23rd May 2021 – Pentecost Sunday

Today is Pentecost (also known as Whitsunday), when we mark the day on which the risen and ascended Christ poured out his Holy Spirit on the church.  The colour red reminds us of the flames which rested on the disciples (Acts 2:3) at this time when God’s powerful presence was displayed.  For us, even without the tongues of fire, the powerful presence of God through his Holy Spirit is his gift to all Christian believers.  I am excited about exploring these truths with you in today’s sermon.

Our new 4 pm congregation has been trying some different things as we gear up for a public launch in August. Last week, because of the COVID rule requiring masks indoors, we decided to hold church outside.  About 20 people enjoyed fellowship around God’s word under a fig tree in the graveyard, followed by hot chocolate!  It has been wonderful to see some of our friends from ESL joining in the service.

Once each month, instead of a regular 4 pm gathering, we are trying “something different”, which last time was a prayer walk and BBQ.  The prayer walk was enlightening as it drew to our attention pockets of the community that I hadn’t been aware of.  And if it sounds weird to you, it wasn’t really, because we simply prayed together as we walked along.  We wouldn’t have looked any different from people going on a walk together!

I would love you to keep praying for the efforts of the 4 pm congregation both to consolidate their own loving relationships with one another, and to reach out into the community with the love of Christ.

Our new Archbishop, Kanishka Raffel, is to be consecrated this Friday evening.  In a newspaper interview last week, he said something wise and profound: “I regard the decline of Christianity in the West not as a problem for Christianity but as a problem for the West.”  Please keep him in your prayers.

In brief:

  • Thank you to those who have already given to our Restoration Fund, towards this year’s slate roof replacement (a very significant project). I commend this project to you.
  • Thanks also to everyone who has given to the Anglican Aid COVID relief in India. It is certainly not too late to give, as the needs are great. For your encouragement, here is the video, about Anglican Aid’s work in Madagascar, which I mentioned a fortnight ago.
  • Please be planning to come to the Fireworks (two weeks from yesterday), offer to help if you can (see back page), and pray for good weather. Please note that you can now pay for tickets online at stjudesrandwick.org.au.