Welcome to Gifts in Open Hands – A Blog for a Pentecost Year

Welcome!

I will be posting here twice a week (Mondays and Thursdays EST). The pieces will include prayers, poems, or liturgical resources written by some of the contributors to the book Gifts in Open Hands: More Worship Resources for the Global Community (ed Tirabassi and Eddy, The Pilgrim Press, 2011). Some will be in English; many will be in two languages. A few, especially in the earlier weeks, will come from the book itself, although many others will be new gifts from the 147 contributors representing 43 countries included in this anthology.

My goal in sharing a Pentecost Year is to remind us all that the many languages, symbols, and culture-sharings of the Christian story were not for a single day, that worship in our communities of faith should not reflect global prayers only on Pentecost (or World Communion Sunday) but throughout our journey.

Although this blog officially begins the day after Pentecost, I can’t resist offering, to those of you who have come earlier, a beautiful poem by Digby Hannah, from East St. Kilda, Australia. It touches my heart with the spark of the holiday to come later this week and reminds me that as my northern hemisphere is turning to longer hours of sunshine, in the southern hemisphere, those flames are lighting the darkness.

Pentecost

Today is Pentecost Sunday
It was festival time
when wind, flame and spirit
enveloped timid disciples in that upper room
We remember this ancient story
as dark clouds gather in our city
icy winds disturb decaying autumn leaves
and we retreat to the cosy warmth of our homes
Where is our Pentecost?
Where is wind, flame and spirit in our city?
In our houses we feel the warmth from ducts –
down there somewhere is flame
While the wind howls
we listen
we wait
we take a jacket and walk into the night
we feel wind and rain on our face
moonlight glows behind a cloud
we walk; we remember

The wind and flame of Pentecost is surely here
stirring in our hearts
glowing in the faces of those we love
in the still, small voice
of compassion for those on the margins
of passion for justice
many candles and flames quietly and resolutely burning
in distant places
in our own neighbourhood
within our small community of faith
Who will shout look here it is or there it is?
There is no need
because Pentecost is within us

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