By the Reverend Kevin McGrane
Today is Pentecost, the arrival of the Holy Spirit in the birth of the church. To my mind, Pentecost is to the Holy Spirit what Christmas is to the Messiah: it’s sort of like their birthday.
I really like to read the book of Acts, which we heard at length today. Just like the Gospels are about Jesus Christ and his Good News, the Book of Acts is about us – his church – and how the responsibility of spreading the Good News is passed from Jesus to us, his apostles and disciples.
As the story of the church progresses after Pentecost, we will read in the New Testament how many of the miracles performed by Jesus now will be performed by the church.
The message to the world is clear: just as Jesus had authority from God as Messiah, Jesus confirms his authority to us, the church, filling the church with the Holy Spirit as his apostles and disciples.
Whoops! We try to get the Presiding Bishop's Habits of Grace podcasts up on Wednesdays, but it just got by us this week. Here it is! Keep in mind you don't have to count on us, though: the podcast is available on its own page at the national church's website.
Forward Day by Day is a daily devotional offered by Forward Movement, a ministry of the Episcopal Church. To learn more about their ministry and resources, visit www.forwardmovement.org.
Update: We have added the diocese's guidelines for practicing Holy Communion, released on May 27th, and a checklist for in-person worship, released May 28th. We have also added a copy of the Agape Meal liturgy shared by Bishop-elect Johnson as a possible alternative to Holy Communion.
"When are we going to get to worship together again?" A few of you have asked this during our virtual coffee hours; all of us are certainly wondering about it. We all want to get back to something closer to "normal" in terms of our congregational life together... but we want to make sure that we do so safely and thoughtfully.
Earlier today, the St. John's parish office sent out documents from the Diocese of Missouri about this question. These documents, originally released on May 1, and updated on May 13, offer guidance for congregations and clergy on resuming in-person worship.
We want to make sure everyone gets an opportunity to read these documents thoroughly, to think about them, and to pray about the steps we need to take as a parish. If you didn't get them by email, we've linked them below: you should be able to download both documents by clicking on the links.
Various members of the St. John's congregation contribute to this blog. For editorial suggestions, contact Jeff McIntire-Strasburg at firstname.lastname@example.org