THE 8TH SUNDAY OF EASTER
5 June 2022
Welcome! We extend a warm welcome to our guests, and invite you to sign the guest book at the back of the sanctuary. We extend a special welcome to Coralie MacLaren, who is filling in for Margaret McNutt-Reichelt today as our pianist! Everyone is invited to remain for a cup of coffee in the Church Hall following the service.
Communion – Today’s service is a Communion service. Due to pandemic-related precautions, we are continuing to do things a bit differently than usual, as follows:
– The texts that we normally read from the hymnbook (the Apostles’ Creed, etc.) will be shown on the screen.
– The Communion table will remain in the chancel, for the sake of physical distancing.
– Rather than passing the bread and juice through the sanctuary, you will be invited to come forward to receive the bread and juice, which are set out on another table at the front.
– Please come forward by the center aisle, and return to your seat by the side aisles. Please come forward separately (or along with those in your own household), in order to maintain physical distancing. Please take the bread and juice set out at either end of the table (left or right), working your way toward the center.
– The bread and juice may be either consumed at the front, or taken back to your seat. We will not wait for everyone to consume the bread and juice simultaneously, as we would normally do. As usual, the bread is gluten-free.
– Anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable receiving Communion today should feel free not to partake.
This Week in First Church:
– Sunday – Wednesday – John is “at” General Assembly
– Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. – Finance & Maintenance Committee meeting
– Sunday, 12 June – Outdoor Service and Barbecue
The Christian Year – Today is Pentecost, the fiftieth and final day of the Easter season, and the last of the four major festivals of the Christian Year (the others being Christmas, Epiphany, and Easter). Pentecost celebrates the giving of the Holy Spirit to the disciples and followers of Jesus, seven weeks after his resurrection (and ten days after his ascension), as narrated in Acts 2.1-41. The Holy Spirit was given to the community of Jesus’ followers to take his place as their teacher and leader, and to empower them to continue his ministry. The Holy Spirit continues to be given today to everyone who believes in Jesus.
Pentecost was originally a Jewish festival (called the “Festival of Weeks” in the Old Testament), which took place seven weeks after the Passover festival. On that day, offerings of the “first fruits” of the wheat harvest were presented to God in gratitude for the harvest. By the First Century, it had also come to commemorate God’s giving the Law to Israel at Mount Sinai. Thousands of Jews from all over the Roman Empire and beyond traveled to Jerusalem for Pentecost each year. When the disciples started speaking in all kinds of languages, these “Jews from every nation under heaven” were all able to understand what the disciples were telling them about Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection (Acts 2.5-11).
The symbolic color for Pentecost is red, recalling the “tongues of fire” that appeared to Jesus’ disciples when the Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 2.3). The name “Pentecost” comes from the Greek word pentēkostós (“fiftieth”), since the Jewish Pentecost festival was the fiftieth day after Passover.