Friends Heather Kelly and Beverley Osborn share some ideas and some humor in Pentecost planning.
Pentecost Ponderings by Heather Kelly
Call to worship
The Bible tells me I should hold a sword.
The dictionary tells me a sword is a weapon — a weapon of destruction.
But on the day of my Spirit baptism, the only weapons visible were open hands.
I believe the Spirit — the Holy Spirit — is a life-giving, empowering sign of Love.
My theology interprets Pentecost as a celebration, not only of the gift given over 2000 years ago, but also of the gift given every day, even how to all who love God, who, redeemed by the living Christ, accept a further gift — a gift of Life — empowering Love — empowered in Love of God to Love for all.
For a children’s message: The Wind of the Spirit. This day I will focus on ferns and other native plants of Aotearoa / New Zealand showing the movement of air on the ferns and then sadly what happens when the ferns etc are deprived of air.
The Spirit blows: the Spirit burns: may it live anew in you!
Beverley Osborne also of New Zealand wrote this:
Heather’s offerings reminded me of things I’d done in the past and some of them will make you chuckle.
One year I’d gone to enormous trouble to create wonderful flames on large quantities of newsprint — end of rolls supplied by local newspaper. I had sufficient to cover most of the walls of the whole church interior. I can’t remember the actual content of the service but I’ll never forget the comment of one member of the congregation at the door on the way out.
“Well, I wondered what on earth you were up to this Sunday when I walked in and saw the flames of hell all round me! But it wasn’t too bad after all!”
Then there was the Pentecost I decided to add something extra special to the communion service. Each Sunday, in that particular parish, I had two services, usually identical, but delivered first in the “bigger town” and second in the tiny “up-country” village.
At communion time that Sunday each parishioner received the bread and the wine and the fire of the spirit, the latter in the form of a handheld sparkler, lit from the Christ candle. It was effective for most of those attending.
I need to pass on to you are that in the bigger church, the treasurer commented later that it was just as well the smoke alarms hadn’t activated and brought the fire brigade noisily to the doors. And the dear faithful soul in the smaller church, who washed the communion tablecloth, confided in me a few weeks later that she had successfully appliqueed small white daisies over the tiny burn holes in our fair white cloth!
But this is a service that was particularly significant for me using the “Feed my people” instruction to Peter. I interpreted that as the imperative of enabling the love of God to reach out to others
I projected pictures with the reaching outwards message as a basic and often repeated image all over creation.
I began with a picture of an amoeba stretching out to split and thereby reproduce. There were pictures of seaweed, ferns, palm trees, snowflakes, frost crystals, deltas, tracks in the sand made by both water seepage and by sand falls spreading out at their base, flying spume. There was even a lovely picture of the structure of our lungs.
The message, of course, is that reaching out to give, grow and enrich is THE way of life.