On Pentecost Sunday, we celebrate the Holy Spirit as the power of God among us that heals, forgives, inspires, and unities. In the account from Acts images of wind and fire describe the Spirit poured out on disciples of all nations. The Holy Spirit in John’s Gospel is the Paraclete or comforter but is still free and, in some sense, dangerous. The Spirit is unpredictable, and it is a question how comfortable or uncomfortable we are with the unpredictability of what the Spirit is doing in our lives and in the life of our congregation.
By the time you are reading this the results of the online survey will be tabulated. I can only guess what will be revealed about what Ascension believes about its future. On May 13th Holy Cow Consulting will interpret the results of survey for the Congregation Council, the Transition Team, and Committee Chairpersons. How will the Holy Spirit be inspiring us through the feedback received from the survey? On Wednesday May 19, the Transition Team will host a Zoom presentation at 7 pm to summarize the interpretation of the survey and an opportunity for the congregation to discuss that interpretation in small break out sessions.
Will the result be good news? Yes, because it will bring a little more clarity to our vision of the future, but it may not feel like good news to all of us because most likely it challenges some of our assumptions about the congregation and because it will most likely indicate that we need to make changes to be more faithful to our mission.
Indeed, the Holy Spirit is working in, among, and through us as a congregation. Can we be open to the Spirit empowering, enlightening, and sanctifying us even if it means change?
The lyrics of the hymn God of Tempest, God of Whirlwind expresses the power of Pentecost well: “God of tempest, God of whirlwind, as on Pentecost descend! Drive us out of sheltered comfort; past the walls your people send! Sweep us into costly service, there with Christ to bear the cross, there with Christ to bear the cross!”
Morning devotionals via Zoom are held five days a week: Monday through Friday. It opens at 7 a.m. Devotion conversation is from 7:20–7:34 a.m.