February 2020 Newsletter

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January 2020 Newsletter

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December 2019 Newsletter

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November 2019 Newsletter

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October 2019 Newsletter

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June 2018

The Spirit of Pentecost   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.  (Acts 2:1-4. Please read also the rest of Acts 2.) On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit goes into over-drive – manifesting as a rushing violently-stormy-wind – and as flaming-tongues-of-fire dancing on gathered disciples – who now catch fire with the Spirit, and speak in foreign languages they didn’t know they knew, praising God – and people from all over understand what they’re saying in their own native languages. Many come to listen, drawn by the Spirit to learn what God’s doing. But others are skeptical, suggesting believers have been drinking (Acts 2:13). The day before Pentecost Sunday, as it happens, I’d watched a video posted by the NY Times of Presiding Episcopal Bishop Michael Curry passionately preaching biblical love at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Bishop Curry quoted Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who said ‘when we learn to love as God loves this will be like humankind discovering fire again – as if for the first time.’ The royal bride and groom could be seen wiping joy tears from their eyes. In spite of the very formal setting, many seemed to be feeling the Spirit. However, as the camera panned across the audience (and as reporters and commentators noticed), some other guests appeared bored or cynical, much like those in Jerusalem who accused disciples of being drunk. Even when the church is obviously caught up in the Spirit, some will doubt. But by the end of the day of Pentecost three thousand have come to Jesus, been baptized, and now are giving their lives to serving Jesus as disciples. The Holy Spirit gets the last word. We have very few reports of the Spirit appearing again as visible fire and stormy wind – and few examples of the Spirit gifting people to speak or understand foreign languages they don’t already know in all the years since. But Spirit-led communication across all kinds of cultural and linguistic barriers continues. Usually in quieter, less obvious ways, but – perhaps anytime we live together in love and harmony bearing witness to God’s grace, this is certifiably miraculous. Scripture tells us all who believe in Jesus have the Holy Spirit living in us. The Spirit-led transformation that flows from Pentecost is our living legacy. So as author Oswald Chambers says: “When it is a question of God’s almighty power, never say, ‘I can’t.’” ***** On Pentecost Sunday three of our Parish’s Certified Lay Servants – members who have taken at least two United Methodist Lay Leadership classes  – graciously shared reflections on Pentecost themes. Many thanks to Susan Goux, Anne Marie Seitzinger, and Dottie Cotter. This month we’re featuring Susan’s meditation, which follows. ***** Reflections on Pentecost Pentecost is often considered the birthday of the church.  Before the events of the first Pentecost, which...

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