Hilary Plowright
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Home Church, Pentecost Sunday, May 31, 2020

Rev. Karen Hollis

Preparing the Space

Today is the festival of Pentecost, the day we remember the Holy Spirit coming to the disciples like tongues of fire. This is the last day in the Easter season. All are invited to wear the red and join in the Eucharist during Zoom Home Church. I do hope you can join us for the celebration. If you cannot, I encourage you still to use this Morning Prayer service and prepare with it bread, perhaps with your morning or mid-day meal. When you sit down to eat, bless that bread with the blessing you need today; break the bread open and eat the bread to receive the blessing. May Christ be present in your meal.


In preparation for our worship, you’re invited to sit quietly for a moment perhaps with feet on the floor, taking a couple of deep breaths and bring yourself into this moment. Open yourself to the presence of God who is with us and within us . . . as you intentionally open yourself to God, open yourself also to what you need as you turn to worship.

Opening Words

Jesus revealed himself to his disciples several times during the 40 days after his resurrection. He stretched our understanding of how he could be present and working in the world. Then one day, he led us out to a hillside near Bethany. He said it was time for him to return to the Father, we must return to Jerusalem and wait for the One he would send, and then he said goodbye to us. The sun was in our eyes, our vision blurred with an intensity of light. It was as if Heaven came down upon that hill and carried him away. And so we went back to Jerusalem and waited there.

Ours was no empty waiting. There was no more talk from Peter about going fishing. He emerged from the pack in those days, his thoughts engaged on preparation for the gift we had been promised: for the One who would lead us into all truth. We were together in one place. We were ready, and while we waited, we prayed . . .

                                                       (from Play for Pentecost by Patricia Armstrong)

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,

and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

And also with you.

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!

May his grace and peace be with you.

May he fill our hearts with joy.


Opening Prayer  Read the prayer slowly.                      Bruce Prewer, edited

Inflaming Fire, Source of our courage,

Holy Spirit we are in awe of you.

Inflowing Grace, Source of our healing,

Holy Spirit we welcome you.

Inflooding Joy, Source of our outgoing love,

Holy Spirit we worship you.

Awesome Friend, we approach you with the liberty of the richly blessed. Enlighten our minds to perceive you, and enlarge our capacity to receive you, that being together in this space on this day of Pentecost may find us touched by the spirit that clarifies our vision and makes a way for us. Through Jesus Christ our Lord we pray, Amen.

Hymn: Come, O Spirit, Dwell Among Us

1Come, O Spirit, dwell among us,
come with pentecostal power;
give the church a stronger vision,
help us face each crucial hour.
Built upon a firm foundation,
Jesus Christ, the cornerstone,
still the church is called to mission
that God's love shall be made known.

2We would raise our hallelujahs
for the grace of yesteryears;
for tomorrow's unknown pathway,
hear, O God, our humble prayers.
In the church's pilgrim journey
you have led us all the way,
still in presence move before us,
fire by night and cloud by day.

3Come, O Spirit, dwell among us;
give us words of fire and flame.
Help our feeble lips to praise you,
glorify your holy name.
God, all holy, Son and Spirit,
three in one: what mystery!
We would sing our loud hosannas
now and through eternity.          

Prayer of Confession                                                    Walter Brueggemann

We long for you, O God, and we are here. In this moment, in this space, and we thank you that you are here with us.

You know us, God; we do not have to pretend with you.

In the silence of your love, we bring to you the things that trouble us, that harm us, that make us feel ashamed or afraid, that we have not been able to say aloud.

Silent Prayer of Confession

God have mercy on us

Christ have mercy on us

God have mercy on us


Assurance of Grace

Friends, hear the good news! The Holy Spirit has come to comfort, to heal; to inspire and to show us how to walk forward from where we are right now. Let us trust and follow where God leads.                

Peace of Christ

May Christ, who is our peace, give us peace at all times and in every way for us to celebrate and share . . . and the people say . . .

            N-Z:  The Peace of Christ be with you!

            A-M:   And also with you!

First Reading   Listen to the word of God to you this morning . . .

1 Corinthians 12:3b-13 Therefore I want you to understand that

no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says ‘Let Jesus be cursed!’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit. Now

there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties

of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but

it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses. For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

Gospel Reading

One:    God be with you.          

All:      And also with you

One:    The Good News of Jesus Christ according to John.

All:      Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

John 20:19-23 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’

One: This is the Gospel of Christ;

All:   Praise be to Jesus Christ

Third Reading

Acts 2:1-21 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.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’

But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
“In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
   and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
   and your old men shall dream dreams.
Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
   in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
     and they shall prophesy.
And I will show portents in the heaven above
   and signs on the earth below,
     blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
The sun shall be turned to darkness
   and the moon to blood,
     before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Reflection:   Pentecost

Silent Reflection

Iona Affirmation of Faith   Let us affirm our faith . . .

We believe in God above us,

Maker and Sustainer of all life,

of sun and moon, of water and earth, of male and female.

We believe in God beside us, Jesus Christ,

the word made flesh, born of a woman, servant to the poor,

tortured and nailed to a tree.

A man of sorrows, he died forsaken.

He descended into the earth to the place of death.

On the third day he rose from the tomb.

He ascended into heaven to be everywhere present,

and His kingdom will come on earth.

We believe in God within us,

the Holy Spirit of Pentecostal fire,

life-giving breath of the church,

spirit of healing and forgiveness,

source of resurrection and of eternal life. Amen

Prayers of the People       From Paddy Waymark

One: Giver of Life

All:   Hear our prayers

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours

now and for ever. Amen.


This season of covid has elevated for us the truth that the church is not the building. We have a beautiful building and we are grateful for it as a resource, a place of worship . . . but the church is all of us who participate in the life of the congregation through worship, offering our time, resources, gifts and talents . . . our care of one another and care for our greater community and all of creation. On this Pentecost Sunday, where we celebrate the birthday of the church, let us remember the people who make this a community of faith. Don’t forget yourself – this community wouldn’t be the same if you were not here, because you bring something unique and special, something only you can bring, and we’re grateful for you.

Let us pray: God of Pentecostal fire, pour your blessing on your people today, that our sense of self and purpose may be clarified and refreshed. Help us to know who we are and who we are called to be as a whole community of faith, serving in your name. Give us the courage then to serve where you call us and offer your love where it is needed. In Christ we pray, Amen.

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. Glory to God from generation to generation, in the Church and in Christ Jesus, for ever and ever. Amen.

Hymn: Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness

Spirit, spirit of gentleness,

blow through the wilderness, calling and free,

Spirit, spirit of restlessness,

stir me from placidness, wind, wind on the sea.


You moved on the waters, you called to the deep,

then you coaxed up the mountains from the valleys of sleep;

and over the eons you called to each thing;

“Awake from your slumbers and rise on your wings.”


You call from tomorrow, you break ancient schemes.

From the bondage of sorrow all the captives dream dreams;

our women see visions, our men clear their eyes.

With bold new decisions your people arise.


Spirit, spirit of gentleness,

blow through the wilderness, calling and free,

Spirit, spirit of restlessness,

stir me from placidness, wind, wind on the sea.


If you are with another person, you’re invited to bless each other, taking every other line.

One:    The Creator’s blessing be yours on your road, on your journey,       guiding you, cherishing you.

First name N-Z:

            The Son’s blessing be yours, wine and water, bread and stories,    feeding you, challenging you.

First name A-M:

            The Spirit’s blessing be yours, wind and fire, joy and wisdom,         comforting you, disturbing you.

All:      The Angel’s blessing be yours, on your house, on your             living, guarding you, encouraging you. Let us walk together,    a community on a journey, sustained in God’s blessing.             Amen!

One:    Let us go now in peace to love and serve the Lord.

All:      Thanks be to God! Alleluia!