A Call to Worship for Pentecost

  PENTECOST Here’s a call to worship, rooted in the Christian past, but open to the global voices, and celebrating an Earth-based liturgy. Three voices scattered in the worship space, perhaps one at the Table, another at …

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Wolf Blitzer Learned that there are Indeed Atheists in Fox-holes! – A Sermon for Trinity Sunday

This Trinity Sunday sermon owes much to John Shelby Spong’s book a “New Christianity for a New World” You can listen to the sermon here then watch the tail end of the Wolf Blitzer interview mentioned in the sermon.

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Fanning the Flames: Pentecost Sunday

Pentecost is the birthday of the Church. Birthday celebrations lend themselves to the telling of stories. So, we begin with a parable by the radical theologian Peter Rollins. So, sit back and try to imagine that you live not at the beginning of the 21st century but at the middle of the 21st century; say about 2050. The world has changed quite a bit.

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Moving beyond doctrines of Original Sin, The Fall, and maybe even the Doctrine of Grace

Humanity is not inherently evil, or sinful, or broken. Creation has been groaning for billions of years so that we might evolve. Creation continues to groan as we continue to evolve into all that we can be.

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Worship Materials: Pentecost

From the Festive Worship collection

THEME The Festival of Empowerment
THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION
1. The fire from above like the image of the halo or aura is an outward manifestation that springs from the strangely warmed heart, the heart that has experienced Christ’s liberation.

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We Praise You, God of All

We praise you, God, with rousing song, we answer at your call
Your Word creates the universe, We praise you, God of all
Your Word creates the universe, We praise you, God of all

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Spirit of All Freedom

From the Boundless Life collection

Spirit of all freedom,
Mystery unconfined,
Breaking bondage,
Freeing mind,
Life-force we embrace.

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On Prayer and Pentecost

When prayers in Jesus’s name go unanswered, and when unrelenting “knocking on heaven’s door” produces no result – even when bargains are offered (“I’ll stop smoking”) – instead of confronting the possibility that God is not going to intervene, the failure is treated as a “test of faith” that “God has a better plan for me.” But the transformation of human thought is far more powerful than petitions to a discredited god. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit, first given by John’s Jesus, descends in tongues of flames on the Christian community gathered in Jerusalem. They are empowered to tell the story of Jesus in every language of the known world. Peter quotes the prophet Joel, that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Paul proclaims, “For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free – and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” The imagery of fire represents the outpouring of the presence of sacred being and of creative power. No magic is required.

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Jesus’ Prayer Promise in John 14:13-14: In What Sense Is It True?

In John’s Gospel, Jesus says to his disciples, “I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it” (John 14:13-14).
I’m sure most reading this recognize that this is not some universal blanket promise. So we have to ask, “On what level is this true?” Or, “Is it true on any level?”

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Deeper Love: Communion Meditation

For deeper love we spread the bread
I won’t be full till all are fed
Till every soul has home and bed
The rest of us can’t move ahead

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Eucharistic Prayer on Pentecost

Presider: God be with you
People: And also with you
Presider: Open your hearts
People: We open our hearts to God

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Long Years Ago

Tune: How Great Thou Art

Long years ago the promised Holy Spirit
With wind and flame, in resurrection might
Inspired true love, compassion rich within it,
And now as then rekindles vision’s light.

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A Parable

The kingdom of God is like the leader of a mainline religious institution who needed to hire new clergy to minister to his congregations.

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Hungry for Peace: How You Can Help End Poverty and War with Food Not Bombs

The de facto how-to manual of the international Food Not Bombs movement, which provides free food to the homeless and hungry and has branches in countries on every continent except Antarctica, this book describes at length how to set up and operate a Food Not Bombs chapter. The guide considers every aspect of the operation, from food collection and distribution to fund-raising, consensus decision making, and what to do when the police arrive. It contains detailed information on setting up a kitchen and cooking for large groups as well as a variety of delicious recipes. Accompanying numerous photographs is a lengthy section on the history of Food Not Bombs, with stories of the jailing and murder of activists, as well as premade handbills and flyers ready for photocopying.

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Food for Life

Food for Life draws on L. Shannon Jung’s gifts as theologian, ethicist, pastor, and eater extraordinaire. In this deeply thoughtful but very lively book, he encourages us to see our humdrum habits of eating and drinking as a spiritual practice that can renew and transform us and our world. In a fascinating sequence that takes us from the personal to the global, Jung establishes the religious meaning of eating and shows how it dictates a healthy order of eating. He exposes Christians’ complicity in the face of widespread eating disorders we experience personally, culturally, and globally, and he argues that these disorders can be reversed through faith, Christian practices, attention to habitual activities like cooking and gardening, the church’s ministry, and transforming our cultural policies about food.

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Creator God of Many Names

Creator God of many names, Give us your widest view;
We seek your Spirit none can tame, Your visions bright and new.

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Responsive Reading

Leader: The presence of God is surely in this place.
People: The presence of God is everywhere.

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Pentecost Doxology

Sung to the traditional tune

Praise God whose breath fills all the earth
Whose love reveals our sacred worth

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