Church Services

May 31, 2020

Worship for Pentecost Sunday

Call to Worship

Leader: Let us come together and celebrate the presence of the Holy Spirit!

People: For when we have been weak, the Holy Spirit has sustained us.

Leader: When we have journeyed in Christ's name, the Spirit has guided us.

People: When we were sick or in harm's way, the Spirit of the Lord was with us.

Leader: When we have sought understanding and wisdom, God's Spirit led us.

All: Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Opening Prayer:Almighty Creator of the Universe, we are so blessed by Your gift of the Holy Spirit to guide and walk with us in every moment of life. We thank and praise You, O Lord. In Christ we pray. Amen.

Opening Hymn: "Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart"

"Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart" played by Kayley Thomas

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;

Wean it from earth; through all its pulses move;

Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art;

And make me love Thee as I ought to love.

I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies,

No sudden rending of the veil of clay,

No angel visitant, no opening skies;

But take the dimness of my soul away.

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.

Hast Thou not bid me love Thee, God and King?

All, all Thine own, soul, heart and strength and mind.

I see Thy cross; there teach my heart to cling:

O let me seek Thee, and O let me find!

Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love,

One holy passion filling all my frame;

The kindling of the heaven descended Dove,

My heart an altar, and Thy love the flame.

Special Music - "Wonderful Words of Life" played by Kayley Thomas

"Wonderful Words of Life" played by Kayley Thomas

Prayer Time


- Some returning to jobs

- Our Graduates from High School, College, and Grad School

- New jobs and new homes


- For our leaders and our world

- The unrest and unfairness of our world

- For those affected by discrimination

- For those hurt by the riots

- How to come back to worship.

- Those who are working in Hospitals, doctor's offices, in the prisons, the first responders, maintenance people, and all of those who are going into work.

- Those who have lost jobs and those wondering how they will survive

- Those who are ill, those who have lost loved ones

- Those who are alone and those who cannot find any alone time

- Those in nursing facilities, their families, and the staff of those facilities

- Those of us looking for answers and those of us who believe they have all the answers

Prayer Time: Come, Holy Spirit, and fill us with your love. Open our eyes to see the presence of God all around us, in the stillness of this sacred space, in the busyness and noise of our city streets, in the joys and celebrations of our lives, in the tragedies and struggles that break our hearts.

Come, Holy Spirit, and comfort those who grieve. Grant them the peace that only you can bring. Stir within us a trust in life beyond death, as we ponder the mysteries of Christ's resurrection and the hope we have in new and everlasting life.

Come, Holy Spirit, and bring wholeness to the sick. Strengthen those who are weak; heal the wounded and broken; give rest to the weary.

Come, Holy Spirit, and inspire our warring world to seek peace, to love our enemies, to put away our weapons, to remember the price paid for our freedom, to care for those who have served.

Come, Holy Spirit, and ignite a fire in our bones, a passion for justice that cannot be quenched until all of your children are loved, until no one is marginalized or oppressed, until everyone has the opportunity to thrive, until the world is transformed and renewed.

Come, Holy Spirit, and revive your church. Liberate us from complacency and apathy; inspire us with Christ's vision for a world reborn; help us to recognize our gifts for ministry and to use them in service of others; transform our hearts and our minds; fill us with love that overflows; remind us that there is no greater calling than to love you with all that we are and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Gracious God, give us a glimpse of your kingdom emerging around us and drawing us into the new things you are doing in the world. It is for your kingdom that we now pray, filled with your Spirit, using the words Jesus taught us. (written by John W. Vest)

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 who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Hymn: "Breathe on Me, Breath of God"

"Breathe on Me, Breath of God" played by Kayley Thomas

Breathe on me, Breath of God,

Fill me with life anew,

That I may love what thou dost love,

And do what thou wouldst do.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,

Until my heart is pure:

Until with thee I have one will

To do and to endure.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,

Till I am wholly thine,

Until this earthly part of me

Glows with thy fire divine.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,

So shall I never die,

But live with thee the perfect life

Of thine eternity

Readings of the Day:Psalm 104:24-34, 35b, 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13, John 20:19-23,

Acts 2:1-21 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[a] 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,[b]

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.

Sermon: "Come, Holy Spirit"

"After all the disciples' praying and waiting, the promised Holy Spirit finally arrives in a mighty way. The Jewish pilgrimage festival of Pentecost (also called the Feast of Weeks or Firstfruits) was observed fifty days after the Passover to celebrate the grain harvest. The 120 believers were together in one place when the miracle of Pentecost occurred.

This event represents a major step in God's redemptive program, a time when the Holy Spirit would live permanently in individual believers. There is a sound like a violent wind coming from heaven and filling the house, tongues of fire rest on each person, and all are filled with the Holy Spirit and speak in other languages. This powerful outpouring of God's personal presence attracts God-fearing Jews from many nations who hear the Spirit-filled Galileans speaking in their native language. Amazed and perplexed, they wonder what it all means, but some of the crowd mock the believers as drunkards.

Peter explains from the Scriptures what has just happened. These believers aren't drunk since it is only nine in the morning. Rather, what Joel predicted has come to pass. The last days have arrived, and God has poured out his Spirit on all believers. Peter then uses more Scripture to demonstrate that Jesus is the Messiah."

The Baker Bible Handbook by J. Daniel Hays and J. Scott Duvall, Baker Books, 2011

Luke, the writer of the book of Acts, tells us how the people responded to Peter's message. "When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brother's what shall we do?"

Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

They did repent and Luke tells us that 3000 were added to the church on that day. Now that's church's Episode I. It is the story if the coming of the Holy Spirit. Today, we cannot duplicate the exact events of Acts. That was a one time event in the life of the church. We may not be able to duplicate the exact event but we can duplicate three things that occurred on that day and I would like to point out the three things that the church needs to duplicate if we are reach people for Christ.

1st, we must have passion!

The first thing we need is passion and desire. The disciples expected something to happen. They wanted to reach the world for Christ.

"Tony Campolo, professor of sociology at Eastern College, tells the story of his visit to Honolulu for a Christian Conference. On his first night there, he awoke sometime after three (a six hour time difference had confused his sleep pattern) and left the hotel in search of a place to get something to eat. Eventually he found a tiny coffee shop. He walked in and sat down. Here is his description of the events:

The heavy set guy in a greasy apron behind the counter came over and asked me, "What do you want?" I told him I wanted a cup of coffee and a donut. As I sat there munching on my donut and sipping my coffee at 3:30 in the morning, the door suddenly opened, swung wide and to my discomfort in marched 8 or 9 provocative and rather boisterous prostitutes. It was a small place and they sat on either side of me. Their talk was garrulous, loud and crude. I felt completely out of place. I was just about to make my getaway when I heard the woman sitting next to me say, "You know, tomorrow is my birthday. I'm going to be 39." Her friend responded in a rather nasty tone, "So what do you want from me? A birthday party? What do you want? Do you want me to get a cake, and sing happy birthday to you?"

"Come on," the women sitting next to me said, "why do you have to be so mean? I'm just telling you that's all. Why do you have to put me down? I was just telling you that it is my birthday. I don't want anything from you. I mean, why should I have a birthday party? I've never had a birthday party in my whole life. Why should I have one now?"

Tony Campolo said, "When I heard that, I made a decision. I sat and waited until the woman left and then I called over to the counter to the heavyset guy and asked him, "Do they come in here every night?" "Yeah," he answered. "The one right next to me", I asked, "does she come in here every night?" "Yeah," he said, "that's Agnes. Yeah, she comes in here every night. Why do you want to know?" "Because," I replied, "I heard her say that tomorrow is her birthday. What do you say we do something special for her? What do you think about throwing a birthday party for her, right here in the diner?"

A cute kind of smile crept over that heavyset man's chubby cheeks. He answered, "That's a great idea. I like it. That's great. Agnes is one of those people who is really nice and kind. I don't think anybody has ever done anything nice and kind for her." "Well, look" I told him, "if it is OK with you, I'll be back here tomorrow morning at 2:30. I'll decorate the place. I'll even get a birthday cake for her." "No way," he said, "the birthday cake, that's my thing. I'll bake the birthday cake."Two-thirty the next morning, Campolo says, I was back at that diner. I picked up some crepe paper and other decorations at the store, and made a sign of big pieces of cardboard that read, "Happy Birthday, Agnes!" I decorated that diner from one end to the other. I had that diner really looking great. The word must have gotten out on the street because by 3:15 that next morning every prostitute in Honolulu was in that place. There was wall-to-wall prostitutes - and me.

At 3:30 on the dot the door of the diner swung open and in came Agnes and her friend. I had everybody ready; after all, I was sort of the informal master of ceremonies of this whole affair. It was my idea, so when they came in we all jumped up and screamed and we sang, "Happy birthday, Agnes!" And you know, I've never seen a person so flabbergasted, so stunned, so shaken. Her mouth fell open, her knees started to buckle, her friend had to offer her arm to steady her, and I noticed she had started to cry.

When the birthday cake with all the candles was carried out, that's when she just lost it. She started sobbing. Harry, in his gruff voice mumbled, "Blow out the candles, Agnes, blow out the candles." Then he handed her a knife, and he ordered, "Cut the cake, Agnes, cut the cake." Agnes looked down at that cake, and then without taking her eyes off it, she slowly and softly said, "Look, Harry, is it all right with you if I, I mean, if I don't, what I want to ask, is it OK if I keep the cake a little while? Is it all right if we don't eat it right away?" Harry shrugged and answered, "Sure, Agnes, that's fine, you want to keep the cake, keep the cake, take it home if you want." "Oh, could I?" she asked. Agnes looked at Tony, "I live just down the street a couple doors; I want to take the cake home, is that OK? I'll be right back, honest." She got off her stool, she picked up that cake, and she carried it out of that diner like it was the Holy Grail. She walked slowly toward the door, and we all stood there just speechless. When the door closed behind her, there was stunned silence in the place.

Not knowing what else to do, I broke the silence by saying, "What do you say we pray together?" Looking back on it now, it seems more than a little strange that a sociologist from eastern PA would be leading a prayer meeting with a bunch of prostitutes in a diner in Honolulu at 3:30 in the morning. But I prayed. I prayed for Agnes. I prayed for her salvation. I prayed that her life would be changed, and that God would be good to her. And when I finished, Harry leaned over, and with a trace of hostility in his voice he said, "Hey, you never told me you were a preacher. What kind of preacher are you anyway? What church do you belong to?" In one of those moments when just the right words came, I answered him quietly, "I belong to a church that throws birthday parties for prostitutes at 3:30 in the morning." Harry thought a moment, and then almost sneered as he answered, "No you don't; there is no church like that. Because if there was, I'd join it."

What compels a man at 3:00 in the morning in a greasy diner on some back street to throw a birthday party for a lady of the evening? It is a desire for Pentecost to stay alive and for others to repent of their sins and be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit."

2nd, we must have power

The church needs people with passion. But if we are to reach people for Christ we also need power.

At Pentecost the disciples were given the promised gift of the Holy Spirit. They were given power. It is hard sometimes to relate to a concept of spiritual power. Too often, I fear, we get the misconception that when the disciples received the Holy Spirit they became spiritual supermen. Nothing could be further from the truth. These men had far less talent, creativity, resources, and education than many of us. What they did have was the force of the Holy Spirit. It was this motivation that put these men out into the world with a message of redemption and by the end of the first century over a half million people had been brought under the Christian banner. That is power!

But how do we experience the Holy Spirit? How do we experience this power?

"D.L. Moody once called on a leading citizen in Chicago to persuade him to accept Christ. They were seated in the man's parlor. It was winter and coal was burning in the fireplace. The man objected that he could be just as good a Christian outside the church as in it. Moody said nothing, but stepped to the fireplace, took the tongs, picked a blazing coal from the fire and set it off by itself. In silence the two watched it smolder and eventually go out. The man looked at moody and said, "I see."

We need the power of Holy Spirit and the power of community of Christ to keep our fire burning!

3rd, we must have a purpose.

If we are to reach people for Christ we need people with passion and power. But we also need people with a purpose.

As United Methodists, as Christians, our purpose is making disciples for Jesus Christ! If we lose our focus and get distracted by tradition, habit, custom, ritual, routine, we will become obsolete. What better time than now to offer Christ to a broken hurting world! We must be Christ's hands and feet!

With the passion of Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit, and our purpose for making disciples, the world can be healed! To Be The Glory!

(excerpts taken from an article by Brett Blair)

Closing Hymn: "God of Grace and God of Glory"

"God of Grace and God of Glory" played by Kayley Thomas

God of grace and God of glory,

on your people pour your power;

crown your ancient church's story,

bring its bud to glorious flower.

Grant us wisdom, grant us courage

for the facing of this hour,

for the facing of this hour.

Lo! the hosts of evil round us

scorn the Christ, assail his ways!

From the fears that long have bound us

free our hearts to faith and praise.

Grant us wisdom, grant us courage

for the living of these days,

for the living of these days.

Cure your children's warring madness;

bend our pride to your control;

shame our wanton, selfish gladness,

rich in things and poor in soul.

Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,

lest we miss your kingdom's goal,

lest we miss your kingdom's goal.

Save us from weak resignation

to the evils we deplore;

let the gift of your salvation

be our glory evermore.

Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,

serving you whom we adore,

serving you whom we adore.

Benediction:Go forth in the power of the Holy Spirit! Proclaim the gospel throughout the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness in the power of the kingdom and with deeds of justice and mercy. May the God who raised Jesus from the dead bless you. Amen.

Choral Benediction: Go now in peace, go now in peace; may the love of God surround you everywhere, everywhere you may go.

"Go Now in Peace" played by Kayley Thomas