May 19, 2024 (Pentecost)

Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving


Acts 2:1-21 

Psalm 104:24-34, 35b

Romans 8:22-27 

John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

Call to Worship 

L:  The Spirit descends like a dove,
        bringing peace to unite the world.
P:  The Spirit comes like a breath, bringing life
         to renew the people of God.

L:  The Spirit spreads like fire, bringing energy
         for all who bear witness to the love of God.
P:  May the Spirit of the living God come to us,
          and transform us, with Pentecost power!

Opening Prayer 

Come to us, God Almighty.
Send your Spirit.
Ignite the fire in our hearts and feed your flame within.
Rustling wind, blow on us.
Grow the sparks and spread them.
Let your Spirit prepare, strengthen and equip us.
Come to us, Spirit of truth,
consume us with your fire.
Let your love fill our world with compassion, joy and hope.  AMEN

Adapted from Christine Sine,

Moment for Stewardship 

Pentecost people! 
We have received gifts too numerous to count. 
Now, let’s give, in thanks and joy. 
Your offering will enable this church 
to be a Pentecost presence in this community 
and throughout the world with which we interact.
Our Pentecost special day offering will help launch NEW congregations in
our own state and around the US,
bringing the wind and fire of the Spirit 
to people who will rejoice in the coming of new life.

So bring your tithes, your gifts and your offerings 
with joy-filled hearts!

Prayer of Thanksgiving

God of grace, it is our delight
                 to give these gifts to you.

All we are and all we have are yours alone.
Accept this joyful offering
as a token of our abiding love:
   breathe your Spirit into it, and into us,

Then use our offering made today
    to bring peace, justice and comfort
     to your beloved world now,
  and for all the days to come.  AMEN
adapted from

Invitation to Communion 

 “Happy Birthday Church!” 

There once was a church that had only party rooms: the Music Party Room, the Wednesday Live Party Room, the Mission/Do Justice Party Room, the Feed-the-Hungry Party Room.  In the center of the building was a large round room with an altar and a cross:  God’s Party Room.

There was in the church an air of festivity and brightness that could not be denied.  The people outside the church pointed their fingers:  “Something should be done about that church.”  They were especially upset when they saw members wore party hats and smiles inside and outside the church.
Shocking!  This church having so much fun during a worship service, snapping their fingers and dancing.

“Sacrilegious,” screamed the crowd.  But the people in the church just smiled and went right on taking people in wheelchairs to the park and playing ball with them.

When everyone else was collecting canned goods for the poor, this church bought pizza and marched right into dingy, apartments, sat down & ate with tenants.

They held picnics at the old folks home.  Old men ran races, the congregation stamped their feet in joy.  At one of these picnics some of the members climbed up on the roof and shouted:  “Good news!”

“Now we can get them for disturbing the peace,” said one of the outsiders.  The police arrived with sirens, ready for the arrest, and came out two hours later wearing party hats and smiles.

One Sunday afternoon, the entire congregation met at the jail and passed out flowers to the prisoners.  They shared bread and wine and much laughter at the Lord’s table.

“Disgraceful!” shouted the crowd.  “They must be stopped.”  So the crowd formed a committee of respected church people to see for themselves.

The committee asked:  “Do you deny you’ve mocked the church and the Lord?”  The people of the church looked into the stern red faces and smiled at them.  They held out their hands to the committee and led them to the Birthday Cake Party Room.  There on a table sat a large cake decorated beautifully with candles and they sang HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHURCH! 

“Wait!  Wait!” cried the chairperson.  “Can’t you take anything seriously?”

“Yes,” said the people.  “We take our commitment to the Lord very seriously indeed.”

“You don’t take it seriously at all,” interrupted the chairperson in loud voice and red face.  “You have parties and blow up balloons and sing and dance and have fun.  Do you call that commitment?”

The people smiled at the chairperson and asked him if he’d like a glass of wine.  The chairperson hit his fist on the table.  “I don’t want wine, and I don’t want birthday cake.  We’re here to reprimand you.  We’re here to show you that you’re wrong.  Can’t you be serious?”

“We are,” said the people.  “We’re asking you to take communion with us.”

“With birthday cake?” screamed the chairperson.  “Outrageous!”

“Outrageous?  We ask you to sit at our table and share this meal with us.  God gave the Holy Spirit to believers.  That is something to celebrate! 

Why are your faces red when we are trying to do justice and love mercy?  Why do you shake your fists at us when we are trying to discover the hurting and begin the healing?  We are overjoyed that we can be the church, a community of people, who are many, yet one—who are different, but who walk together and welcome any who would walk with us.  When we weep there is someone to weep with us.  When we see injustice, we must be about God’s business of freeing the oppressed.  When we are faithless, we have God’s promise of forgiveness.  Isn’t it remarkable that we can be God’s good news? 

The committee stared at the people, and the people moved closer to them and put their arms around them.  The committee chairperson stepped up to the table and sliced a piece of birthday cake, took a bite, and laughed out loud.  He began slicing & passing it out.

When the cups were poured full, the chairperson raised his glass and said,  “There is so much Love to celebrate!  Remember!  Give thanks!
Happy Birthday, Church!”

Ann Weems [slightly adapted from Reaching for Rainbows, 1980]