Celebrating Pentecost

This article is from Issue 19 of “On The Move,” a publication of new learning possibilities for churches, at one time published by The Joint Board of Christian Education of Australia and New Zealand.
Although some ideas and liturgies may appear somewhat “dated” in style, concept, imagery or language, they may nevertheless offer a spring-board for new ideas among people who find themselves leading worship, perhaps in a new context, and with some trepidation.
Reproduced by permission. May be reprinted for use in local congregations only.

A family service of celebration for Pentecost
The service should try to use some material familiar to young worshippers to help them to feel part of the celebration.
The service is divided into two parts, “Remembering” and “Hoping”.
It would be good to have a procession with banners to begin the service. Families might be asked to make them at home, or Sunday school classes and other groups could make some.

Call to worship:
LEADER:God, we are gathered here to celebrate the birthday of the church.
PEOPLE:        Come, be among us.
LEADER:God, we are here to say thank you for the church.
PEOPLE:        God, be among us.
LEADER:God, we are here to be a part of the church’s mission in the world.
PEOPLE:        Come, be among us.

Hymn:        ” Thank you for giving us the morning”
(Songs for worship No 15; The Australian Hymn Book No 114)

LEADER:We remember with gratitude that God created us.
READER:Genesis 1:26-31
LEADER:We remember that God sent Jesus into the world to bring us light and love.
READER:John 3:16-21
LEADER:We remember that God gave his Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
READER:Acts 2:1-5
LEADER:We remember some of the people who have worked in God’s church.
(At this point, members of Children’s Church might tell briefly of some of the people they havel earned of in recent weeks. It will depend where they are up to in the syllabus, but they may have heard about William Tyndale, Mary Slessor and Lazarus Lamilami.)

LEADER:As we sing the next hymn we will remember some of the people who first built our own church.
Hymn:        ” When they built this church, O Lord” (Songs for Worship No 35)

Prayer of thanksgiving:
(This litany could be said by two sides of the church, A and B.)

A: In the beginning there was no world, men and women had not yet been born.
B: We thank you for creation, for men and women and children.
A: You made yourself known to your people all down through history.
B: We thank you for all those who have taught us about you through the Bible.
A: In the fullness of time you sent us your Son.
B: We thank you for his teaching and his life of love.
TOGETHER:        We have heard today of many great Christians. We thank you for their lives and ask that we may follow in their steps.

The Lord’s prayer

LEADER:Even after all hope seemed to be lost, then came the resurrection.
READER:Luke 16:1-7
LEADER:Even after failure Peter found he could again be useful.
READER:John 21 :15-17
LEADER:The church that was small grew in size.
READER:Acts 2:41 -47
LEADER:We share a vision of a better world expressed in poetry by John the Elder.
READER:Revelation 21:1-4

Prayer for our continuing involvement in the church:
A: Open our ears —
B: to hear what you are saying to us in the things that happen to us and in the people we meet.
A: Open our eyes —
B: to see the needs of the people round us.
A: Open our hands —
B: to do our work well to help when help is needed.
A: Open our lip s—
B: to tell others the good news of Jesus and bring comfort, happiness and laughter to other people.
A: Open our minds —
B: to discover new truth about you and the world.
A: Open our hearts —
B: to love you and our fellow men as you have loved us in Jesus.

Hymn:        “His own church” (Songs for Worship No 72)

Closing prayer: May God, the giver of hope, fill you with joy and peace because you trust him, so that you may have abundant hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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