This week I plan to introduce the summer curriculum from A Sanctified Art “Faces of Our Faith.” I’ve included the Faces of Our Faith Genesis reading on the creation story (bone of my bone) along with the reading from Acts and the Gospel for Pentecost in the RCL readings. We’re going to write the names of people who have been important to our faith on cut out shapes of card stock paper. For next week (Trinity Sunday) I’ll have the shape-names hanging on a triangle shaped mobile. We’ll add names as the summer progresses. The idea is to help us think about our individual faith and our corporate faith, and the people who have impacted us and connect this to a number of important characters in scripture. For me this is a Pentecost kind of activity – the giving of the Holy Spirit for the formation of the church and the development of a people of faith.

For other ideas and more discussion on the readings go here:

Tuesday RCL discussion and the Narrative Lectionary discussion

I will be here this evening and for a little while in the morning, assuming I am not too captivated by the Royal Wedding and the sermon preached by my/the Episcopal Presiding Bishop….lol..but then I am gone for most of the day attending a mission church training program. Someone will be around to help keep the party going in my absence, and I’ll check in as I am

The Rev. Terri C. Pilarski is an Episcopal priest serving in Dearborn, MI. A member of the RevGalBlogPals and blogger since 2006, she blogs at

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19 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: Pentecost

  1. Well, I am sitting in a funeral home parking lot awaiting a
    funeral an hour from now and feeling no need to attend the Eastern Star service, so I’ll do this. After I wrote the funeral homily this morning, the sermon kind of poured out onto the computer. We are honoring our Sunday School and music folks ( who will get attention earlier in the service) and I found myself asking them if they understand what they are communicating about a radical God and disruptive Spirit (cf. Annie Dillard), and somehow separating immigrant children from their parents got in there. It will be a morning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It will be a morning as in, the Spirit is gonna stir up a little trouble? The best kind of morning. We aren’t doing our job if we aren’t speaking into the truth and along the way making someone angry. (and hopefully also motiving some and inspiring a few)


  2. a lovely Saturday afternoon tea at the church, including donations to the Cancer Council. it was great to see people from Sunday morning worship, Friday family worship and a few visitors all in the room at the one time – some even spoke to each other. Cooking dinner now, then write something about Pentecost, this year i planned to focus on the fire aspect of the Holy Spirit, but now can’t think why. i do have this quote from Frederick Buechner to work with.
    I did bring some goodies home from afternoon tea, meringues, cherry slice, chocolate brownie, rocky road, as well as the edges of the mars bar slice i made.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The sermon this Sunday sets the context for our session meeting later on Sunday afternoon. There is a large proposal coming from the mission committee and my sense is the session will struggle with what to do. It will be a massive undertaking of people and time. My sense is they have the capacity and tenacity to do this but not right at this time. So, my sermon is about the Spirit leading and guiding. New life is not always brand new but sometimes a re-energizing, or a letting go, or a waiting. I am using a personal story to help illustrate that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope it’s okay if I borrow your section about the people we need to reach (with attribution of course). One of our challenges is that much of our congregation assume that if we just had better _______ (Sunday school, worship, VBS, kids programs, etc.) people would just show up to church and all our problems would be solved. They don’t understand that we are speaking a completely different language than most of our community. Thank you for articulating it so clearly.


  4. I’ve got nothing. I’m feeling like I and the church are just spinning our wheels. We definitely need the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, but as of now my best idea is to just have everyone sit in the Sanctuary and hope for a sound from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind…. Hoping that looking back through some old Pentecost sermons will spark something (pun definitely intended). We have got to make big changes as a church if we don’t want to slowly fizzle out, but that’s scary and hard and all that sort of thing, and it’s just easier to go with the status quo.


  5. After hearing Bishop Curry, I spent some time revising and focusing on love instead of how angry I am. It occurred to me that Harry and Megan, just by being who they are, have the potential to do way for international relationships than Donald Trump and Teresa May.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was thinking the same thing. Their wedding was so much, so much about who we really are in the world and DJT and Teresa May are simply out of touch and trying to pump life into a dying paradigm. True, I may be dead before the world gets to live the benefit of this new rising world, but I hope not. I hope I get to see these beautiful people turn the world into the way God intends, or at least point us more in that direction. I loved all the diversity in that ceremony and just how everything was. I loved her walking herself down half that aisle, and then Prince Charles joining her – he himself the cause of so much pain (that he did not love Diana and treated her poorly) and then so much change in the royals (ie he marrying a divorced woman). And Curry’s sermon on love. Love love love one another. I loved the Black choir singing Stand by me. And the other music, too.


  6. Tomorrow is my penultimate Sunday with the congregation as the membership is no longer able to sustain a full-time pastor, graduation Sunday, and Bible Sunday for some of our elementary-aged children. I’m balancing Ezekiel & Acts & using the Romans reading as the Affirmation of Faith. With the school shooting in Texas yesterday, the on-going chaos between Israel & Palestine, I’m not sure of my direction quite yet. How do we talk re: breaking down barriers via Holy Spirit when world is so us vs. them?


    1. Ah! Romans as Affirmation of Faith is an excellent idea! I may do that on the spot tomorrow, as it’s one of my favorites.


  7. Having been distracted by many things (royal wedding, trip to the petting zoo, baking a birthday cake, said birthday approaching tomorrow, and our congregation’s fish fry tomorrow), I haven’t actually gotten started. I’m going with the Ezekiel and Acts readings, and it needs to be pretty short (communion and the fish fry). “Breathing Life” is the title, so I guess I’m going somewhere with that.


  8. So far I have the Spirit coming to Jerusalem – where the US just opened an embassy. And the Spirit coming to all genders – when the UMC can’t recognize gender quality and the ELCA states that sexism is so prevalent that none of us can escape it. Working on the Spirit coming to prisoners – when the US has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. Then planning to end with Bishop Curry’s profession that if we really let love (or the fire of the Spirit!) guide our lives, then these injustices would exist no more.

    Here’s hoping it comes together soon…. have spent a lot of time writing already and my creativity is just about gone!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I started from the premise of a sermon I used several years ago, and after updating it, I landed in somewhat the same place as Pearl Down Under. I’m looking at the two faces of the Holy Spirit. We want to think of the fire as a tiny candle-flame, the wind as a gentle breeze, and the dove as a symbol of peace. But just as often (maybe because we don’t pay attention to the gentle versions), the wind becomes a tornado, the fire becomes a wildfire, and the dove becomes a dive-bombing bird of prey. Last week, I observed that it’s pretty amazing that God has entrusted the Gospel to the likes of us; this week I hope they’ll see that God will do what it takes to get us to be agents of the Gospel.

    A few more hours before I have to call it good and get some sleep, so it may morph a little more before I’m done.


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