Day of Pentecost

Sunday, June 4, 2017

My husband, Fritz, and son-in-law, Joe, both have birthdays this weekend so we will be celebrating after Church today with a special lunch out.  In our culture, we typically celebrate birthdays with cards, presents, parties, and special meals.  On our birthdays, we might remember the years that have gone by and think of the year coming ahead. 

Today we celebrate the feast of Pentecost.  Pentecost falls on the seventh Sunday after Easter.  It is the day that we celebrate the Holy Spirit coming to the disciples.  We also think of it as the birthday of the Church.

Before the day of Pentecost the disciples did not know what to do next.  Jesus had risen from the dead and then ascended into heaven.  What were they to do now?  Should they return to their former jobs or do something else?  Should they disband or stay together?

Suddenly, on the day of Pentecost,  the Holy Spirit came upon them and they became empowered to preach the Gospel, to teach others about Christ.  They became empowered for the work that they were to do next in ministry.

In our lives today the Feast of Pentecost, ironically, falls at the time of the Church year when things are preparing to wind down for the summer.  This week, we have a number of important events going on.  The last gathering of the Bible Study group before summer is this Wednesday. We will have a brunch to finish up the year. The Lucas Greenhouse Night is at 6:15 p.m. on Thursday.  The Chicken BBQ night is from 4-6 p.m. on Saturday.  Youth Sunday is next Sunday. It marks the end of the Church School year.

The Journey to Adulthood pilgrimage is June 26-July 1.

 This summer we are planning a couple of Brew Pub Evenings out – one to Triphammer and one to Fairport Brewing Company.  Gary Gocek and his wife, Susan Pines, are hosting a cook out for RAIHN volunteers on July 9, and we are hosting RAIHN Aug.  22-23. The ROMEO and JULIET groups still meet over the summer.

Largely, though, summer is a time in the Church for us to refuel our batteries. We need time to do that in life.  We need time to rest.  We need time for a break from the hustle bustle of the Church year.  Peter and I will both take vacation time this summer.  I’ll spend time in San Francisco and Boston and he’ll spend time at his cottage. I hope that you, too, will find some special time for rest and relaxation.  As we all know, our summers in the Rochester area are short so we need to enjoy the summer days while they are here. We all deserve a break over the summer.

  As you probably already know, we will have one service at 9 a.m. during the Sundays of July and August followed by lemonade on the lawn.  This will provide an opportunity for our 8 and 10 o’clock congregations to mingle over the summer.

Summer is also a time when we can be in the presence of the Holy Spirit and make plans for the future.  We can ask, What is the Spirit calling us to do as the congregation of St. Luke’s next year?  What current ministries do we want to continue to do?  What new ministries might we become engaged in?  What Christian ed activities do we want to offer next year?  What other parish activities do we want to offer?  Summer is a time for us to wait upon the promptings of the Holy Spirit and begin to make plans.  

At the end of July, our junior warden, Dave Crocker, Gary Gocek, Priscilla Petersen and I will attend a week long College for Congregational Development program at Notre Dame Retreat Center in Canandaigua.  This program will give us ideas that we can bring back to St. Luke’s to enhance our congregational life.

Today as we celebrate the birthday of the Church we can pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to be with our congregation guiding us into the future. Come, Holy Spirit, fill us with your power!