Sunday, May 31, 2020

Pentecost Sunday

He Qi (Chinese, 1950–), Holy Spirit Coming, 1998. Oil on canvas.
He Qi (Chinese, 1950–), Holy Spirit Coming, 1998. Oil on canvas.

CENTERING WORDS

The church becomes irrelevant when it becomes purely a human creation. We are not all we were made to be when everything in our lives and churches can be explained apart from the work and presence of the Spirit of God. -Francis Chan

Prelude – “The Call” – R. Vaughn Williams

PREPARATION
Light a candle. Pause and breathe deeply in the Spirit of God. Keep a moment of silence.

WELCOME
MORNING PRAYER (unison)
Holy One, lead me to a blueprint for my life, one that includes crucifixion, resurrection, transformation, and Pentecost.
Let me die to my old ways.
Let me rise to new ones.
Let me suffer without whining.
Let me become someone new every couple of days or months – and grant that Spirit to fill me up, wake me up, shake me up from this day forward. Amen.
Donna E. Schaper, Prayers for Lent, Easter, and Pentecost.

Hymn Love Divine, All Loves Excelling  No. 228

1. Love divine, all loves excelling, Joy of heav’n to earth come down,
Fix in us they humble dwelling, all they faithful mercies crown;
Jesus thou art all compassion, Pure unbounded love thou art’
Visit us with they salvation, Enter every trembling heart.

2. Finish, then, they new creation; Pure and spotless let us be;
Let us see they great salvation Perfectly restored in thee;
Change from glory into glory, Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before thee, Lose in wonder, love, and praise.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION (unison)
Almighty God, you poured your Spirit upon gathered disciples, creating bold tongues, open ears, and a new community of faith. We confess that we hold back the force of your Spirit among us. We do not listen for your word of grace, speak the good news of your love, or live as a people made one in Christ. Have mercy on us, O God. Transform our timid lives by the power of your Spirit, and fill us with a flaming desire to be your faithful people, doing your will for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

A moment of silent reflection

WORDS OF ASSURANCE
God’s love is poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Forgiven and renewed we are free to be ourselves in the love of  God. Thanks be to God

MESSAGE
A Time for Children of all Ages

ANTHEM “Spirit of God, Unseen As The Wind” – trad. Scottish, arr. A. D. Miller

Oxford Academic (OUP) · Spirit Of God, Unseen As The Wind — Trad. Scottish, arr. A. D. Miller

Scripture Reading Acts 2:1-21 (NIV)

The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost
2 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

Peter Addresses the Crowd
14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

17“In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.

18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.

19 I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.

20 The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21 And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

Morning Reflection “God Speaks my Language”

Hymn “Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart”  No.232

  1. Spirit of God, descend upon my heart
    Wean it from earth , though all its pulses move;
    Stoop to my weakness, mighty as thou art,
    And make me love thee as I ought to love.
  2. Teach me to feel that thou art always nigh;
    Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear:
    To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh;
    Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.

THANKSGIVING
Sharing Our Joys and Concerns
Prayers of the People and Lord’s Prayer (trespasses)
Offering
Your gifts to St. Albans Congregational Church matter now more than ever! We encourage people to continue to make an offering by mailing to the church. Your generosity in this time makes a big difference!
OFFERTORY PRAYER (unison)
Bring life, O God, to the programs and mission of this church, which we support through our offerings and gifts. We make our offering in thanksgiving for God’s presence in our lives. We give as we have been blessed, trusting in God’s continuing grace on this faith community and in the world.  Amen.

DEPARTURE
CLOSING PRAYER (unison)
On this day of Pentecost, Your Spirit blows into our lives without warning, O God. With you we soar to a high peak in the realm Jesus knew, where we see with new eyes and hear with new ears a world eager with hope. As we walk our shadowed streets, let your Spirit encourage us to dream the day when all people will know your grace and loving-kindness. Through Jesus Christ our Savior, we pray. Amen.

Closing Hymn “Breathe on Me, Breath of God”  No. 234

1. Breathe on me breath of God,
Fill me with life a-new
That I may love what Thou dost love,
And do what thou wouldst do

2. Breathe on me breath of God,
Until my heart is pure,
Until with thee I will one
will t
o do and to endure.

Postlude  “The Call” – R. Vaughn Williams

*****

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Let us know if you or others you know are currently in self-quarantine, sick, or feeling isolated, and would appreciate being contacted.  Please contact Pastor Gary (awlofvt@hotmail.com / 802-345-7954 cell).

Vespers Service: Join us on the church’s Facebook page Wednesday nights at 7:30pm for our Vespers Service.

Office Hours: The office will be open Monday to Thursdays,  in order to reflect the demands on the church at this time. Hours are 8-11am, by appointment. The office will be closed in observance of Memorial Day on Monday, May 25th

Drive-through Prayers with the Pastor: Wednesday, May 27 -11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Stop by for a socially distanced visit with Pastor Gary. Come by the church, I will be wearing a mask and sitting in the church parking lot.  Bring your mask, stay connected, have a time of prayer and we can visit from an appropriate distance. – Pastor Gary

Sunday, June 7th is our mission collection for Martha’s Kitchen.  Over the past two months, Martha’s Kitchen has served over 9,000 “Grab and Go” meals to residents of the Franklin County area.  As we are still worshipping virtually, we ask that you make a donation directly to Martha’s Kitchen, 139 Lake Street, Saint Albans, VT 05478.  Please be sure to let Martha’s Kitchen know that you are affiliated with our church so they may annotate their records.  As an alternative, you may send your donation for Martha’s Kitchen to the church at 27 Church Street, Saint Albans, VT 05478 along with your pledge and/or weekly church donation.  If you send your donations together to the church, please indicate the amount to be shared with Martha’s Kitchen.  Thank you.