May 31, 2020: Pentecost Sunday

Preparing for Worship

Ideally, we would gather together in worship, catching up on each other’s lives, being encouraged by each other’s smiles, weeping with each other in our tears, joining our voices in songs of faith and lament and hope and praise, lifting up our prayers to God, hearing God’s voice to us through Scripture and story and thoughtful reflection. However, since we cannot gather in person at this time, let us join together in spirit in this online service of worship.

On this Pentecost Sunday, you may wish to light a candle in your home to signify the presence of God’s Spirit as you worship. In addition, if you would like to participate in the celebration of communion later in the service, you will want to have some bread and drink ready to share among your household. Morden Mennonite Church regulars, you are encouraged to begin that communion video at 11:45 am, regardless of where else you are in the service, as an act of unity and solidarity as a church.

Call to Worship

Esther J. calls us to worship on this Pentecost Sunday:

Songs of Praise

Join in singing along to HWB 46 I Sing the Mighty Power of God, accompanied by Linda P. and Michael P. You can use the hymn book for the harmonies or follow the lyrics below.

I sing the mighty pow’r of God, that made the mountains rise,
that spread the flowing seas abroad and built the lofty skies.
I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day.
The moon shines full at God’s command and all the stars obey.

I sing the goodness of the Lord, that filled the earth with food.
God formed the creatures with a word, and then pronounced them good.
Lord, how thy wonders are displayed, where’er I turn my eye,
if I survey the ground I tread, or gaze upon the sky!

There’s not a plant or flow’r below, but makes thy glories known,
and clouds arise, and tempests blow, by order from thy throne.
While all that borrows life from thee is ever in thy care,
there’s not a place where we can flee but God is present there.

Let’s continue singing with HWB 26 Holy Spirit, Come with Power, accompanied by Loretta T. and Michael P. You can use the hymn book for the harmonies or follow the lyrics below.

A new Pentecost banner for our church from Margie H.!

Holy Spirit, come with power,
breathe into our aching night.
We expect you this glad hour,
waiting for your strength and light.
We are fearful, we are ailing,
we are weak and selfish too.
Break upon your congregation,
give us vigour, life a new.

Holy Spirit, come with fire,
burn us with your presence new.

Let us as one mighty choir
sing our hymn of praise to you.

Burn away our wasted sadness
and enflame us with your love.

Burst upon your congregation,
give us gladness from above.

Holy Spirit, bring your message,
burn and breathe each word anew

deep into our tired living
till we strive your work to do.

Teach us love and trusting kindness,
lend our hands to those who hurt.

Breathe upon your congregation
and inspire us with your word.

Offering

Please continue this act of worship in support of the church’s ongoing ministries even though we are not meeting in person. You can mail a cheque to the church office. You can contact the church office or Randy S. and he will come pick it up. Also, you can donate as a bill payment if you have an Access Credit Union account, either in person at the credit union or online. For online giving in this way, please see the information here.

Community Life & Prayer

For announcements related to our church community, please see the eBulletin emailed to those on the church email list. You can also stay updated by checking the church Facebook page and this website.

This week in our prayers we especially remember:

  • Those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, both directly and indirectly. Pray for our church and our community. Pray for our country and our world. Pray especially for the most vulnerable, who always experience a greater negative impact in these kinds of circumstances. May we seek the common good, “looking not to our own interests but to the interests of others” (Phil 2:4).
  • Those among us facing significant personal challenges, both concerns shared publicly and burdens borne privately. Let us “always persevere in supplication for all the saints” (Eph 6:18).
  • Those among us with special reasons to rejoice. We are grateful for the lower levels of COVID-19 spread in Manitoba, and we are glad to have greater freedom to see loved ones in person. Let us “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess 5:16-18).
  • May we grow in our ability to discern the presence and work of God’s Spirit within us, among us, and beyond us—even in surprising ways. “Since we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit” (Gal 5:25).

Esther J. offers this prayer for us today.

Prayer Song

Let us continue in prayer as we sing HWB 349 Spirit of the Living God, accompanied by Linda P. and Michael P. You can use the hymn book for the harmonies or follow the lyrics below.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Scripture Reading

Our Scripture reading this morning is from John 20:11-22, read for us by Jude and Milo K. Note that John’s Gospel speaks negatively of “the Jews.” This is not a reference to all Jews through history and today; the author of John’s Gospel himself was likely a Jew, and of course Jesus was a Jew. Rather, in John’s Gospel “the Jews” are a kind of caricature, highlighting negative characteristics of some religious leaders in Jesus’ day in order to make a point about Jesus.

As we listen to our Scripture reading, and as we reflect on it together in our children’s focus and meditation, may we have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to us as a church.

Children’s Focus

Whether you are a child or an adult you might be interested in printing off and colouring this page as the service continues, or over the coming week: “Breathe” by Heidi Hanson (check out her website here). If you colour a page and want to share it with the church on Facebook or on our website, please take a picture of it and email it to Robyn at the church office. We’d love to see it!

Brenda U. F. shares this video of the story of the Spirit’s special coming at Pentecost, told in Acts 2. Enjoy this re-telling of the familiar story!

Meditation

In John 20:22 the Holy Spirit is described as “The Breath of Jesus.” Michael shares some thoughts on the significance of this for us today.

Moment of Reflection

Spend a few moments reflecting on our Scripture text and its interpretation among us.

The good news of God has been proclaimed among us this morning. How have you heard God’s good news for you? for others in your life? for our world? What will you do this week to live out God’s good news?

Song of Response

Let us join together in singing STJ 35 O Breath of Life, accompanied by Dianne H. and Michael P. You may use the song book for the harmonies or just follow the lyrics below.

O Breath of Life, come sweeping through us,
revive your church with life and pow’r;
O Breath of Life, come cleanse, renew us,
and fit your church to meet this hour.

O Wind of God, come bend us, break us,
till humbly we confess our need;
then in your tenderness remake us,
revive, restore for this we plead.

O Spirit of Love, come breathe within us,
renewing thought and will and heart;
come, Love of Christ, afresh to win us,
revive your church in every part!

Communion

Benediction

Esther J. offers this benediction for us as we leave this time of worship together. “Peace to us all!”

In the Week Ahead

Check the church website and church Facebook page regularly for resources for staying connected and for spiritual growth during this time. If you want specific info about our Sharing & Prayer and Drop-in-Bible-Study times, please contact Pastor Michael. Grace and peace to you this week!

Songs: HWB 46 I Sing the Mighty Power of God (Text: Isaac Watts; Music: harmonized by William H. Monk, 1868); HWB 26 Holy Spirit, Come with Power (Text: ©1970 Anne Neufeld Rupp; Music: attributed to B. F. White; harmonization ©1989 Joan A. Fyock); HWB 349 Spirit of the Living God (Text and Music: Daniel Iverson; ©1935, renewal 1963 Birdwing Music and BMG Songs, Inc.); STJ 35 O Breath of Life (Text: Elizabeth Ann P. Head; Music: ©1989 James E. Clemens); STJ 73 The Lord Lift You Up (Text and Music: Patricia J. Shelly; arranged by Dennis Friesen-Carper; ©1983 Patricia J. Shelly)
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