Tomorrow we celebrate Pentecost in our time of worship. Pentecost is when the power of the Holy Spirit was fully released to equip and lead those who follow Jesus. It is often considered to be the Birthday of the Church. It is tradition that red be worn BUT I would say the more important part is for us to renew our commitment to be led by God through the leading of the Holy Spirit within us. If we have yet to fully allow the Holy Spirit to work within us then we commit to giving ourselves over to the power of the Holy Spirit. I know many do not fully understand how the Holy Spirit works, but that doesn't have to stop us from allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us. The church and followers of Christ are at their best when they allow the Holy Spirit to work in them and through them. Let us unleash that power in our worship tomorrow.
Now onto how we are handling the wearing of masks in the church and in worship. We will follow the same rules as many public places which means that if you are fully vaccinated you are allowed to remove your masks both in worship and the entire building. Please let us be mindful that for some they are still being very cautious and might want space and might continue to wear a mask for some time even after begin vaccinated. I know it should not have to be stated, but I want to state, that we should embrace each person and where they are at on their mask and vaccination journey. These choices are very personal for each person and they have a reason for the choices they are making. We have tried to embrace each person and where they are at as we have journeyed together dealing with COVID. That means that some do not feel comfortable joining us in the church building yet for services and that is ok. As a matter of fact I hope we find ways to reach out and connect with those that are not yet journeying back into the church space.
I know for some it is tempting to just watch our livestream from the comfort of home wearing pajamas and with a cup of coffee but I must say it is not the same as being in worship with the gathered people of God. I can tell you the music doesn't sound the same when you watch from home. While we do our best to try to send out good sound it goes threw so many cables and devices and gets converted so many times along the way it is very distorted from the pure sound in the sanctuary. And while you may be more comfortable at home it is not the same as being immersed in God's house. There is something that gets lost when you are not physically with the other gathered people of God. For those that still can't safely come out we will try to bring you the best quality we can over the internet. We understand that some are not able to join us yet but we look forward to the day when your COVID journey will allow you to enter the church building again.
Attached is the bulletin for this week. I think there is going to be surprises in worship this week so be prepared to let the Holy Spirit lead you in letting go and truly giving praise to God. We are no longer going to require people to sign in BUT the greeters and the bulletins will continue to be in the parlor after you pass the second doorway. We are not yet passing offering plates so the wooden boxes are available to put your offering in. Of course those at home can give online, use text to give, or mail in the offering to church. In addition, we will be collecting prayers in the prayer box on the table in the parlor. Also, if you have announcement that need to be shared please write them down and give them to me before the service. This will be an ongoing practice for prayers and announcements to help ensure that they are heard and understood by all.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ we must worship. Those that know Christ have a desire to worship God. We were created to be in worship and to give worship to God. When we don't do that we experience spiritual malnutrition and we have a hunger within us that nothing but worship can satisfy. So let us gather together in worship and lift praises to God as we celebrate how much God loves us.