COCU39B.Day of Pentecost

The Uniting Church in Australia is blessed with multiple languages in both our First Peoples and Second Peoples. In the UCA there are more than 45 language groups worshipping every Sunday in congregations across the country. This video has 21 UCA members proclaim this reading from Acts 2:1-21 in their heart languages. (See more information here).


Year B
Acts 2:1-21
The believers are filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, and they start to praise God in various languages.
or Ezekiel 37:1-14
The prophet is given a vision of dry bones in a desolate valley, and God asks if they can live again. Then God commands him to speak and as he does, the bones come together, are clothed with flesh, and receive the breath of life.
Psalm 104:24-34,35b
The world and all its creatures depend on God for provision and breath – which leads the Psalmist to commit to praise God.
Romans 8:22-27
All of creation, and we, hope for the day when God’s children receive their “full rights.” In the meantime, when we are weak, the Holy Spirit helps us by praying for us in groans beyond words.
John 15: 26-27, 16:4b-15
Jesus tells his disciples that he is going away, and that this is a good thing, because then he can send the Holy Spirit to be their advocate, to convict of sin and to lead people into truth.
(All summaries  by John van de Laar, Sacredise)
RCL readings in landscape double sided format: COCU39B.Pentecost.Readings

Year A
Acts 2:1-21:
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b:
1 Corinthians 12:3b-13:
John 20:19-23:

Year C
Acts 2:1-21;
Psalm 24-34, 35b;
Romans 8:14-17;
John 14: 8-17 (25-27)

Day of Pentecost – image by Rev Mark Hewitt,

Rex AE Hunt

(Scroll further down for more liturgical resources and music)

Components of worship (links to resources on this website)
Prayer of thanksgiving
Prayer of confession/prayers of who we are/Words of Assurance
Prayer for Illumination
Readings (see top of this page)
Prayers for others
Lord’s Prayer
Prayer of Dedication
Benediction and sending out

Winds of change
Wild Wind of the Spirit, on this Pentecost day
we revel in the ways your presences lives
and moves among us and through us –
inspiring us, challenging us, unsettling us.
May we be open to the winds of change,
welcoming and bending to new ways of being.
May we embrace and celebrate the
lively and generative energy of this day,
empowering us to be agents of transformation
in our spheres of influence, voices for the voiceless,
and visionaries for a new future. Amen.
(Source: Wendy Janzen)

Thunderous Spirit of such gentleness,
Pour out your fiery wisdom
that lifts all barriers we build between us,
and brings us to the liminal space of ‘God with us’.
In our Churches, break through barricades of structures and rulings
that prevent us from experiencing the grace of friendship as the family of Jesus.
In the confusion of your unveiling of our eyes
to the whole people of God,
grant that moment of stillness, where we can breathe in your strength
and be awestruck with energy that electrifies our being and living.
Loose our cords of righteous indignation,
And language and practice that bind us in a coil of distrust and self-satisfaction.
For we long to turn to the Light where the sun will be no longer darkened,
so that we see the face of you, O God, in each other.
Warm our hearts and melt away our fears
that prevent us listening to the tentative fledging voices
offering visions of the future.
Energize us to connect with each other as church, your Church,
loving the dreams of those who have gone before,
proclaiming new messages you inscribe in our souls,
and living a life where confusion falls in the face of your clarity.
A life worthy of awe. A life of faithful people, together.
(Source: Rev Anne Hewitt May 2021)

Acts 2:1-2 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.
Spirit: Rushing Wind
Two thousand years ago, a band of disciples felt lost and leaderless.
Their leader, rabbi and teacher had been executed.
They held to the hope and joy of their Easter faith,
but they also questioned: What now? What next?
Where do we go from here?
In the story of Pentecost, the spirit moves amongst these disciples like the wind.
The disciples were energized, strengthened, and mobilized.
In the pattern of Pentecost, the winds of God blow us out of apathy, isolation, and despondency, help us to make changes, enable us to take action.
Holy Spirit, come like the wind.
Breath of God, renew us.
Energizing Spirit, bring us conviction and strength.
Acts 2: 3 Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.
Spirit: Tongues of Flame
Like a fire, a conviction took hold of their hearts.
The Spirit was moving in the disciples.
They were able to understand in new ways, with deep passion,
and with strongly felt faith.
Where once there was despair and apathy and disillusionment,
there was now hope and energy and meaning.
The Spirit’s fire was burning.
Holy Spirit, warm our lives with your presence.
Fire of God, enflame our commitment.
Spirit of Passion, be born anew in your people.
Acts 2: 5-8 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?
Spirit: Unity in Diversity
On the day of Pentecost, people from many lands and of many languages came together.
And there was a miracle of understanding and unity.
Holy Spirit, help us to listen to one another.
Spirit of Pentecost, grant us the ability to respect each other.
God of Possiblities, enable understanding in our midst.
(Source: Diaconal Minister Ted Dodd, United Church of Canada, 2021)

Likewise the prayer resource on the Christian Aid website for Israel and Gaza could well suit the theme of Pentecost. I particularly like the concluding prayer (though the whole flow of the prayer service is wonderful and definitely worth exploring).
Pray not for Arab or Jew, for Palestinian or Israeli,
but pray rather for ourselves,
that we might not divide them in our prayers
but keep them both together in our hearts.
When races fight, peace be amongst us.
When neighbours argue, peace be amongst us.
When nations disagree, peace be amongst us.
Where people struggle for justice, let justice prevail.
Where Christ’s disciples follow, let peace be our way.

There are other prayers resources for Palestine/Israel on this website.

Winds of Change (Ezekiel 37:1-11)
Spirit winds blowing,
gathering through the valley
a new creation.
Spirit winds blowing
God’s word of love announcing
restored covenant.
Spirit winds blowing
words of hope and assurance:
a promise to act.
(Source: Jeff Shrowder, The Billabong)

Prayer of Invocation
Come, Holy Spirit,
and guide us into pathways of truth, we pray.
Inspire us and strengthen us as we walk into the future
in your wise company.
Come, Holy Spirit, come. Amen.
(Source: Words for Worship 2011)

Call to worship
Holy Spirit, you are the Lord, the giver of life;
with the Father and the Son we worship and glorify you:
Come to us now, Spirit of God.
Holy Spirit, you were there at creation before time began;
your presence fills the whole universe:
Come to us now, Spirit of life.
Holy Spirit, you have spoken through the prophets of old;
by their witness the Word of God has never been silent:
Come to us now, Spirit of wisdom.
Holy Spirit, you surround the waiting church with the wind of Pentecost;
you gave life and breath to announce Christ’s gospel:
Come to us now, Spirit of power.
Holy Spirit, you came upon the first Christians as a holy fire;
you set their hearts ablaze with devotion to their risen Lord:
Come to us now, Spirit of love.
Holy Spirit, you pour out your rich and varied gifts;
you call us to bring forth your fruits in our lives:
Come to us now, Spirit of grace.
Holy Spirit, you are the Spirit of truth, the Counsellor;
you lead us to the truth that sets us free:
Come to us now, Spirit of God, and renew Christ’s holy church
(Source: Uniting in Worship)

Spirit of the living God,
Holy Wisdom, filling the whole earth,
you have come upon us all,
like fire on our heads,
hot in our hearts,
burning till the whole world
is ignited
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen
(Source: Bob Eldan)

Almighty God,
you sent your Holy Spirit
to be the life and light of your Church:
open our hearts to the riches of your grace,
that we may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit
in love, joy, and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Who comes to us as the Spirit,
Who breathes the fire of passion into us,
Who inspires us to compassion and courage,
You stir up in us the love made known in Christ.
You gift us with a message worth proclaiming,
Not just as empty words, but in actions and deeds.
You change the game.
You transform us and our living.
You work in us subtlely from the inside out.
You bring to us peace in the midst of the struggles and chaos of life.
Touch us now in ways we least expect.
Surprise us with your reality,
And ignite our sense of passion and purpose,
That we might grasp the gifts you offer in us,
Take them and serve those who need of them in the world.
Bring us into your communion of the common good.
This is prayed.
(Source: Jon Humphries, Prayers that Unite)

HOLY BREATH (John 20:19-23)
No tongues of fire here,
simply a word and a gentle breath,
the Holy Spirit.
Through locked doors and fear,
the risen one brings new life,
peace and sending out.
(Source: Jeff Shrowder, 2017)

Spirit, the presence of God, the inspiration of God,
the flicker that lives inside us helping us to seek God.
Spirit, the one that pushes us, suggests to us and speaks to us
in so many different ways.
May I always be open to the prodding of the Spirit.
(Source: Jay Robinson)

Peace be with you:
the peace I left you,
my peace, my peace,
I am with you.
Peace from these scarred hands,
peace from that wounded body,
peace, his peace, here
with us.
God has sent me,
now I will send you:
go with the Breath,
on the Wind, in the Spirit.
Peace from these scarred hands,
peace from that wounded body,
peace, his peace, here
with us.
Forgive transgressions,
for Tyrant has no power now;
forgive transgressors,
for Grace will lead them home.
Peace from these scarred hands,
peace from that wounded body,
peace, his peace, here
with us.
Peace be with you.
God has sent you –
be peace, my peace,
with Breath, Wind, Spirit.
(Source: Rev Sarah Agnew, Praying the Story)

Poem For Pentecost Sunday (Yr C)
Suddenly there came a sound….(Acts 2: 1-21)
It was one of those days where
leaves are thrashed
from tree branches writhing
under a racing sky,
and my childhood friend playing
outdoors with me wondered:
does the wind
ever stop blowing?

And does it stop somewhere, he asked again,
or just keep going around and around the world?

Back then I said I didn’t know
but now I know there came a day
when a wind began in a certain house
that filled with a light like flame,

and that wind had the roar of justice,
and that wind had the rush of love,
and that wind had the whisper of peace and compassion,
and it carried the words of hope and joy
to an anxious and needy world,

and it was gentle enough to touch the wounded soul
and strong enough to stir the ever seeking hearts
of women and men, young and old,
from city to distant shores,

and it pulled down walls of distrust and fear
and threw open doors of possibility,
and oaks of hatred have bent in its path
and palisades of pain have fallen to its strength
and new life has spread like scattered seed

and yes, my friend, that wind
circles the world
and no,
it has never stopped blowing.
(Source: Andrew King, 2016)

(in association with Acts 2 )
From around the globe, they came, a multitude of races of people in colourful dress, gathering in the town square to host the Holy Spirit. There were no interpreters, yet not a soul missed a word the apostles spoke.
Holy Spirit come again to enlighten and inspire your church, your people today with your words of love and grace.
In Jesus’ name.

Those who were there, described the visitation of the Holy Spirit as something like a refreshing, cleansing zephyr. Others registered the heat, like flames of cleansing, refining fire.
Holy Spirit, came to cleanse and refresh your church, your people today. In Jesus’ name.
Soft as the wings of a dove, the Spirit blessed the gathered throng, bringing peace to troubled minds.
Holy Spirit, come again to equip your church, your people, to be ambassadors for peace in the community, in the nation and in the world. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
(Source: Linda Sutton)

St. Patrick’s Lorica | a modern adaptation by Patrick Scriven
I claim freedom today,
Through a power beyond my ability,
An expression of the Trinity,
Through a belief in holy mystery,
Through acceptance of a profound unity,
Experienced in the whole of creation.
I claim freedom today,
Through the power of Christ’s birth and baptism,
Through the power of Christ’s merciful works and just witness,
Through the power of Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection.
I claim freedom today,
Finding inspiration in those who trust and love as children,
In good beyond my understanding,
In the hope of resurrection and coming justice,
In the prayers of matriarchs and patriarchs,
In the words of wise elders,
In the faith of those called to great task,
In the innocence of those set apart,
In the deeds of righteous individuals.
I claim freedom today,
Marveling in the beauty of creation;
The radiant light of the sun,
The splendor and warmth of fire,
The persistence of life
The flash of lightning, the boom of thunder,
The alacrity of the wind,
The depth of the sea,
The perseverance of the earth,
The foundational reliability of the rock.
I claim freedom today,
Asking for divine potential to inspire me;
For God’s strength to lift me up,
For God’s wisdom to guide me,
For God’s eye to provide a vision,
For God’s ear to augment mine,
For God’s word to speak for me, to me,
For God’s love to guard me,
From temptations of forces I understand,
and those I can never comprehend,
From those I perceive as my enemies,
and those who would truly do me harm,
deserved or undeserved.
Help me to pray constantly for them all.
I summon today all these powers between me and evil,
Against every cruel merciless power that opposes
my body and soul,
Against the crafty words of false prophets,
Against the corrupt values of this world,
Against the false teachings of heretics,
and the hardened hearts of those who are always right,
Against the constant creation of false idols,
Against the seductive spells of gadgeteers and wizards,
Against every knowledge that devalues a person’s body and soul.
Christ shield me today;
Against anger, against jealousy,
Against fear, against timidity,
So that your justice may flow through me
and I may share in its reward.
Christ with me, before me, behind me,
Christ within me, beneath me, above me,
Christ on my right, on my left,
Christ when I lie down, when I sit down,
and even when I get down.
May Christ be in the heart of every person who thinks of me,
The mouth of every person who speaks of me,
The vision of those who see me,
The hearing of each people who listens to me.
I claim freedom today,
Through a power beyond my own,
An expression of the Trinity,
Through a belief in holy mystery,
Through acceptance of a profound unity,
Experienced in the whole of creation.

May the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
bring fire to the earth
so that the presence of God
may be seen
in a new light,
in new places,
in new ways.

May our own hearts
burst into flame
so that no obstacle,
no matter how great,
ever obstructs the message
of the God within each of us.

May we come to trust
the Word of God in our heart,
to speak it with courage,
to follow it faithfully
and to fan it to flame in others.

May the Jesus
who filled women
with his Holy Spirit
fill the world and the church
with new respect
for women’s power and presence.

Give me, Great God,
a sense of the Breath of Spirit
within me as I follow your way.
(Source: Sr Joan Chittister)

Spirit of the living God,
Holy Wisdom, filling the whole earth,
you have come upon us all,
like fire on our heads,
fire in our hearts,
burning till the whole world
is ignited
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen
(Bob Eldan)

Our Father and Mother, well spring of all life,
you sent your Holy Spirit
upon the apostles
permeating both their holy and also quirky selves.
Take us as we are,
both our first-rate and shocking selves
and infuse us with the same Spirit
that we, transformed,
may transform the world
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen.
(c) Bob Eldan (Also, Bob’s reflection on Pentecost)

We remember that your church
was born in wind and fire,
not to sweep us heavenward
like a presumptuous tower,
but to guide us down
the dusty roads of this world
so that we may lift up the downcast,
heal the broken,
reconcile what is lost,
and bring peace amidst unrest.
(Garth House, Litanies for all occasions)

Wonderful collection of prayers and liturgies for Pentecost on re-Worship by Christine Longhurst. Well worth exploring.

Wellspring Liturgy for Day of Pentecost

with flight inspired
like singing choir
and life contained no more
lift the roof
on organ wings
with tongues
with Spirit blaze
trail behind a smoky
these fiery days
comfortable no more
alight now, soar
arise, take flight,
each one fly,
fly high, dream wide
your uncommon gifts inspired
live life uncontained
with the goose – wild and free
(c) Sarah Agnew, Sarah Tells Stories

Holy Spirit,
River of love, divine delight,
flow through me.
Flame of sun, burn in me.
Wind of heaven, breathe in me.
Tongues of strangers, speak in me.
Love of God, sing in me.
Lead me beyond myself,
to return to you in the other,
to love you in my stranger,
my foreigner, my enemy.
Burn with your fire in me,
that it may be mine.
Breathe yourself into my life,
that it may be yours.
I am your song, and your singing.
I am your candle; you are my flame.
Holy Spirit,
love the world
in me.
(Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)

Prayer of Thanks for the Spirit of God in our Lives
We give thanks for the Spirit of God
in our world
and in all people.
We give thanks for the people
who show us what the Spirit of God can do
when they allow the Spirit to work in their lives.
We give thanks for their wisdom,
for their care and concern for others,
for their generosity and courage,
and for the many ways they make the world a better place.
We give thanks for the Spirit of God in our lives,
in our own particular gifts and abilities.
May we use our own gifts of the Spirit well
so that God’s Spirit will be seen in all we do and say.
(Michael Morwood, From Children Praying a New Story)

Prayer for Illumination
The delight of a story well-known
fills our hearts as we listen
for its familiar end.
May we hear, even in its simple telling,
stories that, to us, are ever new

What a great arrangement by Adam Kukuk for this classic, Breathe on me breath of God. Sound file here. On the same web page you’ll also find a link to the free to download music score for piano and vocal arrangement. (Thanks, Adam, for your generosity in sharing)

Refrain (people):
Come Holy Spirit Come, Holy Spirit come (repeat 4 times)
1 Breathe on me, Breath of God,
fill me with life anew,
that I may love the way you love,
and do what you would do.
Refrain (people):
Come Holy Spirit Come, Holy Spirit come (repeat 4 times)
2 Breathe on me, Breath of God,
until my heart is pure,
until my will is one with yours,
to do and to endure.
Refrain (people):
3. Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Stir in me one desire,
that every earthly part of me,
may glow with holy fire.
Refrain (people): 
Come Holy Spirit Come, Holy Spirit come (repeat 4 times)
4 Breathe on me, Breath of God,
so shall I never die,
but live with you the perfect life
for all eternity.
Refrain (people):
Come Holy Spirit Come, Holy Spirit come (repeat 4 times)
(lyrics: Psalter Hymnal, 1987)

Yes, there are the flames of Pentecost,
the drama, the consuming blaze,
the rushing, pushing wind, desperate
for something on its loud crusade.

But for some it is enough
to be the wick of God,
of love made known in unlearned tongues,
beyond our understanding,
to be the deep where God’s creating spirit broods,
where new things come to light and life
without our doing, or knowing how
a soul comes to know its own belovedness.

Our oneness is not within but out there,
one spirit breathing in and out through all of us,
a gathering of many nations.
We follow the breath to our other selves
and love them with love that’s not our own
but all of ours, breathed into us.

The secret is beyond us, a language we won’t learn,
but still go out into the streets and speak. Steve Garnaas-Holmes,

Re-worship blogsite – prayers for Pentecost

Youtube video – different voices reading the Pentecost story (Uniting Church, Queensland)


Wild wind of the Holy Spirit, by William L. (Bill) Wallace)
Wild wind of the Holy Spirit,
Breathe, Blow,
Fan the fire of life in us.

Wild wind of the Holy Spirit,
Breathe, Blow,
Fan the fire of love in us.

Wild wind of the Holy Spirit,
Breathe, Blow,
Fan compassion’s fire in us.

Wild wind of the Holy Spirit,
Breathe, Blow,
Fan your justice in our hearts.
(Words: William Wallace; click here for the music)

‘Send down the fire’: Composer: Marty Haugen (1989)
Send down the fire of your justice,
Send down the rains of your love;
Come, send down the Spirit, breathe life in your people,
and we shall be people of God.

Call us to be your compassion,
Teach us the song of your love;
Give us hearts that sing,
Give us deeds that ring,
Make us ring with the song of your love. (Refrain)

Call us to learn of your mercy,
Teach us the way of your peace;
Give us hearts that feel,
Give us hands that heal,
Make us walk in the way of your peace. (Refrain)

Call us to answer oppression,
Teach us the fire of your truth;
Give us righteous souls,
‘Til your justice rolls,
make us burn with the fire of your truth. (Refrain)

Call us to witness your Kingdom,
Give us the presence of Christ;
May your holy light
Keep us shining bright,
Ever shine with the presence of Christ. (Refrain)

This is the day of the Spirit’s descending
(O Quanta Qualia:

This is the day of the Spirit’s descending,
pouring out gifts for the healing of nations:
wisdom and counsel and knowledge and reverence,
strength, understanding and godly endurance.

Give to us, Father, the wisdom of Jesus,
shed in our hearts his delight in your purpose.
Kindle the flame of his love and his joy –
the grace of his peace that no power can destroy.

Send us out, Master, to live to your glory,
and when we find you hungry or thirsty,
naked or homeless, sick or in prison,
grant us to serve you – the One who is risen.

Here, in this moment, bestow what we long for:
bread for our journey and wine for our joying.
Life-giving Spirit and source of compassion,
dwell in our hearts and Christ there re-fashion.

Glory to you here on earth be unending:
Spirit of God, from the Father proceeding,
who with the Son we now hymn and adore,
Three ever One – today, evermore.
(Words:Paul P J Sheppy)

pentecost leaf

For the Pentecost Sunday service everyone was given a ‘leaf’ and asked to write a gift/talent received by God. The ‘leaves’ were collected and put on a tree. (English Reformed Church, Amsterdam)

Sermon ideas from Rev Peter Lockhart, Day of Pentecost, 2015

Creator Spirit, Word and Breath – a new song by Christy Bristow

Creator Spirit, Word and Breath,
you hold the keys of life and death.
O holy Witness, Wind and Flame
with you our lives are not the same.

O Spirit blowing where you will
remind us now not to sit still
when you are calling us to do
brave works of love, our whole lives through.

Show us your ways and hold our hands
when we are sinking in the sands
of choices difficult to make,
that we not falter by mistake.

Great Spirit you are old and wise.
We need you still to energize
this congregation in this place
to be most generous with grace.

O mighty Spirit, Dove and Breath,
you hold the keys of life and death.
O holy Wisdom, Wind and Flame
with you our lives are not the same.
Christy Bristow, May 21, 2015 LM
Suggested tune: Conditor Alme, Plainsong Mode IV
Tallis Cannon is OK.

Faithful God, You Sent Your Spirit
NETTLETON D (“Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”)
Faithful God, you sent your Spirit long ago at Pentecost.
You gave life and said to share it, all as one, beneath your cross.
May we see your wondrous blessing when your people everywhere
Work together, all confessing faith that binds us, faith to share.

God of hope, you daily nurture those who seek to follow you.
You’re not bound by any culture; you love rich and poor ones, too.
In an ever-changing nation, may your churches welcome in
Every child of your creation, giving hope to all again.

God of love, may we in worship welcome our diversity.
May we reach in trust and friendship to the poor and refugee.
May we see Christ in the stranger, breaking bonds of race and fear.
By your Spirit, may we offer glimpses of your kingdom here.

Biblical References: Acts 2:1-21; John 17:11-18; Matthew 25:35-40; 28:19; Galatians 3:28;
Tune: Wyeth’s Repository of Sacred Music, 1813
Alternate Tune: ABBOT’S LEIGH D (“God Is Here!”)
Text: Copyright © 2008 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved
Email: New Hymns:

Spirit of God
(“God of Compassion, in Mercy Befriend Us”)

Spirit of God, you moved over the waters
Whisp’ring God’s love to the whole of creation.
You breathe your life into God’s sons and daughters.
Giving us talents and your inspiration.

Spirit of God, by the prophets you sought us,
Calling us back from our pride-filled behavior.
Through chosen leaders you reached us and taught us,
By your own gift we were given our Savior.

Spirit of God like a dove you once rested,
Showing God’s joy on the day Christ was baptized.
You sent Christ out to the hills to be tested,
Through you he called us to see God with new eyes.

Spirit of God, like a mighty wind blowing:
Suddenly Christians stopped hiding and fearing
You gave them courage and love overflowing,
So they proclaimed you to all in their hearing.

Help us to see you, still calling and caring,
Help us to know you among us, creating.
Spirit of God, give us courage and daring –
To share God’s love with a world that is waiting.

Biblical references: Genesis 1-2; Micah 3:8; Luke 3:21-22; Acts 2:21
Tune: Paris Antipher, 1681, As in La Feillee’s Methode du plain-chant, 1808
Text: Copyright © 1999 Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: New Hymns:
Copied from Gifts of Love: New Hymns for Today’s Worship by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (Geneva Press)

Pentecost Had Come
(“Canto de Esperanza/Song of Hope”) (MIDI)

Pentecost had come and in that time of grace,
Jesus’ friends were gathered in a meeting place.
Suddenly the Spirit came in wind and flame,
Sending men and women out in Jesus’ name.
Spirit, come upon us, too!
Give us gifts to share for you.
We live in a world in need;
Send us where you daily lead!

All around the city joy was in the air;
People gathered in the streets from everywhere.
Soon they heard some preaching and the news was good!
There, in every language, they all understood.
Spirit, move through every land
Till all know and understand:
Jesus died and rose– it’s true!
Now we have new life in you.

Peter told the crowd to turn and be baptized;
Thousands heard the words he spoke and changed their lives.
Daily they sold what they owned to help the poor;
Day by day the church was growing more and more.
Spirit, change the way we live.
Teach us how to gladly give
Guide us, as we seek to be
Faithful in our ministry.

Acts 2:1-47
Tune: Argentine folk melody
Text: Copyright © 2010 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: New Hymns:
Copied from Songs of Grace: New Hymns for God and Neighbor by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (Upper Room Books)

Wind who makes all winds that blow
Wind who makes all winds that blow—
gusts that bend the saplings low,
gales that heave the sea in waves,
stirrings in the mind’s deep caves—
aim your breath with steady power
on your church, this day, this hour.
Raise, renew the life we’ve lost,
Spirit God of Pentecost.

Fire who fuels all fires that burn—
suns around which planets turn,
beacons marking reefs and shoals,
shining truth to guide our souls—
come to us as once you came;
burst in tongues of sacred flame!
Light and Power, Might and Strength,
fill your church, its breadth and length.

Holy Spirit, Wind and Flame,
move within our mortal frame.
Make our hearts an altar pyre.
Kindle them with your own fire.
Breathe and blow upon that blaze
till our lives, our deeds, and ways
speak that tongue which every land
by your grace shall understand.
(Source: Thomas Troeger; Tune: ABERYSTWYTH)

energy of the dance…
promise in the water…
rush in the wind…
rhythm in the word…
poetry of the faith…
silence in the horror…
patience in the waiting…
question in the wonder…
curve on the horizon…
brightness in the sun…
speed in the light…
life in the resurrection…
Come Spirit…
be it all…
and bring us into renewal once more…
Roddy Hamilton, Mucky Paws.

Affirmation of faith (from UCA Assembly 2012)
We say – God created the universe, and the world we live in, and every living thing on this earth.
We believe – the creation shows us the power and presence of God, and makes us want to praise and give thanks to God, and take good care of the earth God has made.
We are full of joy – that across the world different peoples have their own culture and language, and that in God we are all united together as one.

We say – God is Spirit, breath of life, who is always working to bring people to life in God.
We believe – the Spirit has been alive and active in every race and culture, getting hearts and minds ready for good news: the good news of God’s love and grace that Jesus Christ revealed.
We are full of joy – that from the beginning the Spirit was alive and active, revealing God through the law, custom and ceremony of the First Peoples of this ancient land.

We say – Jesus is Saviour and Lord, and that he began the church, and prayed that the church might be together as one.
We believe – that in the risen Jesus we are all brothers and sisters in the one great family of God, and that God calls us to live in faith, hope and love for the sake of the reign of God here on earth.
We are full of joy – that we can learn, grow and serve together as pilgrim people in the name of Christ.

Today we feel the wind beneath our wings
Today  the hidden fountain flows and plays
Today the church draws breath at last and sings
As every flame becomes a tongue of praise.
This is the feast of fire, air, and water
Poured out and breathed and kindled into earth.
The earth herself awakens to her maker
And is translated out of death to birth.
The right words come today in their right order
And every word spells freedom and release
Today the gospel crosses every border
All tongues are loosened by the Prince of Peace
Today the lost are found in His translation.
Whose mother-tongue is Love, in  every nation. (Source: DeacGill)

Prayer for Pentecost
(could be used as words of mission at the end of a service)
Holy One,
For all of the ways you speak to us –
in rushing wind,
in dancing flames,
in words we understand,
and in all that transcends language,
we give thanks.
Give us courage to speak your love,
everywhere we go,
to everyone we meet. Amen.
Joanna Harader, Practicing Families

Prayer of Invocation and Intercession: Come, Holy Spirit, Come
Holy One,
We are not sure what it would be like
if the Holy Spirit blew through our churches again
as it did on the day of Pentecost.
However, we want to speak the language that you have given,
louder, and  more clearly in  our lives and church.
So we pray,
come Holy Spirit come,
pour out your fire of love upon us
to be the body of Christ
in a world that is often hurting, hungry, and cynical.

We want to bring the good news to the poor,
heal the broken-hearted,
preach deliverance to captives,
bring recovery of sight to the blind
and set at liberty all that are bruised.
As your disciples,
we pray for all who suffer, are poor,
despairing, burdened, blind and battered.
In your loving breeze,
we pray for health and wholeness for those who are physically ill,
for those who are mentally ailing,
for those who are money sick,
for those who are spiritually unwell.
We pray for the healing of your creation,
and the renewal of the face of the land.
We pray for those who are thirsty,
that they would drink from your fountain of living waters
and never thirst again. Amen.
Rev Karla, RevGalBlogPals

RCL reading for Day of Pentecost (in A5 insert format) Day of Pentecost

Compilation of various resources: Easter 8A compilation

Mid-Week service with communion, leading up to Day of Pentecost Pentecost A.midweek

A reading for six voices – Stan Duncan: Pentecost Reading B_a reading for six voices_Stan Duncan

A link to Upper Room, and an audio of Acts 2:1-4 read in five languages.

From Jonny Baker: The best book of theology on the Holy Spirit in my view is Jurgen Moltmann’s spirit of life and the follow up source of life. On Saturday we had a grace spirit service and for it I wrote a responsive piece  of liturgy (see below). The responses are from the first verse of the hymn breath on me breath of God. The lines are all quotes from Moltmann’s source of life but reworked as directed to God.

spirit of life
Your breath of life fills the whole world and holds all things together.
if you withdraw your breath everything turns to dust
Breathe on me breath of God
You are the source of life that brings life to the world, whole life, full life, unhindered, indestructible everlasting life
Fill me with life anew
The life of your Spirit which Christ sends into the world is the power of the resurrection which brings us new life
Breathe on me breath of God
The sending of your Spirit is the revelation of God’s indestructible affirmation of life and marvelous joy in life
Fill me with life anew
Jesus where you are there is life. where you are sick people are healed, sad people are comforted, marginalised people are accepted and the demons of death are driven out
Breathe on me breath of God
Where your Holy Spirit is present there is life.
the powers and energies of eternal life are experienced.
Fill me with life anew
The mission of your Spirit is a movement for life and a movement for healing which spreads consolation and the courage to live and raises up what wants to die.
Breathe on me breath of God
We affirm and love life so much that we protest against death and all the powers that disseminate death.
Fill me with life anew
Help us to join with your comforting of the sad, healing of the sick, welcoming of strangers, and forgiving of sins.
Breathe on me breath of God
Send your Spirit so that this world should not perish but live
Fill me with life anew
Spirit of the new creation break into the here and now bringing foretastes of the age to come when all things are made new, and creation is set free from the powers of death
Breathe on me breath of God
Spirit of God renew the face of the earth
Fill me with life anew
Give us hearts of flesh for hearts of stone
that we may love as you would love and do what you would do

We are excited to be celebrating the church’s birthday today.
However, we are not sure what it would be like
if the Holy Spirit blew through our churches again as it did on the day of Pentecost.
In fact we not so sure we want that to happen again in our church.
It scares us this power of the Holy Spirit, and
yet we know that without the Holy Spirit
we are unable to accomplish the vision you have for your Kingdom of God.
We need your Holy Spirit.
It is after all your church.
So we pray;
come Holy Spirit come,
pour out your power into us your people and your church.
We do want to be your body of Christ in this world
that is often hurting, hungry and cynical.
We want to bring the good news to the poor, heal the broken-hearted, preach deliverance to captives, bring recovery of sight to the blind and set at liberty all that are bruised.
We want to be your body of Christ by praying for all who suffer, are poor, despairing, burdened, blind and battered.
So we pray for them right now and
claim the power of your Holy Spirit to do your will in this world.
We pray for your power of healing for those who are physically sick, for those who are emotionally ill, for those who are mentally ailing, for those who are money sick, for those who are spiritually unwell and for the world that is sick.
We pray for the healing of your creation,
and the renewal of the face of the land.
We pray for those who are thirsty,
that they would drink from your fountain of living waters and
never thirst again.
Thank you for hearing our prayers in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit!
Source: RevGalBlogPals

Call to worship
Holy Spirit, you are the Lord, the giver of life;
with the Father and the Son we worship and glorify you:
Come to us now, Spirit of God.
Holy Spirit, you were there at creation before time began;
your presence fills the whole universe:
Come to us now, Spirit of life.
Holy Spirit, you have spoken through the prophets of old;
by their witness the Word of God has never been silent:
Come to us now, Spirit of wisdom.
Holy Spirit, you surround the waiting church with the wind of Pentecost;
you gave life and breath to announce Christ’s gospel:
Come to us now, Spirit of power.
Holy Spirit, you came upon the first Christians as a holy fire;
you set their hearts ablaze with devotion to their risen Lord:
Come to us now, Spirit of love.
Holy Spirit, you pour out your rich and varied gifts;
you call us to bring forth your fruits in our lives:
Come to us now, Spirit of grace.
Holy Spirit, you are the Spirit of truth, the Counsellor;
you lead us to the truth that sets us free:
Come to us now, Spirit of God, and renew Christ’s holy church
(Source: Uniting in Worship)

dare we?
hesitant enough
to whisper your name,
much less tell any one
of your presence in us:
dare we ask for
tongues of boldness?

our hearts
fatigued by
the cancer of poverty,
the fears crouching in
the shadows,
the children wandering
our streets:
dare we ask for
a transplant of

souls numbed
by broken lives
and shattered dreams,
grace iceberged
by the chill of our culture:
dare we ask for
just the smallest
to engulf us?

dare we hope
dare we dance
dare we yield
dare we dive
into your red-hot
so we can live?
(c) 2014 Thom M. Shuman

Picture: Church Forum

Prayer of confession
Our God, we come in humility,
confessing who and what we are.
We are often unresponsive for we are afraid.
When your Spirit speaks,
we turn deaf ears, for we fear what you might call us to do.
When your Spirit touches our lips, we close our mouths,
embarrassed to speak your Word.
When the wind of your Spirit blows,
we close the windows of our hearts,
afraid the breeze will disrupt our ordered lives.
When the fire of your Spirit touches us, we quench the flame,
afraid of the new life it might bring.
Forgive us, O Lord.
(Source: Nolan Palsma and Phyllis Palsma)

Pentecost Benediction
Spirit of God,
In the season of the genesis of the Church,
Inspire us anew.
Fire up our passion,
Breathe into us new vision.
Alight our compassion
Whisper again how the world can be better if we just take up the cause.
Call us out from ourselves and our self-focus.
Call us towards meaning and purpose.
Call us into community with each other and with you.
Call us together, and then send us out to be the difference.
Send us to make change in our own lives that me might inspire and bring change into the world.
Send us out to help the afflicted.
Send us out to friend the lonely.
Send us out to work for justice.
Send us out to give generously of ourselves, that poverty might be driven into history.
Spirit of God,
Bring us wise counsel.
Connect us to God’s will.
Fill us with God’s love.
That we might live like the Christ.
This we ask of you, Amen.
(Source: Uniting Change)


Pentecost and ‘ordinary time’
At Christmas we adore the baby.
During Holy week and Easter, we are humbled and awed by the sacrifice and risen life.
On Pentecost we are expected to go out and make a difference in the world.
Notice how long Advent and Christmas are.
Notice how long Lent and Holy week are.
Now notice that Pentecost is one measly day.
We have weeks of ‘me and Jesus and my spiritual life’, but one day of considering what the Spirit has equipped us to do.
That one day of celebration leads us into a whole season called Ordinary time. It’s the longest season in the Church calendar. That it’s called Ordinary time is interesting – we encounter the work of the Spirit in the most ordinary of times, places, people, problems. It should be an exciting time if we keep our eyes open.  This is a time to share those extra-ordinary moments in the most ordinary of times so that we may see where the wind of God’s Spirit is blowing.
(stitched together from a conversation on John Maynard’s Worship RCL egroup)

Vivid colors thick on canvas convey the need for fire for the homeless in the city. Around the fire is heat,  light, life, comfort, and community.This is a reminder to “guide us down the dusty roads of this world so that we may lift up the downcast, heal the broken, reconcile what is lost, and bring peace amidst unrest.”
(Garth House, Litanies for All Occasions)
Can Fire in the ParkSmithsonian American Art Museum.

Flame dancing Spirit, come
Sweep us off our feet and
Dance us through our days.
Surprise us with your rhythms;
Dare us to try new steps, explore
New patterns and new partnerships;
Release us from old routines
To swing in abandoned joy
and fearful adventure.
And in the intervals
Rest us
In your still centre.
(Source: Women Included: The St Hilda Community)

Pentecostal Passion                                    by Ken Sehested

Pentecostal power has little to do with 
exaggerated religious emotion. But such power, when granted, has everything to do
 with passion, with conviction.
It’s not your mind that
 you lose—it’s your heart,
 which falls head-over-heels
 in love with the vision of dry bones

When such power erupts, they 
probably will call you crazy. 
“Have you lost your mind?!”

Yes, we will say, because
 these days the mind has
 become acclimatized to a culture
 of war; has become inured to
 the ravages of poverty in a culture
 of obesity; has become numb 
to ecological wreckage.

When Pentecostal power erupts, all
 heaven’s gonna’ break loose. The boundaries will be compromised;
 barriers will be broken; and
 borders will be breached.
 Economies of privilege will be fractured 
and the politics of enmity will be impeached.

“I will pour out my Spirit,”
says the LORD: Poured out
 not for escape to another
 world beyond the sky but 
here, amid the dust. Poured out 
not on disembodied spirits but
 “upon all flesh.”

The groaning of creation is both
 an ache and an assurance. We
 dare not insulate ourselves from 
the one, lest we be deafened to 
the other. Birth is at work.
 Though the labor is prolonged,
 provision is tendered.
 Pentecostal power is the wherewithal
l by which we wager our lives on
 the surety of this promise.

A call to worship by Andrew Prior
On this Pentecost morning we are gathered again
together in this one place.
Jesus is long gone
God seems sometimes far distant
and we are alone, by ourselves
a small people of no consequence in the world
together in this one place
to worship an old fashioned God
foolish, and to be pitied.
that we remember
we hear a distant music
we recall an old tune
familiar words
and the gentle touch of spirit.
Spirit which still blows among us
caressing, calming, encouraging.
Spirit which roars into our hearts
disconcerting us,
waking us to new things
filling us with new hopes
healing again old hurts.
And we remember why we are here
in these last days
because God pours out Spirit on all flesh
on young and old
weak and strong
poor and rich
and the language of love flows
binding us together
calling us closer to each other
and to God
because we hear each in our own language
the Love of God
for all people and all creation.
And that is why we are here this morning, God
gathered together in this one place.
For Jesus is not long gone.
The Father is not far distant
and we are not alone
for you are with us
Spirit of God
for small people of no consequence in the world
to live together and love.
Thank you God. Amen.

Acknowledgement of land (Reconciliation Sunday/Pentecost in 2012)
As we gather on this sacred land, let us acknowledge that we are standing on country, for which the members and elders of the local Aboriginal community and their ancestors, have been custodians for thousands of years. Here, they have performed age old ceremonies, celebrations, initiations and renewals.
We acknowledge their living culture and unique role in the life of this country. Ancestors have danced and sung the Creation stories, which proclaim the sacredness of the gift given by the Creator Spirit.
We acknowledge the Elders, past and present, and their ancestors who have had a deep relationship with the Creator Spirit, thousands of years before Abraham. While there has been great change to this land over the generations, we know in our hearts that the story and spirit of the Aboriginal Nations will always be written in this landscape.


Blessing of Light
The Minister goes to the Paschal Candle.
Blessed are you, sovereign God, overflowing in love.
With Pentecost dawns the age of the Spirit.
Now the Flame of heaven rests on every believer.
Strong and weak, women and men tell out your word;
the young receive visions, the old receive dreams.
With the new wine of the Spirit, they proclaim your reign of love.
Amid the birth pangs of the new creation, the way of light is made known.
Source of freedom, giver of life,
blessed are you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Blessed be God for ever.
Each member of the congregation comes forward and lights a candle from the Paschal candle. When all the candles are lit the Ministers says
For fifty days we have celebrated the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ over the powers of sin and death. We have proclaimed God’s mighty acts and we have prayed that the power that was at work when God raised Jesus from the dead might be at work in us. I call upon you to live out what you proclaim.
Empowered by the Holy Spirit, will you dare to walk into God’s future,
trusting God to be your guide?
By the Spirit’s power, we will.
Will you dare to embrace each other and grow together in love?
By the Spirit’s power, we will.
Will you dare to share your riches and minister to each other in need?
By the Spirit’s power, we will.
Will you dare to pray for each other until your hearts beat with the longings of God?
By the Spirit’s power, we will.
Will you dare to carry the light of Christ into the world’s dark places?
By the Spirit’s power, we will.
The Paschal Candle is extinguished in silence.
May the Spirit, who set the Church on fire upon the Day of Pentecost,
bring the world alive with the love of the risen Christ. Amen.
And the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.

Pentecost – it’s a beginning (Jon Humphries, Uniting Change)
The work has begun. It is after Pentecost, and we are in for the long haul, working out what it means to be the Church. Pentecost is the genesis of the Church. It is our beginning.
Why do we need to celebrate this every year? Partly because, it is good to celebrate our identity, but also sadly it is because we need to remember again what it is that we are called to.
The disciples spoke in many different tongues after being filled with the Spirit. This can have many meanings, but one of the deepest for me is the symbolism of a calling of all nations into one communion. Here we the final completion of Jesus’ earthly ministry – he has lived, taught, set and example and even died to show us the depth of God’s love and what it means to live that love into the world. BUT, he can’t stay with us, lest he become just another idol or warring messiah figurehead. Thus he bows out of the physical arena to provide the space for us, his people, to grow into our inheritance.
But of course two thousand and a bit years later, instead on being a radical communion, uniting the world under the love and vision of God, our living is still just as broken, we are just as divided. The divide, gap and barriers between ‘us’ and ‘them’ are as real and as powerful as ever.
We need to remember our story. We need to hear the coming of the Holy Spirit and the radical transformation of the followers of Jesus.
We need to remember what it is to be the Church – the ekklesia: called out of our individualism and self-absorbed self-focus into a radical communion of justice,grace, love and forgiveness. We are called out for a purpose, to be united under God and under God’s common purpose.
BUT.. we are not just called out, we are sent out – the apostolic Church. We are the sent people learners/disciples with a message of redemption. It is not a formula for salvation. It is not a conversion to religion. It is not about pious religiosity. It is about proclaiming the Kingdom of God – that radical communion where loving service of others is the foundation of all our efforts and endeavours – loving service in the service of God for the service of others and all of creation.
So once again, this year, we acknowledge our brokenness, but only in the light of our call to bear the love and hope of God into the world. We break the bread, and celebrate God’s sacrifice, but we do so in the Spirit of hope. God is at work in the world with great purposes to perform and once again we recall and celebrate our call to join in and call others to do the same.


TiS 414 There’s a Spirit in the air (Brian Wren)

TiS 420 Holy Spirit go before us (Elizabeth Smith)

Come, Holy Spirit, come! (tune: Diademata – Crown him with many crowns)
Jim Gordon writes: It’s a good modern take on the Veni Sancte Spiritus, and invokes the Spirit to invade our space, touch our common life, and renew the face of the earth in the slow, patient, determined coming of peace and justice.

Come, Holy Spirit, come!
Inflame our souls with love,
transforming every heart and home
with wisdom from above.
Let none of us despise
the humble path Christ trod,
but choose, to shame the worldly wise,
the foolishness of God.

All-knowing Spirit, prove
the poverty of pride,
by knowledge of the Father’s love
in Jesus crucified.
And grant us faith to know
the glory of that sign,
and in our very lives to show
the marks of love divine.

Come with the gift to heal
the wounds of guilt and fear,
and to oppression’s face reveal
the kingdom drawing near.
Where chaos longs to reign,
descend, O holy Dove,
and free us all to work again
the miracles of love.

Spirit of truth, arise:
Inspire the prophet’s voice:
Expose to scorn the tyrant’s lies,
and bid the poor rejoice.
O Spirit, clear our sight,
all prejudice remove,
and help us to discern the right,
and covet only love.

Give us the tongues to speak
the word of love and grace
to rich and poor, to strong and weak,
in every time and place.
Enable us to hear
the words that others bring,
interpreting with open ear
the special song they sing

Come, Holy Spirit, dance
within our hearts today,
our earthbound spirits to entrance,
our mortal fears allay.
And teach us to desire,
all other things above,
that self-consuming holy fire,
the perfect gift of love.
(Words: Michael Lindsay Forster 1946 © 1992)

O Come, Holy Spirit (tune: Adeste Fideles)

O come, Holy Spirit, come and breathe upon us;
O come, yes, o come with your passionate peace.
Come to release us, from the fears that hold us.

O come, Creator Spirit! O come, Creator Spirit!
O come, Creator Spirit! Make us your own!

O come, Holy Spirit, come and dance upon us;
O come, yes, o come, with your tongues of fire.
Come to ignite us with your heart for justice.


O come, Holy Spirit, come and give us voices;
O come, let us speak of your hope and grace.
Let us proclaim a welcome to all people.


(Source: (c) 2017  Thom M. Shuman)

Hymn: Here and now, we’re bound together
Here and now we’re bound together:
held in one divine embrace.
Help us see, in one another,
difference as a gift of grace.
As each passing generation
worships you in fresh new ways,
join our songs with all creation,
lift our voice to sing your praise.

Lord, affirm our shared vocation:
may we bring your plans to birth,
build your church on sure foundations,
fit to serve a troubled earth.
Growing, praying, sharing, learning,
deep in wisdom, broad in scope,
love-revealing, truth-discerning,
living out the gospel hope.

In your work of transformation
you are making all things new.
Stir our hearts’ imagination,
call us now to work with you.
Send us out to share your mission;
show us each our part to play
as we live the  Great Commission
joyful in the world today.
(tune: Abbot’s Leigh, or any suitable 8787D trochaic tune; words: Ally Barrett)

Recessional hymn: Great God, your Spirit, like the wind (tune: Jerusalem)
Great God, your Spirit, like the wind
unseen but shaking things we see
will never leave us undisturbed
fulfil our dreams, or set us free,
until we turn from faithless fear
and prove the promise of your grace
in justice, peace and daily bread
with joy for all the human race.

Lord, shake us with the force of love,
to rouse us from our dreadful sleep;
remove our hearts of stone, and give
new hearts of flesh, to break and weep
for all your children in distress
and dying for the wealth we keep.
Help us prevent, while we have time,
the blighted harvest greed must reap.

And then, in your compassion, give
your Spirit like the gentle rain,
creating fertile ground from which
your peace and justice spring like grain;
until your love is satisfied,
with all creation freed from pain,
and all your children live to praise
your will fulfilled, your presence plain.

Sermon starters
This reflection by Thom Shuman is a great catalyst for a sermon.

I dread Pentecost. There, I’ve said it. Oh, at one time, it was one of my favorite Sundays. I loved inviting people to wear red (even the first time I did that, taking off my traditional black preaching robe to reveal a bright red one). I liked using the balloons, and loved the processionals, and coming up with news ways to represent this day. But not anymore.

See, now I find Pentecost to be one massive guilt trip.

After all, I’ve never preached a sermon that made 3 people, much less 3000 want to be baptized. I’ve never gotten folks so excited about the good news that they suddenly wanting to share it. I’ve never (fortunately, I think) been in a church where suddenly a multitude of languages is spoken. So I find Pentecost makes me feel pretty guilty.

And folks in the churches feel the same way. Most of the congregations I have served have felt burnt out; they don’t feel flames dancing on their heads. They are lucky if one or two new folks show up once in a while, much less multitudes. They, like me, probably wouldn’t know what to do if the windows suddenly burst open and the Holy Spirit came racing in.

Part of it, I think, comes from the fact that the story of Pentecost has been turned into a model for the successful church. The place that can reach out and bring in all the seekers. The place that can offer program after program. The place that it full of power, the place that can pull off pyrotechnics, the place where the preacher entertains multitudes and sends them off thrilled beyond belief. But that ain’t me, or any of the churches I have been blessed to serve.

And thus, every time I read the Acts passage, I feel overwhelmed by guilt. And I wonder if the folks who read and hear it feel that as well.

So, this year, no more guilt. This year, no more focus on the great words that converted thousands. No confetti wands or red robes; no balloons released to the sky; no more highlighting the flames, the sound, the rushing wind, the speaking in tongues.

This year, just a gentle reminder to folks that we have many things to say still (gospel) to those around us, and we will continue to speak of grace ta despairing world; we will continue to model peace to those who are filled with so much fear and anger; we will continue to stand up to oppression and to walk with those burdened with injustice; we will listen to our neighbors from Somalia, Eritrea, the Middle East, and to those from Appalachia and the hard streets of poverty and addiction.

Like Ezekiel, we will continue to notice the brittle bones of those burnt out by work and illness; to wrap them in the sinews of kindness and hope; to strengthen their muscles weakened by the rejection of the privileged; to offer new life to those we meet in grocery stores, and reading books to kids in libraries, and giving a ride to a fellow pushing his wheelchair down the road.

It’s not always very “successful” ministry, it’s not always noticed by the denomination, or the media, but it is what we are called to do, and to be, and to live out. Because the Spirit these days seems to be moving with gentleness while our culture is overwhelmed with cruelty; the Spirit seems to be speaking in the tongues of the broken and the lonely and the forgotten, not the powerful and the pundits; the Spirit seems that gentle nudge at our back sending us to serve the folks that everyone talks about but does nothing to help.

No more guilt. Just a quiet recognition that Pentecost is not always spelled with a capital P.

(Source: Thom M. Shuman, Transitional Pastor, Galloway Presbyterian Church, Columbus, Ohio; Associate Member, Iona Community, Lectionary Liturgies)

A catalyst for a sermon – Richard Rohr
On the day of the dedication of “Solomon’s Temple,” the Shekinah glory of YHWH (fire and cloud from heaven) descended and filled the Temple (1 Kings 8:10-13), just as it had once filled the Tent of Meeting (Exodus 40:34-35). This became the assurance of the abiding and localized divine presence of YHWH for the Jewish people. This naturally made Solomon’s Temple both the centre and centering place of the whole world, in Jewish thinking.
When the Babylonians destroyed the Temple and took the Jews into exile (587 BC), it no doubt prompted a crisis of faith. The Temple was where God lived! People like Ezra and Nehemiah eventually convinced the people that they must go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple so God could be with them again. Yet Wright points out there is no account of the fire and glory of God ever descending on this rebuilt temple (515 BC).
The absence of visible Shekinah glory must have been a bit of an embarrassment and worry for the Jewish people. Wright says it could explain the growth of Pharisaism, a belief strong in Jesus’ time that if liturgical and moral laws were obeyed more perfectly—absolute ritual, priesthood, and Sabbath purity—then the Glory of God would return to the Temple. This is the common pattern in moralistic religion: our impurity supposedly keeps God away. They tried so hard, but the fire never descended.
Knowledge of this history now gives new and even more meaning to what we call the Pentecost event (Acts 2:1-13). On that day, the fire from heaven descended, not on a building, but on people! And all peoples—not just Jews—were baptized and received the Spirit (Acts 2:38-41). Paul understood this and spent much of his life drawing out the immense consequences. In that moment, Christianity began to see itself as a universal rather than a tribal or regional religion, which is why they very soon called themselves “catholic” (universal) as early as the year 108 AD. Paul loved to say, “You are the Temple!”

A contemplative service from St Andrew’s, Seattle

A contemplative service with music in the style-of-Taize. Carrie Grace Littauer, prayer leader, with music by Kester Limner and Andy Myers. Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-710-756 with additional notes below: “Veni Sancte Spiritus (Come Holy Spirit),” “Christe Lux Mundi” (Christ You are Light), and “Atme in Uns” (Breathe in Us) are songs from the ecumenical Taize community in France. Copyright and all rights reserved by GIA/Les Presses de Taizé. “Kyrie” is composed and performed by Kester Limner, Creative Commons License, Attribution (CC-BY). “Be Thou My Vision” is a traditional Irish hymn in the public domain. Arrangement by Andrew Myers and Kester Limner, shared under the Creative Commons License 0. Thank you for praying with us!

A reflection for Pentecost 2021
Not this year,
the images that have nurtured me before
Don’t get me wrong!
I’ve loved the blowing wind,
but deadly storms of climate change
have taken the air out of that one.
Tongues of flame remind me too much
of cremation in India and Nepal.
Certainly even reading about
the crowded streets
sends me digging in my pocket
for a mask,
in these tentative,
emotionally so complicated
days of re-community.
This year it is the languages
that … speak to me, in me, through me
not even so much celebrating
the holy, beautiful syllabification
of global diversity,
or the most successful sermon ever
giving birth to a church,
as one hundred twenty people
being willing to speak
without being in control of their words.
We all have learned this –
how we said the right thing at the right time
buried in ordinary conversation,
or a small public courage
of naming truth we didn’t know we knew.
This year my simple pentecost
is just lending my tongue to something
someone needs to hear,
because I am waiting in the right place,
and willing to open my mouth.
(Source: Maren Tirabassi, Gifts in Open Hands)

About admin

Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon). This blog may be a help to people planning worship services.
This entry was posted in COCU Year A, COCU Year B, COCU Year C, Pentecost Day B, Year B and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to COCU39B.Day of Pentecost

  1. Katie says:


    May I utilize the Pentecost artwork as a Power Point background in our church services this Sunday? Thank you,


    • admin says:

      Hi Katie,
      Here’s the link to the original art work by Rev Mark Hewitt on his blogsite, Old Tractor. Mark’s copyright is generous: Mark A Hewitt of Panorama South Australia is the Artist and copyright holder of all visual art and photography on this site. You are free to use these works for non commercial purposes on the condition that Mark A Hewitt is made reference to as the artist.

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