May 27, 2012

For Sunday May 27, 2012
PENTECOST Special Offering
Year B, Pentecost Sunday
Pentecost Sunday :: Red :: Acts 2:1–21 :: Psalm 104:24–34, 35b :: Romans 8:22–27 :: John 15:26–27, 16:4b–15 

Call to Worship (Responsive)   
Adapted from Psalm 104
L: Bless the LORD, O my soul.
P: Praise the LORD!
L: Let us sing to the LORD as long as we live,
P: We shall sing our praises to God, as long as we have being.
L: When you send forth your spirit, your people are created,
P: And you renew the face of the ground.
L: Bless the LORD, O my soul.
P: Praise the LORD!
God of Wind and Fire, God of Passion and Flame, we come before you on this great day of celebration to call upon your name.  In baptism we confess our faith and pray for your spirit to dwell within us.  Today, O God, as we seek to worship you in spirit and in truth, ignite the spirit within each one here.  Allow the passion for your guiding love to rush over us like a mighty wind, and capture us in our passion for your ways.  Kindle our hearts and teach us to love.  We ask it in the holy name of the one who taught us to live, love and pray, Christ our Lord.
Stewardship Moment:
Today is Pentecost Sunday.  We are gathered together once again to celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the conversion of new souls.  We celebrate the birth of the church and the presence of new life within.  Today marks the Pentecost Special Offering for New Church Development.  As we celebrate the gifts of New Churches, I am asking you to make a special gift to the Pentecost Special Offering.   As we extend and expand the table of the Disciples, all of us are enriched and blessed.  We will now receive the tithes and offerings which help empower this new church movement.
Offertory Prayer:
As members of your human family, O God, we celebrate new life.  When a baby is born, and when the church grows, we give thanks and praise.  As we offer our gifts today, we ask your blessings upon them.  Use and empower these gifts, O God, with power only you can give.  We pray in giving them that these tithes and offerings will grow your reign on earth: Now and forever, Amen.
Communion Meditation:
A quick web search of the phrase “the Gift that Keeps on Giving”reveals a very obscure origin.  Earliest advertising use appears to be in the early 1900’s by the company which would become RCA/Victor for something called a “Victrola Talking Machine”–We, of course, know it as a record player –that thing before tapes, before CD’s, before MP3’s.  And while we could discuss the Gift that Keeps on Giving far longer than is helpful, it occurs to me that there are two such gifts worth mentioning as we approach Christ’s table.  There is the Gift of the Holy Spirit, which we celebrate today, and the Gift of Grace, which we celebrate each Sunday at this table.  The two are intertwined, and both are gifts of God.  As we celebrate and remember the gift of Grace today, let’s use that time to also celebrate that it is this meal which replenishes and refuels the Spirit.  Come to the table, accept God’s Grace, and refuel the Holy Spirit which lives within you.
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