UPDATE: The Preacher Party moved to Wednesday a few weeks ago, to accommodate preachers who are recording sermons earlier in the week for online worship. Since that post, riots have erupted in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. The spark igniting those riots may have been frustration over yet another death of a black man at the hands of a white police officer, but racism’s deeper wounds have been festering for hundreds of years. How do you preach Pentecost in the midst of this? Are you re-writing and re-recording that sermon you prepared earlier in the week? (And if not, why not?)
How are you addressing the violence of angry mobs, and the violence against persons of color to which those mobs respond, in light of the message of Pentecost, where “Parthians, Medes, and Elamites; as well as residents of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the regions of Libya bordering Cyrene; and visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans and Arabs” (Acts 2:9-11a) received the good news that salvation is for all people?
How are you helping your congregants experience the fiery power of the Holy Spirit in this age of online worship and physical distancing? How is Holy Spirit breathing into you and your church, while a beloved child of God’s last words, “I can’t breathe,” echo unanswered? What new language is Holy Spirit speaking through you this Pentecost?
If you follow the Revised Common Lectionary, this post may help you organize your thoughts. Scroll down through the comments there to find Rachael Keefe’s prayer litany you are welcome to use with attribution if you so desire. For those of you using the Narrative Lectionary, this post is for you.
Or maybe you are going a completely different direction this Pentecost Sunday. However you preach it, your comments below can help the rest of us, so please share your thoughts and questions, practical tips, and especially any suggestions for engaging children. Let’s encourage one another! I am praying for you, preachers.
Rev. Jo Anne Taylor is an Evangelical Covenant Church pastor serving a United Methodist Church congregation. Sermons and recipes on her blog reflect her firm belief that God sings, and since we are all made in God’s image, we should be singing, too (just not in close proximity to each other at this time).
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