“I will pour out my Spirit on every kind of people:
Your sons will prophesy, also your daughters.
Your old men will dream, your young men will see visions.
I’ll even pour out my Spirit on the servants, men and women both.”
Joel 2:28-29 The Message
Greetings in the Name of the Risen Christ!
The news cycle has had a rough week. The corona virus has crossed the 100,000 threshold with no signs of abating. In a nine year conflict, we lost 58,000 people. In four months, we nearly doubled the death toll. With 4.6% of the world’s population, we, in our country, have more than 25% of the world’s deaths due to COVID-19 – as far as we can ascertain. How crass I feel stating it that way. Each one of those deaths affected a family, bringing raw grief and sorrow.
And, from Minneapolis, Minnesota, comes the tragic death of George Floyd. I wonder if there is anyone in the country who has not seen the disturbing video of his death.
We are a nation in grief. Sorrow for all the dying, for the enormous toll placed upon healthcare workers at every level. Grief for the 400 year legacy of our nation’s original sin – slavery – and the continuing legacy of racism. Anxiety for an economy in tatters. Fear for the loss of income and the benefits (if there were any) that come with lost employment.
So it is that we come to a time of prayer for a new spirit to come upon our land and our world. We come with prayers for a new vision, a new dream for healing and wholeness. We come longing for a world in which abundance is shared, so that the hungriest in our midst might know this land to be one overflowing with milk and honey. We come with visions for the mending of the broken structures that marginalize the least in our midst, a land where justice is restorative. We come to prayer, and to worship, because, in fact, we are a people of hope, because we are a people who will not succumb to anxiousness and fear, but rather will follow in the path laid out for us by Jesus our Redeemer and Friend.
We join together this Pentecost Sunday, May 31, for worship. Just click here → https://newfanechurch.com/audio-links/ to access our website and the audio link to listen and participate in the service. You’ll find the worship bulletin attached to this email. We travel into the Way God sets before us, with Christ as our constant companion, always holding our community and world in heart and prayer.
The peace of the Risen Christ always be with you −
Rev. Rob Hamm
Pastor, Newfane Congregational Church
An open and affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ.