In my home church, I signed up to assist with worship for Pentecost. On this liturgically important day, Hope Church happened to be between pastors.
We said a tearful farewell to our interim minister the week before Pentecost, and, we will not say hello to our new permanent minister until June 6th. In this ‘between’ time, leading worship means providing necessary glue to keep our congregation together as we go through a transformation.
As a worship facilitator, I took responsibility for writing the invocation prayer, making church announcements, leading the congregation in confession, assuring forgiveness after confession, passing of the peace, call to prayer, prayers of the people, scripture reading, and general organization of the service.
In the past, when I preached at Hope Church, I often requested support and supplemental leadership from others so that I could focus on my sermon alone. Pentecost served as my debut as a non-preaching worship leader.
I signed up to assist with worship planning for May 23rd before I realized we would also be celebrating Pentecost. As the date came closer, I began to focus on the significance of this Sunday. As I explored the meaning of this Church celebration, I felt more comfortable with the idea of leading our congregation through prayer, confession, and a spirit of worship.
Pentecost is often considered the Birthday of the Church. We celebrate Pentecost 50 days after Easter. The celebration represents the anniversary of the Holy Spirit entering into the community of the Church.
Through my worship planning, I fell in love with Pentecost. My understanding of the liturgical day deepened, and my appreciation of it reached a new height. I cherish the opportunity to acknowledge the living holy spirit and celebrate the spirit alive in all of us.
Pentecost is a time for all of us to re-awaken our commitment to action, love, and justice. We celebrate the spirit that moves in us and through us. We remember that we have the spark of the spirit within us, and we have the power to act as Christian Disciples.
Here are the words to the responsive invocation prayer that I wrote for Pentecost:
Responsive Invocation Prayer, Pentecost 2010- Hope Central
One: Tender, merciful God, today we thank you for sending your Spirit to do justice through us.
All: Your faithfulness inspires us.
One: Beautiful, almighty God, we thank you for sending your Spirit to unite us.
All: Your faithfulness motivates us.
One: Steadfast, patient God, we thank you for sending your Spirit to move through us and bring us to our knees in service.
All: Your faithfulness gives us courage.
One: Gentle, attentive God, we thank you for sending your Spirit to embrace us with the assurance that hope is not lost.
All: Your faithfulness gives us peace.
One: We pray for continued guidance, strength, mercy, and love.