Saturday, 30 May 2020

Pentecost Sunday

Today's service has been offered by a Guest Blogger.  The Reverend Tim Sale is a retired clergy and Manitoban politican.  Tim has a long association with the Congregation of St. Paul, Fort Garry.  Tim has put together a service for your enjoyment today and has recorded with Doug and Rachel our trusty musicians, as well as a few parishioners from St. Paul.

Holy Eucharist Pentecost Sunday 2020

Click here to play the Recorded Service

Prelude music Spirit of God            G. Norbet, Western Priory

Chorus     Spirit of God, be for us joy,
                 healing gift of love,
                 creating a new heart.
                Longing to be spirit alive:
                very life of God,
                be rooted within us.

Voice which calls us
beyond scattered dreams, barren days,
to receive and give of God’s love.


May you kindle our hope
in the morning of life;
may you bring us peace with days end.


In silence of prayer
inner freedom will sing
of more being, vision and truth.


Welcome to St. Paul’s Fort Garry Anglican Community worship on this Pentecost Sunday. Today, we will be celebrating the Eucharist, here in our church building, and at home wherever you are. If you would like to share in our meal together, please take a moment now to get some bread and perhaps some wine so we can share together in one spirit, even though we are apart physically. 

The Grace of our companion Jesus, 
the Love our Creator God and the energy of the Spirit  Be in you all:

Response:      And also in you!

Today we are going to be joined by some of our parishioners reading scripture and prayers from their homes. We welcome Mikaela Oldencamp, Joel Odogun and Evelyn and Amelia Little as our readers and leaders in prayer.

Collect                                                                                                                Mikaela Oldencamp


Faithful Protector, I feel vulnerable. I am easy prey for those people, events or things that can hurt me. Teach me how to protect myself without building walls that keep me from needed growth. Help me to have good boundaries.... shield me from harm. Draw me away from that which can destroy me. Lead me toward what will encourage to share my gifts. May I become an ever more loving person. 
(By Joyce Rupp Your Sorrow is my Sorrow 1999.)

A reading from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians                                  Joel Ogodun

Paul is writing to his friends in the young church in Corinth, a major city of Greece. He wants them to understand that together, their community of faithful people has lots of gifts and skills. He encourages them to each offer their particular gift so that the community will be strong, and thus be able to serve their neighbours better.

Paul writes

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses. For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 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.

Song: Wind Who Makes All Winds That Blow 249 BCP

Wind who makes all winds that blow—
gusts that bend the saplings low,
gales that heave the sea in waves,
stirrings in the mind's deep caves—
aim your breath with steady power
on your church, this day, this hour.
Raise, renew the life we've lost,
Spirit God of Pentecost.

Fire who fuels all fires that burn—
suns around which planets turn,
beacons marking reefs and shoals,
shining truth to guide our souls—
come to us as once you came;
burst in tongues of sacred flame!
Light and Power, Might and Strength,
fill your church, its breadth and length.

Holy Spirit, Wind and Flame,
move within our mortal frame.
Make our hearts an altar pyre.
Kindle them with your own fire.
Breathe and blow upon that blaze
till our lives, our deeds, and ways
speak that tongue which every land
by your grace shall understand.

Psalm 104: 25-35                                                                 Amelia and Evelyn Little
O Lord, how manifold are your works! in wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
Yonder is the great and wide sea with its living things too many to number, creatures both small and great.

Send forth your Spirit, O God, and renew the face of the earth.

There move the ships, and there is that great whale, which you have made for the sport of it.
All of them look to you to give them their food in due season.
You give it to them; they gather it; you open your hand, and they are filled with good things.

Send forth your Spirit, O God, and renew the face of the earth

You hide your face, and they are terrified; you take away their breath, and they die and return to their dust.
You send forth your Spirit, and they are created; and so you renew the face of the earth.

Send forth your Spirit, O God, and renew the face of the earth

May the glory of Creator endure for ever; may Creator rejoice in all his works.
Creator looks at the earth and it trembles; she touches the mountains and they smoke.

Send forth your Spirit, O God, and renew the face of the earth

I will sing to the Holy One as long as I live; I will praise my God while I have my being.
May these words of mine please God; I will rejoice in our Creator.
Bless the Lord, O my soul. Hallelujah!

Send forth your Spirit, O God, and renew the face of the earth

Song     Peace                                                                 - G. Norbet, Western Priory

Peace I leave with you my friends,
Peace the world cannot give.
Peace I leave with you my friends,
So that your joy be ever full.

Creator’s love I come to give,
To be the hope for all of us.

Peace I leave with you my friends,
Peace the world cannot give.
Peace I leave with you my friends,
So that your joy be ever full.

Take God’s gift and be at peace,
The spirit of our love I bring.

Peace I leave with you my friends,
Peace the world cannot give.
Peace I leave with you my friends,
So that your joy be ever full.

                                                                            Michaela Oldencamp
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."


If I had preached a sermon in November, 2019, warning you that in three months, you would separated from your family, banned from church, and worried about toilet paper, would I have been:

  1. Referred for counselling
  2. Ignored and laughed at 
  3. Taken absolutely seriously as you rushed out for toilet paper? 

My hunch is that a majority would opt for (2), a worried few for (1) and no one at all for (3).

But that’s what happened, isn’t it? One of our neighbours, a single person, ordered her 30 rolls of toilet paper from Costco… now that’s a lot of TP!

But no one saw this pandemic coming, even though epidemiologists have for years warned us that one would, and that the world was no where near prepared.

On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, I was in my office doing a press conference when suddenly all the media were packing up and rushing out. Was it something I said? Of course not, it was when the planes struck the World Trade Centre. No one saw that coming either, although there were plenty of warnings about terrorism threats..

Driving through the South Island of New Zealand after lunch on February 22nd, 2011, heading for Christchurch, we stopped for gas and learned of the devastation of Christchurch at 11:51 that morning. No one saw it coming.

It is clear that none of the disciples saw what was coming either. They ignored the signs of the times; they ignored three years of Jesus’ teaching, and at first, they even ignored the amaze3d excitment of the women running from the tomb. They did not recognize Jesus until the breaking of the bread and the giving of the Holy Spirit.

Yet immediately around each of these unforeseen and usually unwelcome events, there came a fork in the road of human behaviour.

In every one of them, many, many people rallied. Firefighters ran INTO the World Trade Centre, and some gave their lives to save others. In our current pandemic, nurses and care-givers, doctors, emergency responders, truck drivers, grocery store workers, shelter givers put themselves in harm’s way. Most political leaders left their usual behaviours behind. On September 11th, planes landed in Gander and passengers became welcomed guests; the same happened in a less dramatic way in Winnipeg too. In the Christchurch earthquake, a wonderful Mayor gave calm, clear and compassionate advice, just as the current Prime Minister, Ms. Ardern has done in 2020. Citizens banded together and cared for each other. Many took complete strangers into their homes.

And in Jerusalem, crowds heard the in-breaking of the spirit. Those who were “other”, minorities, strangers, even the “unclean” understood each other in amazement. The disciples, once fearful and fleeing suddenly became bold and believing, preaching, taking chances, sharing and witnessing to the teachings of Jesus.

I have often struggled to comprehend what is meant by the Holy Spirit/Wisdom/Sophia. What did it mean when Jesus “breathed on them and told them to receive the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and Truth”? What does it mean to say that “The Father is in you and I am in the Father, and I am in you?”

We speak of Jesus as “God Incarnate” What does that mean? We say that all life is Holy; not just human life, but all life, life of the creatures, the forest, the earth itself, all creation.

These are enormous questions; libraries are full of our attempts to discern answers. Angels have danced on the heads of many, many pins! But what if we changed a few words. And said instead; “I am in the Holy, and the Holy is in me, and I am in you, and you are in me. That the Holy is right there beside us, inside us, around us. It is the deep meaning of every living thing, every relationship, every face we meet, the Ground of our Being. The question always, are we open to hear and bear witness to that holiness?

Tragedies, times of great trouble, pandemics provide a chance for those openings, a thin place as Celtic spirituality says. A chance for the deep holiness, the incarnational holiness of Christ that Christ says is already deeply embedded in us all to be revealed. Our “real” self comes forth, sometimes from the tombs of our own making, and shines brightly for all the world to see.

That is what Pentecost is all about. It is the sudden sense of a community of diverse souls, who used to be strangers, all suddenly making sense to each other. It is the caregivers acting selflessly. It is the compassion, generosity and justice-seeking breaking forth against the iron rules of the “economy” of selfishness and presumed scarcity. It is our deepest, truest nature, becoming real.

My prayer is that this Pentecost will last much longer than usual!
Amen, so be it.

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession
As we begin our intercessions, take a deep breath and quiet your soul, open to the presence of the Holy....

In trust let us pray to the one coming into our hearts to awaken holiness in our midst...

Let us offer thanksgiving for all the blessings of this life...

Let us pray for the outcasts, the prisoners, the hungry, the homeless, the poor, the unemployed, the exploited...

Let us pray for the coming of justice in the world, for peace that is a just reconciliation, for the earth on which we walk and to which we will one day return...

Let us pray for ourselves, trusting in God's wisdom and compassion...

For these and all our deepest concerns, God in your wisdom answer.

Offering Hymn     Spirit of Gentleness                                  - Jim Manley

Refrain     Spirit, spirit of gentleness,
                 blow thro' the wilderness calling and free. 
                 Spirit, spirit of restlessness, stir me from placidness, wind,
                 wind on the sea.

You moved on the waters, you called to the deep,
then you coaxed up the mountains from the valleys of sleep;
and over the aeons you called to each thing,
wake from your slumbers and rise on your wings.                     Refrain

You swept thro' the desert, you stung with the sand,
and you goaded your people with a law and a land;
and when they were blinded with their idols and lies,
then you spoke thro' your prophets to open their eyes.             Refrain

You sang in a stable, you cried from a hill,
then you whispered in silence when the whole world was still;
and down in the city you called once again, 
when you blew thro' your people on the rush of the wind.         Refrain

You call from tomorrow, you break ancient schemes,
from the bondage of sorrow the captives dream dreams;
our women see visions, our men clear their eyes,
with bold new decisions your people arise.                             Refrain

Prayer over the Gifts
Giver of life, receive all we offer you this day. Let the Spirit you bestow on your Church continue to work in the world through the hearts of all who believe. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.

The Eucharistic Prayer:

The Lord’s Prayer
- (Cameron)

Prayer After Communion
Creator God, may we who have received this Eucharist live in the unity of your Holy Spirit, that we may show forth his gifts to all the world. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.


As we have been gathered, so must we be sown back into the world to witness to the power of God`s transforming love, to support and challenge each other, to bring peace and justice to the world around us.

Said together:     And now may the God who shakes heaven and earth,
                            Whom death could not contain,
                            Who lives to disturb and heal us,
                             Bless us with the power to go forth
                            And proclaim the gospel. Amen.

Thanks to our readers and singers, and to all of you out there joining us this Holy Day. Please be safe, love each other and your neighbours and come together again with us next week.

Song:      Breathe on Me, Breath of God 649 BCP

Breath on me, breath of God;
fill me with life anew,
that I may love what thou dost love, and do what thou wouldst do.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
until my heart is pure,
until my will is one with thine to do and to endure.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
till I am wholly thing,
until this earthly part of me glows with thy fire divine.

Breathe on me, breath of God:
so shall I never die,
but live with thee the perfect life of thine eternity.

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