Reflection and poetry.
Malcolm Guite’s sonnet ‘Pentecost’.
Today we feel the wind beneath our wings
Today the hidden fountain flows and plays
Today the church draws breath at last and sings
As every flame becomes a Tongue of praise.
This is the feast of fire,air, and water
Poured out and breathed and kindled into earth.
The earth herself awakens to her maker
And is translated out of death to birth.
The right words come today in their right order
And every word spells freedom and release
Today the gospel crosses every border
All tongues are loosened by the Prince of Peace
Today the lost are found in His translation.
Whose mother-tongue is Love, in every nation.
Here Malcolm Guite reading the poem here.
The Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, Lutheran pastor and author,offers this reflection.
I do not know when we can gather together again in worship, Lord.
So, for now I just ask that:
When I sing along in my kitchen to each song on Stevie Wonder’s Songs in The Key of Life Album, that it be counted as praise.
And that when I read the news and my heart tightens in my chest, may it be counted as a Kyrie.
And that when my eyes brighten in a smile behind my mask as I thank the cashier may it be counted as passing the peace.
And that when I water my plants and wash my dishes and take a shower may it be counted as remembering my baptism.
And that when the tears come and my shoulders shake and my breathing falters, may it be counted as prayer.
And that when I stumble upon a Tabitha Brown video and hear her grace and love of you may it be counted as a hearing a homily.
And that as I sit at that table in my apartment, and eat one more homemade meal, slowly, joyfully, with nothing else demanding my time or attention, may it be counted as communion.
Jesus, help me to respond to your call with everything that I am and everything that I have. Let me hold nothing back in response to your great love for me.
Owning less and possessing everything.
“Listen to this sermon on Corinthians 2:6 by Rob Bell, which is amazingly appropriate for this time. It’s 40 minutes long, but full of wisdom so worth the listen!
Listen to it here.
How to be.
Try to see yourself as the Creator sees you, delightedly, within the scene. You are part of nature, too. Take two steps back in your mind’s eye and see yourself walking the path. What do you notice, about your movement, your pace, your presence?
“I praise you, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139
Read the rest of this wise advice by Brian Draper here.
“Attend to your heart.”
Listen to Andrew Rumsey’s reflection from his series “Going to Ground”.
Practical love, and prayer.
Thelma Commey shares her experience of showing God’s love through what we do and how we pray for others.
The Responsibilities of Leadership.
“People in leadership have privilege but also additional responsibilities to the people they serve.”
Read a blog and prayer by the President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference here.
Thy Kingdom Come..
What can I offer?
Each of us has our own calling no matter who we are, or how others see us. This is Jonathan’s story.
What does it mean to say sorry? What happens when you know you have to forgive someone for something unbearable, and how do you create a new future? Hear Ray and Vi Donovan’s story.
Light, hope, truth and ‘good news’.
Gracious God, in a world where corruption, deceit, suspicion and ‘fake news’ regularly fill the headlines, we are full of gratitude for the gospel of Christ, which brings light, hope, truth and ‘good news’ into our lives.
May the confidence that we have new life in Christ make a difference to how we respond to the people and circumstances we encounter, so that our words and actions become ‘good news’ for others. In the name of Christ, Amen.
Gill Newton, Sheffield District Chair
Praise and creativity.
Playlist for Pentecost.
Enjoy these hymns and songs selected by Naomi.
A brand new creative arts competition for 4 to 18 years olds.
We are looking for you to write, draw, paint, or get busy with your camera! The idea is that you write a poem, make a picture or take a photograph in response to the theme of ‘What is God saying?’
What do you think God is saying to you, or to the Church, or to the world?
See details of age groups and other details here.
A blessing for those who create, fund, share and wear facemasks.
O Holy One.
Bless the mask makers, those who create –
from cloth, flannel, elastic, wire, yarn and buttons –
the barriers that allow us to be out among others
yet keep them safe from what we might be silently harbouring.
Bless the mask wearers
that we may see them as a sign of care and concern for others;
that we may see your face beneath each mask.
Bless us all
that we may see that by covering our noses and mouths
we have opened our eyes and our hearts to one another. Amen.
Rev. Donna Vuilleumier, Pastor at Smith Memorial Church, UCC in Hillsboro.
Protecting our shared home.
This “Great Pause,” as some are calling it, gives me hope that we will soon find it within ourselves to protect our shared home, not only for our own sake, but for our neighbours across the globe, and future generations.
Read the complete reflection “The Possibility of Restraint” here.
Thy Kingdom Come.
Why Jesus? Why pray? As we begin 2020’s global wave of prayer @thykingdom_come we ask what difference knowing Jesus makes to people. How has your life been changed?
The Methodist @YouthPresident considers love being an action, and in showing that love we are in fact praising God.
An honest prayer.
“Whatever is good,…. whatever is lovely….think about such things.”
“Brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Relax as you contemplate the beauty in this painting by Odilon Redon: ‘Ophelia among the Flowers’.
The URC’s Revd Lucy Berry, has written a hymn called ‘”Lean On Me’ says God…” Her friend Simon sang the hymn and composed the tune and her son, Sav, researched and edited the film.
Michael Topple, a lay preacher in the URC writes:
One of the delights of the URC is the wide variety contained within. I think that the story of Babel serves to highlight how God doesn’t want us all to be identical, or mirror images one of another, but instead rejoices in our diversity.
Read the rest of his thoughts here.
We thank You for diversity, both in the Church and in our world.
We thank You for the gifts and talents that different people can bring.
May we not become inward looking, concerned only for those who talk or act or look like us; but instead delight in the diversity that You have created.
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen