Reflections on Pentecost: breath, wind, and new beginnings

Breath means new life — and new life means new growth, change, and ongoing development. The Spirit protects and connects, but also challenges, provoking and pushing us along. — SALT Project

You are called to be truly human, but it is nothing short of the life of God within you that enables you to be so, to be remade in God’s image. ― N.T. Wright

Bethlehem was God with us, Calvary was God for us, and Pentecost is God in us. — Robert Baer

SONGS:

O Thou, far off and here, whole and broken,
Who in necessity and bounty wait,
Whose truth is light and dark, mute though spoken,
By Thy wide grace show me Thy narrow gate.
Wendell Berry


WHAT IS PENTECOST? (excerpt from article by SALT Project, full link here)

1) Pentecost (from a Greek word for “fiftieth”) is the fiftieth and last day of the Easter season. Next week is Trinity Sunday, and then nearly six months of “Ordinary Time” begins, during which this year’s walk through the Gospel of Mark (and occasionally John) will continue. From ten thousand feet, the Christian Year appears divided almost in half: about six months of holy seasons (Advent, Epiphany, Lent, Eastertide), and about six months of Ordinary Time. Like a pendulum swinging back and forth, or a pair of lungs breathing in and out, the church alternates between these two movements each year: high holidays and everyday life, the joys of celebration and the grunt work of growth.

2) Pentecost is the Christian reinterpretation of the ancient Jewish pilgrimage festival, the Festival of Weeks, or Shavuot (pronounced “sha-voo-OAT,” rhymes with “coat”), celebrated 50 days after Passover. For the ancient Israelites, this festival was an explicitly inclusive harvest celebration (Deut 16:11; Lev 23:16), and over time, it also came to mark the reception of the Torah at Mount Sinai. For Christians, it celebrates the reception of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the church. Happy Birthday! …

SPIRIT IN US and WITH US

… view the work of the Holy Spirit differently. The Spirit doesn’t solve our problems, but invites us to see possibilities we would not have seen otherwise. Rather than remove our fear, the Spirit grants us courage to move forward. Rather than promise safety, the Spirit promises God’s presence. Rather than remove us from a turbulent world, or even settle the turbulence, the Spirit enables us to keep our footing amid the tremors. — David Lose

Those in whom the Spirit comes to live are God’s new Temple. They are, individually and corporately, places where heaven and earth meet. — N.T. Wright

Dreams grow holy put in action. — Adelaide Anne Procter

If you want to speak to God, tell it to the wind. — Proverb from Ghana

A great wind is blowing, and that gives you either imagination or a headache. — Catherine the Great

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive. Howard Thurman
 
When you strip it of everything else, Pentecost stands for power and life. That’s what came into the church when the Holy Spirit came down on the day of Pentecost. ― David Wilkerson
 
Without Pentecost the Christ-event – the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus – remains imprisoned in history as something to remember, think about and reflect on. The Spirit of Jesus comes to dwell within us, so that we can become living Christs here and now. – Henri Nouwen

It has seemed to me sometimes as though the Lord breathes on this poor gray ember of Creation and it turns to radiance – for a moment or a year or the span of a life. And then it sinks back into itself again, and to look at it no one would know it had anything to do with fire, or light. … But the Lord is more constant and far more extravagant than it seems to imply. Wherever you turn your eyes the world can shine like transfiguration. You don’t have to bring a thing to it except a little willingness to see. Only, who could have the courage to see it?” — Marilynne Robinson

… Although onlookers thought that the believers who received the Spirit at Pentecost were babbling (Acts 2:13), in fact they were speaking intelligibly in several languages (Acts 2:8-11). Note well: they were all saying the same thing (testifying about Jesus) in different languages. It takes a thousand tongues to say and sing our great Redeemer’s praise. … plurality: the various … streams testify to Jesus in their own vocabularies, and it takes many languages (i.e. interpretive traditions) to minister the meaning of God’s Word and the fullness of Christ. As the body is made up of many members, so many interpretations may be needed to do justice to the body of the biblical text. Why else are there four Gospels, but that the one story of Jesus was too rich to be told from one perspective only? Could it be that the various … traditions function similarly as witnesses who testify to the same Jesus from different situations and perspectives? ― Kevin J. Vanhoozer
 
Pentecost came with the sound of a mighty rushing wind, a violent blast from heaven! Heaven has not exhausted its blasts, but our danger is we are getting frightened of them. — Smith Wigglesworth

The Worship of Nature— John Greenleaf Whittier
The harp at Nature’s advent strung       
Has never ceased to play;
The song the stars of morning sung       
Has never died away.  
And prayer is made, and praise is given,       
By all things near and far;
The ocean looketh up to heaven,       
And mirrors every star.  
Its waves are kneeling on the strand,       
As kneels the human knee,
Their white locks bowing to the sand,       
The priesthood of the sea!  
They pour their glittering treasures forth,       
Their gifts of pearl they bring,
And all the listening hills of earth       
Take up the song they sing.  
The green earth sends its incense up       
From many a mountain shrine;
From folded leaf and dewy cup       
She pours her sacred wine.  
The mists above the morning rills       
Rise white as wings of prayer;
The altar-curtains of the hills       
Are sunset’s purple air.  
The winds with hymns of praise are loud,       
Or low with sobs of pain,—
The thunder-organ of the cloud,       
The dropping tears of rain.  
With drooping head and branches crossed       
The twilight forest grieves,
Or speaks with tongues of Pentecost       
From all its sunlit leaves.  
The blue sky is the temple’s arch,       
Its transept earth and air,
The music of its starry march       
The chorus of a prayer.  
So Nature keeps the reverent frame       
With which her years began,
And all her signs and voices shame       
The prayerless heart of man.

THIS WEEK: June 3-9

MON, June 3

  • CLERGY PEER GROUP
    9-10:30am • Conference call
  • PEACE & EMPOWERMENT CAMP PLANNING SESSION
    1pm • JCC, second floor.
    Organizing content for Peace & Empowerment camp.
  • Community Event: MEET YOUR STATE LEGISLATORS
    7pm • North Conway Community Center
    Get to your know state legislators!

TUE, June 4

  • CLERGY LUNCH
    12:30pm • Center Conway, NH
    CLergy of the Eastern Slope meet for lunch and peer work. Rev Gail attends.
  • PASTORAL CARE VISIT
    Afternoon • Maine Med, Portland, ME

WED, June 5

  • PASTORAL CARE VISITS
    Locations in MA, ME & NH.

THURS, June 6

  • Community Event: WAY STATION LEADERSHIP TEAM
  • 8:30am • Way Station (Nativity Lutheran campus)
    Review of next steps prior to June opening.
  • BLISS YOGA with Anjali Rose
    9am • First Floor, Parish House / Jackson Community Church. Beginning stretch, flow and align yoga; safe for new practitioners. Weather dependent; if schools are delayed or closed, the class will be cancelled.
  • Community Event: STORY TIME for TODDLERS
    10am • Jackson Public Library
  • AA
    6:30pm • Second Floor, Church
  • Community Event: AFRO-SEMITIC MUSIC
    7-9pm • Barnstormers, 104 Main St., Tamworth
    The group explores both African, American, and Jewish liturgical and secular music interpreted in jazz. David Chevan leads this  ensemble, doing their residency in Tamworth, and they will culminate their experience with this performance. For more information, email Carly.
  • Community Event: M&D Playhouse’ THE SHADOW BOX
    7:30pm – Thursday – Saturday • M&D Playhouse
    More info and tickets.

FRI, June 7

  • PASTOR’S DROP-IN HOURS @ JTOWN
    8:30-10am • JTown Deli, Jackson
    Come by to visit with Rev Gail or text/call to make a separate date: 978.273.0308.
  • PASTOR’S OFFICE HOURS
    9:30-11am • Find Rev Gail @ Church.
    Come by to visit with Rev Gail or text/call to make a separate date: 978.273.0308.
  • TRILLIUM SUMMIT SETUP
    11:15am • Whitney Community Center
    Setup for June 8th’s trillium summit event. More info or to register for this program.
  • Community Event: FIRST FRIDAY DENMARK ARTS CENTER SONGWRITING CIRCLE
    Noon • Brown Church, Conway Village
    This is a Mountain Top Music program.
  • Community Event: M&D Playhouse’ THE SHADOW BOX
    7:30pm – Thursday – Saturday • M&D Playhouse
    More info and tickets.

SAT, June 8

  • **MEN’s BREAKFAST** (updated location: Wentworth Hotel)
    7:30-9am • Wentworth Hotel
    Friends and members of church gather for breakfast and conversation.
  • Community Event: TRILLIUM SUMMIT
    8:30am-12:30pm • Whitney Community Center
    Initiative  to enrich and empower the lives of girls and women in Mt Washington Valley. Keynote by Riley Parkhurst. Includes interactive games, crafts, discussions, presentations
    and demonstrations. Girls and women will explore their own strengths, learn new skills, become better communicators and learn how to form healthy relationships with others. More info or to register for this program.
  • UCC Event: HORTON CENTER OPEN HOUSE
    All Day • Horton Center, Pine Mountain
    11am worship @ Castle Rock followed by BBQ, tours & games! All day! All are welcome to our Open House! Please call or email to register. No charge.
  • Community Event: M&D Playhouse’ THE SHADOW BOX
    7:30pm – Thursday – Saturday • M&D Playhouse
    More info and tickets.

SUN, June 9

  • INTERFAITH GATHERING
    8am • Gazeboby Jackson Historical Society
  • WORSHIP – PENTECOST
    10:30am • Jackson Community Church
    * Organ/piano by Alan Labrie
    * Worship leadership & message by Rev Gail Doktor
    * Wear red!
  • Community Event: EARLY MUSIC & INSTRUMENTS with Ferré – Lang Trio
    4pm • Pvt Home, Jackson
    Featuring  Ferré-Lang Trio. Music for harpsichord, viola da gamba, violincello and contrabass. Directions emailed to reservation-holders prior to concert. ($35/person). More info.
  • Community Event: DA CAPO CONCERT
    4-5:30pm • Whitney Community Center. Directed by Mary Bastoni-Rebmann and John Waldie. Performing songs by Bob Seger, Van Morrison, Billie Holiday, Paul Williams and more! Suggested donation $10/pp.
  • Community Event: M&D Playhouse’ THE SHADOW BOX
    3:30pm – Sunday matinee • M&D Playhouse, North Conway
    More info and tickets.
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