Our service opened this Sunday with a November 11, 2018 recording of John Dare’s “Chapel Bells” by the Sacred Sounds Handbell Choir. Pastors Curtis and Emily together gave the Call to Worship, Assurance of Pardon and Passing of the Peace. Emily offered the Prayers of God‘s People and led the congregation in the Lord’s Prayer.
Pentecost, which literally means “fifty” is observed on the 50th day after Easter. It is the day when the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles, sending “tongues of fire” and enabling the apostles to speak in various foreign languages. A highly significant event, Pentecost is seen historically as marking the inception of the Christian Church.
Pastor Curtis Fussell preached on a Scripture reading of Acts 2:1-4, which recounts this very important story. Curtis spoke of the Holy Spirit as the breath, or wind, of God — the “pneuma” which God imparts and instills within us. While we cannot see it, the Spirit is a powerful force profoundly influencing and permeating our lives at the deepest level. He went on to remind us that when we pray, even in those times that we cannot seem to pray, the Holy Spirit always prays with us and in us. It is because the Holy Spirit is poured out in us that we are able to speak as, act as, and be children of God.
This Sunday is significant in yet another way: it will hopefully be our last “virtual-only” worship service, as we move ahead with plans to re-open for in-person worship next Sunday, May 30. In keeping with these plans, this Sunday marks the culmination of Angie Jenkins’ weekly playing of the Benediction hymn, “God Be With You Til We Meet Again.” We are truly thankful to God who has indeed been with us and held us close all these months, and who is bringing us back together once again!
Angie’s Postlude, a gorgeous arrangement of Beethoven’s “Ode To Joy,” is especially appropriate as well, as we come to the end of more than a year of separation and isolation — truly a joyous occasion for celebration!
We are thankful again and always to Scott McDuff who has faithfully recorded, edited and uploaded our services to YouTube week after week. As we go forward, even after re-opening we will continue to record and post our services online for those who are unable to attend.