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Sunday 30 May – Pentecost Service

31st May 2020: Webteam
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"The Time Is Coming": A Service for Pentecost 2020

To join us online at 10:30am on Sunday May 31st, click on this link:

Meeting ID: 823 9029 4345
Password: 842633

Welcome to this Circuit service.

We had intended to use this time to share in the 2020 Easter Offering service, but MWiB have postponed this service until next year, as churches have been unable to collect their Easter Offering.

The theme of the service was to be "Into All the World", as this year is the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower to the New World, and the 260th anniversary of Methodist mission which led to the founding of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and Americas (MCCA). The service was to be about journeys – the journeys that some people take in response to God's call, and other journeys that are forced on people.

But most of us are stuck – we can't journey anywhere. Some of us feel trapped, and others really are trapped in situations that are stressful, or not safe. Some are willingly risking their safety in order to care for others, in all kinds of different ways.

Perhaps we are all thinking of the places that we would like to go, if only we could, and wondering how restrictions might, one day, be eased.

Perhaps that's how the first disciples felt after the resurrection; stuck in an Upper Room, afraid for their lives. They must have known that this state of affairs couldn't last, but had no idea how they were ever going to come out.

So that is where our service begins today.

Call to worship: Psalm 5:11-12
Let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
so that those who love your name may exult in you.
For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
you cover them with favour as with a shield.

Hymn StF 706
Longing for light, we wait in darkness.
Longing for truth, we turn to you.
Make us your own, your holy people,
Light for the world to see.

Christ, be our light!
Shine in our hearts.
Shine through the darkness.
Christ, be our light!
Shine in your church gathered today.

Longing for peace, our world is troubled.
Longing for hope, many despair.
Your word alone has power to save us.
Make us your living voice.

Longing for food, many are hungry.
Longing for water, many still thirst.
Make us your bread, broken for others,
Shared until all are fed.

Longing for shelter, many are homeless.
Longing for warmth, many are cold.
Make us your building, sheltering others,
Walls made of living stone.

Many the gifts, many the people,
Many the hearts that yearn to belong.
Let us be servants to one another,
Making your kingdom come.
Words: © 1993 Bernadette Farrell

Prayers of adoration and thanksgiving
St Paul writes " Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,
give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you".
So let us offer our praise and thanks to God:
Living God, as we gather here in your presence,
we give you glory and honour and lift up your holy name.
We bless you for all that you are
and all that you have done and continue to do amongst us.
Living God, we praise you.
Thank you for bringing us to this time and place
and the way you continue to care for us.
We thank you for your continued call to offer our lives in your service,
even when we seem to have little to offer.
We are grateful for your promise that you will never leave us, nor forsake us,
and will be with us until the end of the age.
Living God, we thank you.
Sure in your loving presence, we bring to you our sadness and our fears.
We feel stuck, trapped inside, overwhelmed, helpless, and even hopeless.
Help us to believe that our present does not control our future;
that we can look forward with hope,
and live with courage.
Grant that we might live as people of love and justice.
Inspire and sustain us to make your kingdom known on earth
even right now, in this moment of crisis.

You are with us by the power of the Holy Spirit;
through this act of worship, draw us closer to you,
and equip us to serve you in all our days.
In the name of Christ.

Introduction to the Reading:
In our first reading, we find Elijah, sheltering in a cave. A short time before, he defeated the prophets of Baal, and knows that there is a price on his life. He fled into the wilderness, where an angel provided him with the food and water that he needed to stay alive. Now sheltering in a cave on Mount Horeb, he hears the Word of God telling him to go and stand outside, for the Lord is about to pass by.

Old Testament Reading: 1 Kings 19: 11-18
Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.
When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
He answered, "I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away."
Then the Lord said to him, "Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram. Also you shall anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel; and you shall anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place. Whoever escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall kill; and whoever escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall kill. Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him."

New Testament Reading: Acts 2:1-18
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.
Amazed and astonished, they asked, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs--in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power."
All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?"
But others sneered and said, "They are filled with new wine."
But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
'In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.
Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy.'"


Prayers of intercession
Let us pray to the Lord, who is our refuge and stronghold.
For the health and well-being of our nation,
that all who are fearful and anxious
may be at peace and free from worry:
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

For the isolated and housebound,
that we may be alert to their needs,
and care for them in their vulnerability:
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

For our homes and families,
our schools and young people,
and all in any kind of need or distress:
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

For a blessing on our local community,
that our neighbourhoods may be places of trust and friendship,
where all are known and cared for:
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

We commend ourselves, and all for whom we pray,
to the mercy and protection of God.

We are not people of fear:
we are people of courage.
We are not people who protect our own safety:
we are people who protect our neighbours' safety.
We are not people of greed:
we are people of generosity.
We are your people, God,
giving and loving,
wherever we are,
whatever it costs;
for as long as it takes
wherever you call us.
Rev Dr Barbara Glasson, President of the Methodist Conference

The Lord's Prayer

Hymn StF 397
The Spirit lives to set us free, walk, walk in the light;
he binds us all in unity, walk, walk in the light.
Walk in the light,
Walk in the light,
Walk in the light,
Walk in the light of the Lord.

Jesus promised life to all, walk, walk in the light;
the dead were wakened by his call, walk, walk in the light.

He died in pain on Calvary, walk, walk in the light;
to save the lost like you and me, walk, walk in the light.

We know his death was not the end, walk, walk in the light;
he gave his Spirit to be our friend, walk, walk in the light.

The Spirit lives in you and me, walk, walk in the light;
His light will shine for all to see, walk, walk in the light.

Final Prayer & Blessing
Let us pray:
God of power,
may the boldness of your Spirit transform us,
may the gentleness of your Spirit lead us,
and may the gifts of your Spirit equip us to serve and worship you
now and always.

The Spirit of truth lead you into all truth,
give us grace to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
and to proclaim the Word and works of God;
and the blessing of God, Spirit, Son and Father,
remain with us always.

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