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Pentecost Pondering I

and down in the city you called once again, when you blew through your people on the rush of the wind.James K. Manley. Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness, Voices United #375 verse 3

Yesterday’s second-highest of holy days still remains our best unintentionally kept secret. Unlike Christmas, which was established as a major feast in the Christian church in the 5th century, Pentecost is almost as old as the core celebrations of our faith at Easter. In many ways, Pentecost marks that transition from the fantastic news of Easter, to where we explore what it means to be Christ’s church in the world. The hitch is that the holy day moves around because it is tied to the date of Easter. While this tells us that Pentecost is older than Christmas, unfortunately in Canada, it is going to end up rubbing against major civic holidays or occasions. It’s one reason why we tend to miss it. Pentecost can happen as early as May 10th, where it would happen the same day as Mother’s Day, and it can come as late as June 13th. In the midst of that is the Victoria Day weekend, the opening notes of summer, and as a retired UCC minister now living at Carewest Sarcee reminded me, Pentecost often happened on Conference Weekend. It has really not even been “a thing” in western protestant churches because so much else is going on.

On the other hand, Pentecost has one major thing going for it: it hasn’t been commercialized. This is a two-edged sword, because there aren’t advertising campaigns telling us that there is only 222 days until Christmas, or that the chance to buy Easter Crème Eggs is running out. Pentecost is a celebration that the world at large doesn’t know what to do with. Yet it is the core call of the church. When we developed our vision and mission statements earlier this year, these are reflections of what we believe God is calling us to be, and trusting that the Holy Spirit is not only going to guide us through this, but also present new and unexpected opportunities to be the church in a different way in our community.

So Happy Pentecost! May God’s Spirit blow through each of you, breathing life and energy, and opening all of us to new possibilities!

Yours in Christ,

John

Upcoming Events

  • A Note of Thanks: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
    • A Midsummer Night’s Dream comes to a close today at 10:00am. I am grateful to Wayne Valleau and his offering of these sessions for both St. Matthew’s and CALL. We look forward to Wayne’s next offering, which I hope comes early in the fall months!
  • The Dead Sea Scrolls Seminar – Today is week 2! Mondays at 7:5pm– Main Sanctuary
    • In cooperation with the Calgary Association of Lifelong Learners (CALL), I am offering a short course/seminar on the Dead Sea Scrolls. It began last week, and continues today on 5 more sessions on Mondays from 7:15 to about 9pm. If you’re interested in joining me in this course/seminar, please email me to let me know. There is an optional online component that I am also developing that will also be helpful for those who may need to miss a session. At present, I have more than 40 registrants from both the congregation and CALL. I will holding the seminar sessions in the Sanctuary, so there is lots of room for everyone! If you haven’t registered with me, please feel free to do so.
  • Spirituals Sunday – June 19th, 2016
    • The choir is just starting to prepare for our annual Spirituals Sunday set to take place on Sunday, June 19th. Watch this space for more information!
  • Congregational Membership Classes
    • If you or someone you know would like to formalize membership with St. Matthew’s, I am hoping to run a membership class in the next few months. If you are interested, please email me, call me at the church, or speak with me directly on Sunday mornings.

Church Office Hours

A Reminder that the office will be closed on Monday, May 23rd for the Victoria Day Holiday

Wendy’s regular office hours are Mondays, 11am-3pm, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Friday from 9am-3pm.

My regular office hours are Sunday through Thursdays from 9:00 to 12:30. While I am likely to be in the office in the afternoons Monday through Thursday, I may also be out on pastorals visits or meetings.  I will be away this coming Sunday as I have my “quarterly” Sunday off. I am still in the office this week and am available for pastoral emergencies.

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