THE 1ST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
30 May 2021
Online – We will continue holding our Sunday services by Zoom, live, at our regular time of 10:30, for at least today and next Sunday (6 June). This means, then, that next Sunday’s service will definitely not be a Communion service. Each week’s service is recorded and then uploaded to YouTube, for the benefit of those who are unable to join us in real time. Each service is now being saved for two Sundays, at which time it is deleted from the YouTube channel. The link to the Zoom meeting is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84737316742?pwd=ZjZWYTgyTzBWR2RkZ1BOUy9nVlVuUT09; it is the same every week. The link to the recording on YouTube is e-mailed out following the service each Sunday, along with a copy of the service script; that link is different every week. In addition, hard copies of the script can be printed and mailed out to anyone who would like them. If you would like to receive them, just call John at the church office.
This Week in First Church:
– Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. – Bible study, by Zoom
No Outdoor Service – Due to the ongoing pandemic and the necessary restrictions, we will again be unable to have our annual Outdoor Service and Barbecue — for the second year in a row. We normally have it on the second or third Sunday in June.
The Christian Year – Today is Trinity Sunday (the First Sunday after Pentecost), a festival that highlights the doctrine of the Trinity — the teaching that God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Actually, this doctrine (official church teaching) is not explicitly taught in scripture; in fact, the word “Trinity” itself is not found in the Bible at all. Rather, this understanding of God evolved in the early church, through a long period of reflection and debate on the relationship between God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Church leaders held a variety of opinions on this question, much too complicated to explain in a couple of paragraphs!
In order to be faithful to the Old Testament, it was imperative that Christians continue to believe in the existence of only one God, not three separate Gods. And in order to be faithful to insights from the New Testament (particularly in the Gospel of John), it was necessary that Jesus and the Holy Spirit be regarded as part of God, not just as beings that God had created. Eventually, the doctrine of the Trinity emerged — the teaching that God is a “Trinity” consisting of three “persons”, the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit. It was formulated gradually, in a series of church councils held in the cities of Nicaea (in the year 325), Constantinople (381), and Chalcedon (451). This understanding of God is unique to the Christian faith, and is still accepted by Christian churches of all denominations today.
The symbolic color for Trinity Sunday is white, signifying joy and celebration.