May 31, 2020 â€” Pentecost
PRELUDE Spirit Flute at Barr Creek Falls ESTHER HALVORSON-HILL
WELCOME TO PENTECOST
CALL TO WORSHIP
GATHERING HYMN NO. 278 Come, Holy Ghost, Our Souls Inspire VENI CREATOR SPIRITUS
CONFESSION AND ASSURANCE OF GOD'S GRACE
CALL TO CONFESSION
Do not hide your face from us, Lord God. Turn to us as we turn to you in repentance. Hear our confession, forgive our sin, grant us the new life you promise in Christ Jesus, your Son.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
God of wind and flame, you pour out your Spirit on all your children, empowering the least and the lofty to tell of your mighty deeds. We hear the sound and feel the heat, but instead of recognizing your presence among us, we sneer and refuse to believe you speak through people we would not choose to proclaim your message.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON (Psalm 103:8–12)
God is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. God will not always accuse, nor will God harbor anger forever; God does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is God's love for those who fear the Lord; as far as the east is from the west, so far has God removed our transgressions from us. Friends, believe the Good News, through Jesus Christ we are forgiven!
ANTHEM Even When he is Silent KIM ANDRE ARNESE
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Come, Holy Spirit, open the eyes of our hearts. Make our bones burn with your word. Put your message of God's great deeds in our mouths and make them evident in all we say and do. Amen.
SCRIPTURE Acts 2:1–21
HYMN NO. 66 Every Time I Feel the Spirit PENTECOST/arr. MOSES HOGAN
AFFIRMATION OF FAITH (from A Brief Statement of Faith)
We trust in God the Holy Spirit, everywhere the giver and renewer of life. The Spirit justifies us by grace through faith, sets us free to accept ourselves and to love God and neighbor, and binds us together with all believers in the one body of Christ, the Church.
The same Spirit who inspired the prophets and apostles rules our faith and life in Christ through Scripture, engages us through the Word proclaimed, claims us in the waters of baptism, feeds us with the bread of life and the cup of salvation, and calls women and men to all ministries of the Church.
In a broken and fearful world the Spirit gives us courage to pray without ceasing, to witness among all peoples to Christ as Lord and Savior, to unmask idolatries in Church and culture, to hear the voices of peoples long silenced, and to work with others for justice, freedom, and peace.
In gratitude to God, empowered by the Spirit, we strive to serve Christ in our daily tasks and to live holy and joyful lives, even as we watch for God's new heaven and new earth, praying, "Come, Lord Jesus!"
CALL TO OFFERING
God sends the Holy Spirit, gifting us with the ability to serve in a myriad of ways. We are given the gift of faith that enables us to live in hope, love radically and share generously. Let us worship God with our offering.
PRAYER OF DEDICATION
Gracious God, your Spirit rests upon us and drives us out to proclaim the gospel. You entrust us with your message of salvation. You grant us your vision and make your dreams our own. You enlist us as ambassadors for no less than Christ. We are humbled and awed by your choice of us. Take these gifts as signs of our trust and symbols of our gratitude. Bless them and use them to tell your mighty deeds throughout the world. In Christ's name we pray. Amen.
PRAYER OF THE PEOPLE
Lord of all, we are unable to gather in one place. We grieve our inability to sit beside one another, sing together and pass the peace in person. Even as we lament what is lost when we cannot be in the same physical space, we rejoice that nothing separates us from the love of Jesus Christ and there is no barrier that can prevent the Holy Spirit’s coming to us. United in Christ, bound by the Spirit, our community is real and strong, no matter where we are.
Confident in your promise to never leave us alone, to hear us when we knock and give to us when we ask, we are bold to pray for those on our hearts and minds. Send the Spirit’s winds of your comfort to surround those who mourn. Stay close to those unable to be near to those they love. Grant rest to the weary and give hope to those on the brink of despair. Kindle the Spirit’s flame of reconciliation between those long estranged and peoples who call each other enemies.
As we pass the horrifying milestone of 100,000 American deaths to the coronavirus—one hundred thousand deaths of neighbors, friends, and family—may we stop to lament. May we not belittle this incredible loss of lives, dreams and hopes. May we lament, which is to feel and bear great grief and sorrow, and reflect upon it. We pray for the healing of our nation to go even deeper than our horrible sickness. May we recognize both our national brokenness and see the signs of hope the virus continues to reveal. Our suffering has been painfully racially disproportionate. May our healing be in unison. Inspire us to repentance, to ask why this happened, to understand that it didn’t have to be this way, that we could have been better, smarter, fairer, more compassionate and just.
Come, Holy Spirit, engulf this frightening season with the live-giving, mercy-granting, joy-completing, justice-rolling deeds of our God. Come, astound us! Open our mouths so that our lips may proclaim God’s praise. Direct our actions so the world will know we are Christ’s followers by our love. Make us one so we can be ambassadors of reconciliation. Show us your vision and empower us to make your divine dreams our earthly reality. In your powerful name we pray. Amen.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen.
CLOSING HYMN NO. 280 Come, O Spirit, Swell Among Us EBENEZER
CHARGE AND BENEDICTION
As we go, may we know the love of God, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. This day and every day! Amen.
POSTLUDE/CHORAL BENEDICTION Deep Peace to You TRADITIONAL/arr. RANDY GRANGER
*Note: Parts of the liturgy were adapted from Rev. Jill Duffield, editor of the Presbyterian Outlook. The prayer of the people was also inspired by Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners.