Wolcott United Methodist Church

Wolcott United Methodist Church

Welcome to the Wolcott, VT, United Methodist Church. We invite you to worship with us at 10:00am either in person or online. We look forward seeing you.

4023 VT Route 15 , Wolcott , VT 05680
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(802) 851-2031

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The United Methodist Church

Service and Pastor Mike's Message for Pentecost Sunday, May 28, 2023 at 10:00am

posted on May 28

                                   PRELUDE:  Bringing in the Light of Christ
                                                   CALL TO WORSHIP:
L: Come! Let us bless the Lord who commands the wind!
P: Come! Let us worship the Three-in-One who appoints fire and flame as messengers!
ALL: Come! Let us bless our great and glorious Maker, Giver of All Good Gifts!

*OPENING HYMN:    “Spirit of God”          TFWS#2117
Spirit of God, bright Wind, breath that bids life begin,
blow as you always do; create us anew.
give us the breath to sing, lifted on soaring wing,
held in your hands, borne on your wings.
Alleluia!  Come, Spirit, come! (repeat)
Spirit of God, bright Dove, grant us your peace and love,
healing upon your wings for all living things.
for when we live your peace, captives will find release,
held in your hands, borne on your wings.      
Spirit of God, bright hands, even in far off lands,
you hold all the human race, in one warm embrace,
no matter where we go, you hold us together so,
held in your hands, borne on you wings.  Refrain
Spirit of God, bright Flame, send us your holy name,
the power to heal, to share your love everywhere.
We cannot fail or fall, or know defeat at all,
held in your hands, borne on your wings.  Refrain
Spirit of God, bright Wind, breath that bids life begin,
blow as you always do; create us anew.
give us the breath to sing, lifted on soaring wing,
held in your hands, borne on your wings.
Alleluia!  Come, Spirit, come! (repeat)
Spirit of God in all, we gladly hear your call,
The life in our hands that sings, the power of your wings.
Born of your grace we rise, love shining in our eyes,
held in your hands, borne on your wings.  Refrain
L:  God of rushing wind, coming from where it wants and going to where it wants,
P:  pour out your Spirit upon us.
L:  God of fire, flaring on gathered disciples and burning away their stubborn pride,
P:  pour out your Spirit upon us.
L:  God of miraculous speaking and hearing, amazing the faithful and riveting their attention to what is about to happen,
P:  pour out your Spirit upon us.
L:  God of the young who see visions, of the old who dream dreams, of male prophets and female prophets,
P:  pour out your Spirit upon us.
L:  God of wonders above the signs below, God of blood, fire and billowing smoke,
P:  pour out your Spirit upon us.
L:   You raised up Peter to prophesy on Pentecost, Peter to preach straight truth to a crooked generation, Peter to accuse people he loved of complicity in the death of Jesus.
P:  pour out your Spirit upon us.
L:  God of wind and fire and tongues, God of visions and dreams and prophecies, God of signs and wonders,
P:  pour out your Spirit upon us.
L:  You raised up Peter to preach Jesus to a skeptical audience, and with the two-edged sword of Peter’s word you cut through the armor of a crooked generation, you pricked their hearts and saved them.
P:  Great God, send your Spirit to save us too.
L:  You sent your Spirit to assail hard hearts. You sent repentance and faith., baptism and forgiveness, teaching and fellowship, communion and prayer.
P:  Great God, send your Spirit to save us too.
OFFERING:    “Spirit of the Living God”    UMH#343
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me. (repeat)
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.

Offertory Prayer (in unison):(Acts 2:1-21)

 Holy God, thank you for sending your Spirit, the Spirit of the risen Christ, from heaven. Help us to be like the early disciples, praying patiently as we wait for your guidance and power. Fill our hearts and minds with your gifts of faith, hope, and love. May our conversations with people of every language and culture around us witness to your grace and mercy. We dedicate ourselves and our offerings to your good purposes in the world through our church’s mission by the power of your Spirit. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.  

(Reader:  Laurie Thorpe)
Acts 2:1-21
When Pentecost Day arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound from heaven like the howling of a fierce wind filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be individual flames of fire alighting on each one of them. 4 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them to speak.  5 There were pious Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd gathered. They were mystified because everyone heard them speaking in their native languages. 7 They were surprised and amazed, saying, “Look, aren’t all the people who are speaking Galileans, every one of them? 8 How then can each of us hear them speaking in our native language?9 Parthians, Medes, and Elamites; as well as residents of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the regions of Libya bordering Cyrene; and visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism), 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the mighty works of God in our own languages!”  12 They were all surprised and bewildered. Some asked each other, “What does this mean?” 13 Others jeered at them, saying, “They’re full of new wine!”  14 Peter stood with the other eleven apostles. He raised his voice and declared, “Judeans and everyone living in Jerusalem! Know this! Listen carefully to my words! 15 These people aren’t drunk, as you suspect; after all, it’s only nine o’clock in the morning! 16 Rather, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: 17 In the last days, God says, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young will see visions. Your elders will dream dreams. 18 Even upon my servants, men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 19 I will cause wonders to occur in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and a cloud of smoke. 20 The sun will be changed into darkness, and the moon will be changed into blood, before the great and spectacular day of the Lord comes.21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
1 Corinthians 12:3-13
3 So I want to make it clear to you that no one says,  “Jesus is cursed!” when speaking by God’s Spirit,  and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are different spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; 5 and there are different ministries and the same Lord; 6 and there are different activities  but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. 7 A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good. 8 A word of wisdom is given by the Spirit to one person, a word of knowledge to another according to the same Spirit, 9 faith to still another by the same Spirit, gifts of healing to another in the one Spirit, 10 performance of miracles to another, prophecy to another, the ability to tell spirits apart to another, different kinds of tongues to another, and the interpretation of the tongues to another. 11 All these things are produced by the one and same Spirit who gives what he wants to each person. 12 Christ is just like the human body—a body is a unit and has many parts; and all the parts of the body are one body, even though there are many. 13 We were all baptized by one Spirit into one body, whether Jew or Greek, or slave or free, and we all were given one Spirit to drink.
John 20:19-23
19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you."  20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
John 7:37-39
37 On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and shouted, “All who are thirsty should come to me! 38 All who believe in me should drink! As the scriptures said concerning me, Rivers of living water will flow out from within him.”  39 Jesus said this concerning the Spirit. Those who believed in him would soon receive the Spirit, but they hadn’t experienced the Spirit yet since Jesus hadn’t yet been glorified.
 HYMN:    “Spirit Song”      UMH#347
O let the Son of God enfold you with his Spirit and his love.
Let him fill your heart and satisfy your soul.
O let him have the things that hold you,
and his Spirit like a dove will descend upon your heart
and make it whole.
Jesus, O Jesus, come and fill your lambs.
Jesus, O Jesus, come and fill your lambs.
O come and sing this song with gladness
as your hearts are filled with joy.
Lift your hands in sweet surrender to his name.
O give him all your tears and sadness;
give him all your years of pain,
and you’ll enter into love in Jesus’ name.  Refrain

THE MESSAGE:    "He Breathed on Them"
Two different gospel readings this morning prepare us for the book of Acts excerpt which preceded them. All three of these passages introduce us to the three pilgrimage festivals of Jewish tradition, festivals which require all able-bodied Jewish men to travel to Jerusalem to celebrate each harvest festival.
The first festival in our scriptures, the day to which our most celebrated Christian empowerment comes to be is at the very end of the time of Pentecost, the Greek word for fiftieth, which occurs on the fiftieth day following Passover. That day was yesterday. It was the reason all of those Jewish men from all of those different countries Laurie had to read this morning were present. Those men had to collect the first fruits of the season that they saw growing in their fields, tie them together, then bring them in a basket to offer to God in thanksgiving. The harvest for this particular harvest, also known as Shavuot, would have most likely been wheat.
Hence, the presence of able-bodied men on that day of Pentecost (yesterday, actually) when the wind of the Holy Spirit roared into the room and touched upon each one in the room with such a presence that it appeared as if tongues of flame touched upon each one of them. Wind, spirit, flame; altogether at one time in full view and hearing of a large gathering of Jews, then the gift of tongues, where each of those in earshot hear the disciples speaking in language of the ones gathered for the festival.
In the last gospel passage read today, Jesus encourages his followers to drink and be merry. This is the third of the pilgrimage festivals, the one which celebrates the first fruits of the fruit season (think grapes, figs, apples, etcetera, things that might go into a good wine) as well as the day on which Moses was given the law by God. As the disciples prepare to party, Jesus asks them to consider himself to be the living water, the living wine on which they should open themselves to receiving the spirit. We are cautioned though, that this is not the time with which the Holy Spirit was to be bestowed on them.
Then we come to the completion of the trio of pilgrimage festivals, the day after Passover, the day upon which the disciples locked themselves away out of sight of the Sanhedrin who had just rid themselves of the problem that was Jesus. Jesus appears among them, seemingly whole, not as a spirit but as living flesh, resurrected flesh. It is there that the disciples first receive the Holy Spirit. It does not come to them as a rushing, roaring wind; it does not touch upon each one of them as tongues of flame; it is presented to them through the breath of Jesus, one by one, in much the same manner that we receive communion at the communion rail; quietly, reverently, openly.
Paul reminds us that we each have different gifts, gifts that are decided for us by the Holy Spirit. Paul doesn't tell us our gifts come directly from God but through the Spirit. He likewise doesn't tell us our gifts come directly from Jesus either; again, they are awarded to us through the Spirit.
That day of Pentecost, though, that day that the Holy Spirit moved like fire among the disciples, they all began to speak not in the Aramaic or Greek that was natural to them. No, they spoke in the languages of those Jews who had come from afar. They spoke  Parthian, Medeian, Elamitean, Mesopotamian, Judean, Cappadocian, Pontusian, Asian, Phrygian, Pamphylian, Egyptian, Libyan, Cyrenean, Latin, Cretan and Arabian and each and every person from those regions understood them as though they were hearing the message in their native tongue as native speakers would speak to them.
Yes, they attributed this elation and speaking in the various tongues to alcohol consumption, but Peter jumped up and told them that this simply could not be, after all, it was only ten in the morning! Peter let the crowds know that this was indeed due to the Holy Spirit moving and being among them.
Of course, this particular explanation, the “it's only ten o'clock in the morning” one, always brings a smile to Laurie's face, as well as mine. You see, my father, when he was teaching me to drive, wanted me to learn where the best places always were for food on the road. “The one's you want to stop at” he would say “are the ones that all the truckers are stopped at. They always know where the best food is. Pull over to eat anyplace you see a crowd of vehicles in the parking lot.”.
Laurie and I mad numerous trips to central New York for a few years. There was one place about two and a half hours from home, a spot about halfway between here and our destination. There were always several cars in the parking lot, even at ten o'clock on a Sunday morning. We decided to stop for an early lunch on one of those Sundays on our way home.
As per usual, the parking lot was pretty much full. The hostess seated us and we ordered a couple of burgers. Laurie had fries with hers and I ordered steamed vegetables. Armed with my father's advice, our mouths watered, though the nearly empty dining room didn't reflect the crowd indicated by all the vehicles in the parking lot.
Our food arrived and along with it, a huge amount of skepticism on our part. The burgers didn't look like they had come from a better burger joint, but appeared instead to have come from a sub par competitor of McDonald's. The fries were limp and cold, the vegetables, the standard mix of diced carrots, peas and beans that had obviously came out of some can, were similarly unappetizing. There must have been an obvious look of disappointment on our faces, though the waitress never let on.
I don't think we ate all of our food, leaving most of it uneaten on the plates. We paid our tab then headed for the door. On our way out, we glanced in toward the bar, which was packed! I guess dad never saw this one in his advice. Yep, ten o'clock in the morning spirits had drawn this crowd, except their spirit was far less than holy.
The Lord's Prayer    “Kyrie”    TFWS#2275
Kyrie, Kyrie, eleison. Kyrie, Kyrie eleison.
Christe, Christe eleison. Christe, Christe eleison.
Kyrie, Kyrie eleison. Kyrie, Kyrie eleison, eleison.
*CLOSING HYMN:    “Pues Si Vivimos (When We Are Living)”    UMH#356
When we are living, it is in Christ Jesus,
and when we're dying, it is in the Lord.
Both in our living and in our dying,
we belong to God, we belong to God.”
Through all our living, we our fruits must give.
Good works of service are for offering.
When we are giving, or when receiving,
we belong to God,  we belong to God.
‘Mid times of sorrow and in times of pain,
 when sensing beauty or in love’s embrace,
whether we suffer, or sing rejoicing,
we belong to God, we belong to God.
Across this wide world, we shall always find
those who are crying with no peace of mind,
but when we help them, or when we feed them,
we belong to God, we belong to God.
L:  So now we leave this space of worship
And while so much of the road ahead is uncertain,
the path constantly changing,
we know some things that are as solid and sure
as the ground beneath our feet,
and the sky above our heads.
We know God is love.
We know Christ’s light endures.
We know the Holy Spirit is there,
found in the space between all things,
closer to us than our next breath,
binding us to each other,
until we meet we again,
Go in peace.  (Written by Rev. Nora Vedress, posted on re:Worship, https://re-worship.blogspot.com/search/label/Pentecost.)

Bind us together, Lord, bind us together with cords that cannot be broken;
 bind us together, Lord, bind us together, Lord, bind us together in love. 
There is only God, there is only one King; there is only one body, that is why we sing. 
Bind us together, Lord, bind us together with cords that cannot be broken;
bind us together, Lord, bind us together, Lord, bind us together in love.
We are led this morning by Pastor Michael Thorpe and Rev. Pat Thompson
If you need the services of a pastor, you may call Pastor Mike at 802-355-9194
Prayer is not a substitute for action;
it is an action for which there is no substitute."
Those who are struggling with cancer: Gary H., Amanda, Gary G., Steve S.,
Inez, Carrigan N., Bob F., Louise S. and daughter, Tony, Donna K.
Those suffering from dementia and their families
All those who are struggling to pay the high cost of food and fuel
All those anywhere who are struggling to find housing
Families of all of those who continue to lose their lives in mass shootings
People of the Ukraine who continue to struggle
Carroll P., a friend of Barb’s who lives in Florida, who had surgery after a stroke recently
Those who continue to struggle with drug addiction
Friend of Mike’s who is struggling with a difficult divorce
​        Lori, friend of Donna T., who had surgery recently with many complications
but is now doing much better
Larry B, who is recovering well following a recent stroke
Continued prayers for Pat’s nephew Sam whose headaches are now gone but
is still struggling with finishing up his classes for graduation in June             
For Sandi D’s brother in Florida, who is continuing to struggle with cancer around his eyes
Continuing prayers for Robin G., who is still having difficulty with pressure in her eyes
Continuing prayers for Kathy's grandson Caleb's medical team that
they can diagnose his health problems
Brian S., husband of Sherry’s niece Kim, who had a bad fall from a ladder
and has suffered multiple injuries, especially one involving his eyes
Mary A., wife of Pat’s niece Tausha’s boss John, who suffered from
a bad stroke many years ago and then had a bad fall this week,
but who is now doing better
Donna Toucette's son, Ross, who is having shoulder surgery on June 7
Donna T's friend, Duffy, who is having severe stomach problems
and cannot get in to see a specialist until the middle of June
Judy, who will see a specialist at the end of June for issues related to dementia
Family of Mike's Uncle Bob, who passed recently
(It is our policy to keep and individual or a prayer concern on the list for
two weeks unless we recognize it as an ongoing concern. It may then be paired
with other similar concerns. If someone/some concern is removed that you
would like to have continued, please contact Rev. Pat at pajt8817@aol.com).

Wolcott United Methodist Church

(802) 851-2031