? A watering-trough? A deep, still pool? A puddle? What other (non – water) ways does the Bible use to speak of the dynamic presence of the invisible God?
Please read the Book of Acts 2:1-21. Before the church can act, God must act. Here the disciples and their circle (including, remember, Jesus’ own mother and his younger brother James) have an experience described here in dramatic terms. God as invisible present Actor, moves upon them in ways that leave them changed. St. Francis will later pray,’ Lord make me an instrument/channel of thy peace”.
Starter: Be honest now. Have I experienced some things which were spiritual in a good way but pretty hard to explain without having someone shake their head at me? How do I explain them to myself?
Background: Pentecost simply means ’50 days’, It was and is the next Jewish festival 7 weeks after Passover. It is ‘the birthday of the church’ because at this point, the believers in the risen Jesus as messiah stop waiting and start acting; creating the communities of faith which over time become the Church. The ‘disciples’ (learners) are now empowered to be the ‘apostles’ (the sent), able to spread the good news of eternal life through Jesus Christ, by the power of God’s Spirit working through them to influence, inspire, and affect others to be able to believe.
Reflect: Who has been an instrument, agent, or channel of God’s peace, hope, justice, love, or faith in my life? Have I been surprised by someone seeing me in this way?
Livestream (another water comparison!) worship continues at 11 am. Blessings! Rev. Jim
Printable PDF of above bible study – 200531BStudyPentecost
Photo from Luanne Payne