5/15/2013

Palimpsest: A New Spirit


A New Spirit

Acts 2:1-21

Readings
Recognizing that we are all children of God and individuals of sacred worth, we welcome all God's people. We are called to practice unconditional love, and therefore we accept all persons regardless of sexual orientation and gender identities. By declaring ourselves to be a Reconciling Congregation, Fairmount Avenue United Methodist Church joins many other United Methodist churches in working to eliminate prejudice and discriminatory practices in ourselves and our communities. – Fairmount Avenue United Methodist Church Reconciling Statement

God, you are the God of Huldah, 
of Miriam and Deborah.
You are speaking still 
through prophets in our midst.
You whisper an idea in our ear: 
we say, “What’s she up to?”
You rise in our joy or outrage offering a vision: we say, “Whoa, she is out of control!”
We should cover our mouths with our hands,
amazed that You still love us.
You are our God. Forgive us.
– Dumbarton UMC, Shaping Sanctuary


The story of Pentecost, a pivotal part of the biblical narrative, marks the inauguration of the church and launches the globalization of the Christian faith. We cannot recreate the phenomena of Pentecost; our God is not the god of repeat performances but a God who is always seeking to do a new thing, and the Holy Spirit is pressing us to creativity and innovation and persistence. In his book Thinking about God, Fisher Humphreys describes the Spirit as One who “brings life and vitality into the experience of the Christian and the church...He makes Christian living dynamic as well as decent.” I understand the activity of the Spirit to be fostering unity, not division; inspiring creativity, not repressing it; and revisioning the future, not preserving the status quo. – Barry Howard, The Christian Century 5.15.13

In a historic moment tonight on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol, Governor Mark Dayton officially signed the freedom to marry into law... Minnesotans United, the campaign that successfully defeated the hurtful marriage amendment in 2012 and led the effort at the Capitol to secure the freedom to marry in 2013, released the following statement following tonight’s event: “Today would never have been possible without the dedication and commitment of the hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans who believe that freedom means freedom for everyone. Just two years ago, today was nearly unimaginable – but over the last 24 months, Minnesotans proved that we don’t turn our backs on family...Across all political backgrounds and religious beliefs, Minnesotans spoke up and affirmed what we already knew to be true: Marriage matters, and it is a basic freedom that should not be denied to some simply because of who are they. Governor Dayton’s signature today makes the dreams of so many families a reality, and makes Minnesota a more free and fair place for all who call it home.” – www.mnunited.org

Questions:
  • Do you believe the Holy Spirit is still at work? Where do you see signs of it?

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