DAY OF PENTECOST / Asian Heritage Month 4

Due to copyright limitations, we are unable to print the words to many of the songs.  However, our musicians have chosen music to fit the scriptures.  We invite you to look up the words in your worship book and ponder them.  If you do not have a worship book, ponder the words to one of your favourite hymns and listen for God’s voice. Those who have internet may find the songs on YouTube.


“I’m sick and tired of (only) reading about church history; let’s make some, by the grace of God!”

–Leonard Ravenhill


Ecosystems are communities of living and nonliving components interacting within an environment or system. They are all intricately connected to one another, and the energy and survival of each piece is dependent on the health of everything else in the system. As humans we are part of the ecosystem, and a large part at that. We are the ones most often to blame for the imbalance and destruction of ecosystems, through pollution from our vehicles, the destruction of habitats for new construction, and so much more. Just as Paul writes in his letter to the Corinthians, there are so many gifts, but we are all one body, and we must work together. The same is true for all of God’s creation. For balanced ecosystems there must be space, energy, and care for all creatures, big and small, to flourish.


We acknowledge we gather and worship on Treaty 1 Territory, the original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation.

O God, Great Spirit and Creator, we praise you for your gifts that surround us – For the gift of the land that gives us food, shelter and water; For the gift of the sun that gives warmth and light to all that grows; For the gifts of the moon and stars which you have arranged for your glory; For the gifts of language and culture, through which your peoples praise you, and share the most deeply held values you have engraved on their hearts.

Jesus, gentle Saviour, forgiving and humble of heart, Good Shepherd, Divine Healer, Great Lover of all peoples: We offer you our sorrow for the wrongs committed against our First Nations’ children in Canada’s Indian Residential Schools. We offer you our desire to walk with our First Nations brothers and sisters; to journey with them on the path of truth, healing and reconciliation. As we share this earthly pilgrimage to our heavenly homeland, where every tear will be wiped away and every sorrow will be turned to joy, we pray for all our relations.  Amen.


We have entered into a new way of being church. At this Pentecost moment, we are not alone:  God will reveal Creation’s dream,

as we give thanks for whose we are.

Christ will claim us as his own,

as we declare who we are. 

God’s Spirit will pour out on us,

as we anticipate who we will become.

At this Pentecost:  We take courage in the assurance of whose we are; we affirm our call to be Christ’s disciples; and we trust the Spirit to guide us through the challenging space between who we are and who we will be.  Surely, we are not alone.

Thanks be to God!

CHILDREN’S SONG:  WOV 684  Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness


In this Pentecost moment, let us give all thanks and glory to God, whose power working in us can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.  Glory to God from generation to generation, in the church, and through the Spirit, now and forever.  Amen.

MINUTE FOR MISSION:  Affirming that Gender and Sexuality Are Gifts from God

The United Church of Canada affirms that gender and sexuality are gifts of God, and that all persons are made in the image of God. We welcome into full membership and ministry people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

In February 2023, a consultation with Mission & Service partners in Asia provided a safe space for gender and sexual minorities to share their personal and collective struggles and gains. Scholars, theologians, and grassroots activists gathered to present theologies from the region, with a particular focus on the diverse and specific contexts, cultures, and challenges in Asia.

Through a series of panel presentations and in worship, participants heard stories from mass movements for social change, “revolutions toward gender justice,” and experiences of advocacy work.

Mission & Service partners included the National Councils of Churches in Korea, India, Japan, and the Philippines; Pembizo Christian Council; and All Africa Theological Education by Extension. Solidarity partners included Union Theological Seminary, Jakarta Theological Seminary, and Beyond the Boundary: Knowing and Concerns Intersex.

Your Mission & Service gifts allow programs like these to help people continue to flourish. Thank you for your generosity.


     Today is Pentecost Sunday, it is the Sunday we remember the Holy Spirit appearing over the disciples’ heads looking like a flame, and giving them the ability to speak in other languages.  The Holy Spirit gave the disciples the power to heal people, preach and to not be afraid!  The Holy Spirit is in each of us because of our baptism and gives us faith, courage, the power to love and forgive like Jesus.  Powerful!

If you want to make the ‘flame’ of the spirit, take a chopstick, some red and yellow streamer paper, and tape a few pieces of red and yellow streamer paper to the chopstick.  Now that you have your ‘flame’, run around and see how the flame flutters as you move from person to person, reminding them of the Holy Spirit that lives in them.  Sometimes, when life gets hard, or we become too busy, it is easy to forget that Jesus loves us and gives us the Spirit so we can be Jesus to others.

So, run fast and remind as many people as you can because we can do so much more for Jesus when we work together!


O Lord, your Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. Give us grace to receive your truth in faith and love, and strength to follow on the path you set before us; through Jesus Christ.  Amen.


First Reading: Numbers 11:24-30

The spirit of God rested upon seventy elders in Israel who had been chosen to share the burden of leadership with Moses. When some became jealous that two others also had the spirit and could prophesy, Moses said that he hoped that all of God’s people would be prophets.

24Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord; and he gathered seventy elders of the people, and placed them all around the tent. 25Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again.

26Two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested on them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. 27And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” 28And Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, “My lord Moses, stop them!” 29But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit on them!” 30And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.

Psalm 104:24-34, 35b

24How manifold are your works, O Lord!  In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your

25Yonder is the sea, great and wide, with its swarms too many to number, living things Both small

     and great. 

26There go the ships to and fro, and Leviathan, which you made for the sport of it.

27All of them look to you to give them their food in due season. 

28You give it to them; they gather it; you open your hand, and they are filled with good things.

29When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and

     return to their dust. 

30You send forth your Spirit, and they are created; and so you renew the face of the earth.

31May the glory of the Lord endure forever; O Lord, rejoice in all your works. 

32You look at the earth and it trembles; you touch the mountains and they smoke.

33I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will praise my God while I have my being. 

34May these words of mine please God.  I will rejoice in the Lord.

35bBless the Lord, O my soul.  Hallelujah! 

Second Reading: Acts 2:1-21

Pentecost was a Jewish harvest festival that marked the fiftieth day after Passover. Luke portrays the Holy Spirit being poured out upon the disciples before the gathered and astonished people assembled in Jerusalem for the festival. Filled with the Spirit, the disciples were able to witness to the power of Christ’s resurrection.

1When the day of Pentecost had come,  were all together in one place. 2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
5Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” 12All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”

14But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
17‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,

and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions,

and your old men shall dream dreams.

18Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit;

and they shall prophesy.

19And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below,

blood, and fire, and smoky mist.

20The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood,

before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.

21Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ ”

Gospel: John 20:19-23

The risen Jesus appears to his disciples, offering them a benediction, a commission, and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

19When 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.” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

HYMN:  MV 135  Called By Earth And Sky


No doubt you have heard of, The Song That Never Ends.  How many seconds does it take before the one listening yells, “Enough!”

I am guessing that anyone who has had to take a LONG trip with young children has had their patience tested with endless questions and comments:  Are we there yet?  How much longer?  When are we stopping to eat?  I have to pee!  How come it’s taking so long?  My personal favourite:  I’m bored!

Then comes the arguing… ”She’s touching me!  Tell her to stop touching me!”  “How come he gets the headphones?  Why can’t I have the headphones?”  “I don’t want to watch this movie!  How come I can’t pick the movie?!”

Suddenly, parents who are normally loving, happy, generous and rational beings become screaming demons!  “Don’t make me stop this car!!”

Welcome to Moses’ world.

The complaining never ends!  Not only that, the past centuries of being slaves to the Egyptians have, in the communal memory, become a rose garden:  If only we had meat to eat!  We remember the fish we used to eat in Egypt for nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and garlic; but now our strength is dried up and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at. 

Ok, maybe I don’t have the right to criticize because I wasn’t there.  Maybe, if I had to eat manna every day, several times a day, I would complain just as bitterly.

What interests me in this story are the conversations, yea verily – rants! between Moses and God.  No matter how bad things get, Moses and Yahweh keep communicating – face to face!  Would that every relationship and disagreement would be dealt with in such a manner!

At issue is leadership burnout.  Moses is trying to lead six hundred thousand grumpy, hungry people! Definitely time for God to step in!

The context of this Numbers story is a demonstration of the way the guidance of God was understood by Moses and the people. The ark of the covenant was regarded as God’s dwelling place. As the people traveled during the exodus it was carried out ahead of the whole company, sometimes for three days, so that God could guide the forward scouts to good places of rest and food. It appears that there were enemies of the Israelites around, and God’s presence was both a guide and a guard. Yet the people still complained, and brought God’s anger upon them in the form of fire. Even that did not stop the whiners from protesting about the lack of meat. The manna that fell during the night simply did not satisfy them. For this people it was no longer a matter of food itself, but they now complained about the menu.

At this point Moses’ resources of strength and faith for leadership of the people were fast ebbing away. He, too, complained to God. He was weary of the burden of all these complaining people. God’s answer:   no longer will Moses have a monopoly on receiving divine guidance. No longer will he alone possess the Spirit of God. That does not mean God will lead the people without Moses. On the contrary, some of the divine spirit in Moses will be shared with seventy elders of the people. They will not have the same status as Moses, who received the spirit of God directly. They will receive it via Moses as mediator. Yet their role will be to carry some of the burden of the prophet. Moses is to gather them in the ‘tent of meeting’ where this will take place.

Two young men were not in the tent where it was thought God’s presence was to be experienced. Yet they also received some of the spirit in Moses, and prophesied outside of the tent, in the camp among the people. This demonstrates the way God relates to and through God’s people. It can happen in ordinary, mundane places and circumstances – among the people. God’s spirit will not be confined to human-made ‘holy’ places.

One can almost hear the relief in Moses’ voice as the 70 prophesy.  They are now ready to take on the task of assisting Moses!  Here is the first board or council of a faith community!  Thanks to God’s intervention, the whole community now knows that God is listening to their complaining – including that of Moses – and is proactive.

It is important to realize that God’s Spirit makes one a prophet.  Prophets were not popular.  They declared God’s hard word to turn people’s hearts back to God.  This hard word was not often welcomed.  Many of the prophets were threatened with death.  While receiving the Spirit of God is a profound experience, it comes with the responsibility to proclaim an unpopular word, and to do so with great courage.

I miss the wonderful people of my internship congregation.  It was a congregation that was a mix of black, Hispanic and white members.  There was a celebratory mood to every worship service; the singing was loud, passionate and enthusiastic!  There were specific gifts of faith and culture that were shared with everyone.  It enriched me to be part of that faith community.  What I valued most were the prophetic voices that spoke respectfully, persistently, with the voice of God when someone was heading off the path of life, or the church council was not considering specific needs that needed to be addressed, or specific individuals who needed prayer and personal support who were not being upheld during worship!  Those prophetic voices spoke God’s love and truth, even if it was a message some did not want to hear.  Those prophetic voices inspired me, fed my faith and guided my ministry.  They taught me to trust God, trust the Spirit, and proclaim God’s love.  Their passion I still carry in my heart.

Where is your passion?  Has it, like that of Moses, faded with the weight of life and age?  Is there so much negativity in the world that one desires to hide away just to get a break from the complaining?  Is no one satisfied with life anymore?  The threat of despair is looming!!  It is time we, like Moses, speak to God frankly, face to face, and boldly state, If this is the way you are going to treat me, put me to death at once — if I have found favor in your sight — and do not let me see my misery.”  Only a person who trusts God implicitly can speak with such candor!  It is time for a tete a tete.

If we focus on the negative, we will reap the negative.  Let’s take our que from those wonderful folks of Peace Lutheran and declare the wonders that God has done in our lives.  Live your life so connected to God that those who see you will desire your relationship with the Almighty!  Show, through your words and actions, that God’s love, and the living out of it, is foremost in your heart so that those who connect with you are blessed.  Give thanks and proclaim the goodness of God!  This does not mean that life is a perfect peach!  Rather, the proclamation lives out the support we give each other during difficult times.  No one walks the journey alone!

Moses was able to do what he did because he placed everything before God, trusting that God would hear and be proactive.  May the Spirit of Christ drive us to do the same.  Amen.

HYMN OF THE MONTH:  MV 106  I Am The Dream


United in the hope and joy of the resurrection, let us pray for the church, the world, and all in need.

Passionate God, you sent your Spirit through the gifts of fire, wind, and word. As you equipped the disciples for their work, equip us to bring the good news to all those who long for you. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Restoring God, wind and flame bring life and destruction throughout the world. We pray for those who work with wind energy, for migratory birds, for protection for lands facing destructive fire, for forestry managers and firefighters. Renew the face of the earth. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Ever-present God, your spirit embraces all. Send your spirit of understanding to immigrants, refugees, and any experiencing language barriers. Bless the work of translators, ESL teachers, ambassadors, and international peace organizations. Safely guide those fleeing war and danger. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Merciful God, you anoint us with your spirit. Bless nurses, doctors, midwives, chaplains, counselors, and hospice workers as they care for those in need. We pray for all who seek your comfort. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Generous God, you impart a variety of gifts. Set aflame the desire to learn from one another, especially those who differ from us. Make your presence known through missionaries, peace workers, and through the outreach ministries of our synod and community. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Life-giving God, we give thanks for those who have died to new life in you.  We remember those who died in military service. Comfort all who mourn, and usher in a world where war is no more. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Rejoicing in the victory of Christ’s resurrection, we lift our prayers and praise to you, almighty and eternal God; through Jesus Christ, our risen Lord.



SENDING SONG:  VU 207  Spirit Of God Unleashed On Earth


Go out into God’s world filled with the spark of the Holy Spirit. Let love guide your actions. Listen for the Spirit of Truth. Spread the peace of Christ and remind everyone you meet that each one is a beloved child of God.  Amen.



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