“Like Tongues of Flame…”
Dear Friends in Christ,
The end of the Great Fifty Days of Easter is upon us. The next event in our liturgical year is the Feast of Pentecost. Along with Easter and Epiphany, Pentecost made up the three most important events in the life of the early Church (Christmas, so important in our culture now, came along quite a bit later!) As the Apostles, still devout and observant Jews, gathered to celebrate the feast of Pentecost, fifty days after Passover (and hence fifty days after that first Easter Sunday), they gathered in their locked room (still afraid of the Jewish authorities.) Suddenly, a great wind burst upon them, and the Holy Spirit descended upon each of the “like tongues of flame.” They burned with a new passion and rushed out into the marketplace and began to proclaim the Good News of Christ crucified and resurrected to everyone they encountered. All those in the marketplace heard them, each “in his or her own tongue.” Peter preached to the crowds that gathered, and over three thousand souls were baptized that very day.
What excitement, what power, both in the Holy Spirit and in them. Pentecost was in fact the birthday of the Church, the true founding of this marvelous living body of which we are part two millennia later. To celebrate this momentous event, we will be reading the Gospel on Sunday, June 8th, in a variety of languages at the 10 AM Eucharist. Everyone is encouraged to participate – if you know (or knew!) a foreign language, copies of the brief Gospel are available at Church on Sunday or through Wendy at the Office. It does not matter if you are rusty – since we all speak at once, no one can hear you anyway! If you’ve never learned any other language, just read in English. The more, the merrier, and the more cacophonous, the better.
At that service, we will honor our Sunday School students, teachers and staff, along with our Choristers. It promises to be a happy and festive time.
Also on that day, we are all encouraged to wear flame colors to remind us of the Holy Spirit descending upon us at our Baptisms as the Spirit did on them that first Pentecost. Wear red, orange, yellow, blue or white – any flame color. And dress casually, as we will be going from the Eucharist to the Parish Picnic. Shorts are fine, no sports coats – picnic attire! We will be joined that morning by some of the members of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Petersburg, as part of an on-going partnership with them.
Then, on Sunday the 15th, we will begin our “Summer Doings” for our young people. During the first part to the service each week, a members (or members) of the Parish will provide some form of instruction, entertainment, or just fun for our
Parish will provide some form of instruction, entertainment, or just fun for our younger members. There will be the Infant and Toddlers Class (Nursery) through the summer, and all those in Kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to participate in the Summer Doings. Those in grades 6-12 will be encouraged to help out with the event. Topics will be wide-ranging and will depend on the knowledge and creativity of those who sign up. Please consider taking a Sunday to offer what you have to share with young people. Don’t know what you have to offer? CALL ME – I will help you figure it out!
Here’s wishing you a happy, restful, and refreshing summer.
In Christ’s Love,