Watch the service here.
If you are watching our live stream this morning, you are invited to find a candle, so that we can all light candles at the same time.
CALL TO WORSHIP (Acts 2:17)
Remember the promise of the Lord:
God will pour out the Spirit on all flesh.
Let us pray: God our creator, earth has many languages, but your gospel proclaims your love to all nations in one heavenly tongue. Make us messengers of the good news that, through the power of your Spirit, all the world may unite in one song of praise: through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
CALL TO CONFESSION
Do not hide your face from us, Lord God. Turn to us as we turn to you in repentance. Hear our confession, forgive our sin, grant us the new life you promise in Christ Jesus, your Son.
Please join me in the prayer of confession, followed by a silent personal prayer.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
God of wind and flame, you pour out your Spirit on all your children, empowering the least and the lofty to tell of your mighty deeds. We hear the sound and feel the heat, but instead of recognizing your presence among us, we sneer and refuse to believe you speak through people we would not choose to proclaim your message. Forgive us for attempting to limit your Spirit. Silence our cynicism and possess us with your word of grace. Make us your witnesses, those who break down dividing walls between people and relish the new community made possible through the life and love of Jesus Christ. Come, Holy Spirit. Amen.
Moment of silent prayer–people of God, what do you confess this week?
Assurance of Pardon
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. God will not always accuse, nor will the Lord harbor anger forever; God does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is God’s love for those who fear the Lord; as far as the east is from the west, so far has God removed our transgressions from us. Friends, believe the Good News, through Jesus Christ we are forgiven!
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Let us pray: Come, Holy Spirit, open the eyes of our hearts. Make our bones burn with your word. Put your message of God’s mighty deeds in our mouths and make them evident in all we say and do. Amen.
FIRST SCRIPTURE READING
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’
But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
“In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.
Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy.
And I will show portents in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
The sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
When have you had an experience of the Holy Spirit?
What image of the Holy Spirit is most meaningful for you? Wind? Flame? Dove? Advocate? Comforter?
How can you mark Pentecost this Sunday from wherever you are worshipping? Are there things you can do to make Pentecost memorable this year when many of us cannot be together in one place?
Where have you sensed the Spirit at work during this time when we are experiencing forced changes in how we do just about everything?
(lyrics provided by gracious permission of Westminster John Knox Press, who owns the copyright and has allowed their use during this season of virtual worship)
1. On Pentecost they gathered quite early in the day,
a band of Christ’s disciples, to worship sing, and pray.
A mighty wind came blowing, filled all the swirling air,
and tongues of fire a-glowing inspired each person there.
2. The people all around them were startled and amazed
to understand their language, as Christ the Lord they praised.
What universal message, what great good news was here?
That Christ, once dead, is risen to vanquish all our fear.
3. God pours the Holy Spirit on all who would believe,
on women, men, and children who would God’s grace receive.
That Spirit knows no limit, bestowing life and power.
The church, formed and and reforming, responds in every hour.
4. O Spirit, sent from heaven on that day long ago,
re-kindle faith among us in all life’s ebb and flow
O give us ears to listen and tongues aflame with praise,
so folk of every nation glad songs of joy shall raise.
SECOND SCRIPTURE READING
1 Corinthians 12:4-13
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
You can listen to Pastor Leia’s sermon, “The Holy Spirit Will Set Your Plans On Fire,” here.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE (JILL DUFFIELD)
Lord of all, we are unable to gather in one place. We grieve our inability to sit beside one another, sing together and pass the peace in person. Even as we lament what is lost when we cannot be in the same physical space, we rejoice that nothing separates us from the love of Jesus Christ and there is no barrier that can prevent the Holy Spirit’s coming to us. United in Christ, bound by the Spirit, our community is real and strong, no matter where we are.
Moment of silent prayer–people of God, what names are on your hearts this week?
Confident in your promise to never leave us alone, to hear us when we knock and give to us when we ask, we are bold to pray for those on our hearts and minds. Send the Spirit’s winds of your comfort to surround those who mourn. Stay close to those unable to be near to those they love. Grant rest to the weary and give hope to those on the brink of despair. Kindle the Spirit’s flame of reconciliation between those long estranged and peoples who call each other enemies. Bring healing to the sick and relief to those who suffer. Unleash the Spirit’s power to bring justice to the oppressed. Fill us with your Spirit so that we cannot abide the exploitation of the weak or the neglect of the vulnerable. Let your Spirit loose in your church so that we can be bearers of your love in the world.
Moment of silent prayer–people of God, what do you pray for this week?
On this day of Pentecost when multiple languages resound through the universe and all kinds of people proclaim your mighty deeds, open the eyes of our hearts to take in all the glorious sounds, relish the beautiful sights, and rejoice in the precious diversity of creation. Your works and your words are too wonderful for us and yet you enlist us to participate in your divine endeavor of salvation. We are astounded, perplexed, and bewildered, but eager through the gift of the Spirit to serve you with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love.
Moment of silent prayer–people of God, what do you give thanks for and rejoice in this week?
Come, Holy Spirit, engulf this frightening season with the life-giving, mercy-granting, joy-completing, justice-rolling deeds of our God. Open our mouths so that our lips may proclaim God’s praise. Direct our actions so the world will know we are Christ’s followers by our love. Make us one so we can be ambassadors of reconciliation. Show us your vision and empower us to make your divine dreams our earthly reality. We make our prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior, who taught us to say when we pray:
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 debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
There are many ways of sharing, But God’s Spirit gives each one.
There are different ways of caring; It’s one Lord whose work is done.
God, whose gifts are overflowing, May we hear you when you call;
Keep us serving, keep us growing For the common good of all.
We’ve been baptized in the waters! We’ve been given work to do.
When you call your sons and daughters, You give gifts for serving you.
God, we join in celebration Of the talents you impart.
Bless each baptized one’s vocation; Give each one a servant’s heart.
All are blest by gifts you give us; Some are set apart to lead.
Give us Jesus’ love within us As we care for those in need.
Give us faith to make decisions; Give us joy to share your Word.
Give us unity and vision As we serve your church and world.
INVITATION TO OFFERING
God sends the Holy Spirit, gifting us with the ability to serve in a myriad of ways. We are given the gift of faith that enables us to live in hope, love radically and share generously. Let us worship God with our offering
If you are able to, please consider mailing your offerings to the church (210 Smith Street). Alternatively, there is a link at the top of this page that will take you directly to a secure page where you can make a one-time donation. We appreciate your generosity as we seek to continue our mission and ministry throughout the community during this difficult time.
PRAYER OF DEDICATION
Let us pray: Gracious God, your Spirit rests upon us and drives us out to proclaim the gospel. You entrust us with your message of salvation. You grant us your vision and make your dreams our own. You enlist us as ambassadors for no less than Christ. We are humbled and awed by your choice of us. Take these gifts as signs of our trust and symbols of our gratitude. Bless them and use them to tell your mighty deeds throughout the world. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
AFFIRMATION OF FAITH (from A Brief Statement of Faith)
We trust in God the Holy Spirit, everywhere the giver and renewer of life. The Spirit justifies us by grace through faith, sets us free to accept ourselves and to love God and neighbor, and binds us together with all believers in the one body of Christ, the Church.
The same Spirit who inspired the prophets and apostles rules our faith and life in Christ through Scripture, engages us through the Word proclaimed, claims us in the waters of baptism, feeds us with the bread of life and the cup of salvation, and calls women and men to all ministries of the Church.
In a broken and fearful world the Spirit gives us courage to pray without ceasing, to witness among all peoples to Christ as Lord and Savior, to unmask idolatries in Church and culture, to hear the voices of peoples long silenced, and to work with others for justice, freedom, and peace.
In gratitude to God, empowered by the Spirit, we strive to serve Christ in our daily tasks and to live holy and joyful lives, even as we watch for God’s new heaven and new earth, praying, “Come, Lord Jesus!”
CHARGE AND BENEDICTION
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
May God’s countenance be lifted upon you and give you peace.
Remember that all of us have been given gifts by the Holy Spirit,
even if they don’t all look the same.
God has seen us through times of chaos before,
and God will see us through again.
From wherever you are, serve the Lord: Creator, Son, and Holy Spirit.
VIRTUAL COFFEE HOUR
If you are using this page to follow along with today’s worship service while it is being live streamed, please join us for virtual coffee hour! Turn on your video camera and join us after the benediction with this link. You could also join over the telephone by dialing (312) 626-6799 and entering the meeting code 146 874 134, followed by the password 075003.