Worship Outline and Sermon 

Worship Outline: May 28 - Day of Pentecost (Holy Communion)

Introduction to the day

Pentecost derives its name from the Jewish festival celebrating the harvest and the giving of the law on Mount Sinai fifty days after Passover. Fifty days after Easter, we celebrate the Holy Spirit as God’s presence within and among us. In Acts the Spirit arrives in rushing wind and flame, bringing God’s presence to all people. Paul reminds us that though we each have different capacities, we are unified in the Spirit that equips us with these gifts. Jesus breathes the Holy Spirit on his disciples, empowering them to forgive sin. We celebrate that we too are given the breath of the Holy Spirit and sent out to proclaim God’s redeeming love to all the world.


(*=please stand, as able)


Quiet Time for Reflection and Prayer




Welcome and Announcements


*Gathering Song How Great Thou Art (#856)


O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder

Consider all the works thy hand hath made,

I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,

Thy pow’r throughout the universe displayed;



Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to thee,

How great thou art! How great thou art!

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to thee,

How great thou art! How great thou art!


When through the woods and forest glades I wander,

I hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;

When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur

And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze;



But when I think that God, his Son not sparing,

Sent him to die, I scarce can take it in,

That on the cross my burden gladly bearing

He bled and died to take away my sin;



When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,

And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!

Then I shall bow in humble adoration

And there proclaim, “My God, how great thou art!”



(Text: Carl G. Boberg; tr. and adapt. Stuart K. Hine. Music: Swedish folk tune; adapt Stuart K. Hine. Text and music © 1949, 1953 The Stuart Hine Trust CIO, administered by Hope Publishing Company. Reprinted with permission under OneLicense.net #A-714392. All rights reserved.)


*Greeting (p. 203)

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 

And also with you.


*Canticle of Praise (p. 204, sung)


Glory be to God in heaven;

Peace, goodwill to all the earth.

Mighty God of all creation,

Father of surpassing worth;

We exalt you, we adore you,

We lift high our thanks and praise.

Saints and angels bow before you;

Here on earth our songs we raise.


Glory be to Christ forever,

Lamb of God and Lord of love.

Son of God and gracious Saviour,

You have come from heav’n above;

On the cross you died to save us;

Now you reign at God’s right hand.

Hear our prayer; restore, forgive us;

In your promise firm we stand.  


Holy One we now acclaim you;

Lord, alone, to you we call;

Holy One in faith we name you,

God most high, yet near to all:

Jesus Christ, with God the Spirit,

In the Father’s splendour bright.

For the peace that we inherit,

Glory be to God on high!


*Prayer of the Day

Let us pray.

O God, on this day you open the hearts of your faithful people by sending into us your Holy Spirit. Direct us by the light of that Spirit, that we may have a right judgment in all things and rejoice at all times in your peace, through Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


First Reading: Acts 2:1-21

Pentecost was a Jewish harvest festival that marked the fiftieth day after Passover. Luke portrays the Holy Spirit being poured out upon the disciples before the gathered and astonished people assembled in Jerusalem for the festival. Filled with the Spirit, the disciples were able to witness to the power of Christ’s resurrection.

   1When the day of Pentecost had come, [the apostles] were all together in one place. 2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

5Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” 12All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”

14But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:

17‘In the last days it will be, God declares,
 that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
  and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
 and your young men shall see visions,
  and your old men shall dream dreams.
18Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
  in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
   and they shall prophesy.
19And I will show portents in the heaven above
  and signs on the earth below,
   blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
20The sun shall be turned to darkness
  and the moon to blood,
   before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
21Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.


Hymn Spirit of Gentleness (#396)



Spirit, Spirit of gentleness

Blow through the wilderness

Calling and free;

Spirit, Spirit of restlessness,

Stir me from placidness,

Wind, wind on the sea.


You moved on the waters, you called to the deep,

Then you coaxed up the mountains from the valleys of sleep;

And over the eons you called to each thing;

“Awake from your slumbers and rise on your wings.”  


You swept through the desert, you stung with the sand,

And you goaded your people with a law and a land;

And when they were blinded with idols and lies,

Then you spoke through your prophets to open their eyes.


You sang in a stable, you cried from a hill,

Then you whispered in silence when the whole world was still;

And down in the city you called once again,

When you blew through your people on the rush of the wind.



You call from tomorrow, you break ancient schemes,

From the bondage of sorrow all the captives dream dreams;

Our women see visions, our men clear their eyes.

With bold new decisions your people arise.



(Text and music: James K. Manley. © 1978, J. Manley Publishing. Reprinted with permission under OneLicense.net #A-714392. All rights reserved.)


Second Reading:  1 Corinthians 12:3b-13

Paul is helping the Corinthians understand the relationship between our God-given unity and Spirit-created diversity. The Spirit creates the unity of faith and gives all Christians diverse gifts for the common benefit of all. We need one another’s diverse spiritual gifts because the same Spirit has given them to each person for the common good.

   3bNo one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.

4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

12For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

*Gospel Acclamation (p. 205, sung)


Alleluia, Lord and Saviour: open now your saving word.

Let it burn like fire within us; speak until our hearts are stirred.

Alleluia! Lord, we sing for the good news that you bring.


*Gospel: John 20:19-23

The holy gospel according to John.

Glory to you, O Lord.

The risen Jesus appears to his disciples, offering them a benediction, a commission, and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

   19When 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.” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

The gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.


Sermon – Pastor Matthew


*Hymn of the Day Holy Spirit, Ever Dwelling (#582)


Holy Spirit, ever dwelling

In the holiest realms of light;

Holy Spirit, ever brooding

O’er a world of gloom and night;

Holy Spirit, ever raising

Those of earth to thrones on high;

Living, life-imparting Spirit,

You we praise and magnify.  


Holy Spirit, ever living

As the church’s very life;

Holy Spirit, ever striving

Through us in a ceaseless strife;

Holy Spirit, ever forming

In the church the mind of Christ:

You we praise with endless worship

For your gifts and fruits unpriced. 


Holy Spirit, ever working

Through the church’s ministry;

Quick’ning, strength’ning, and absolving,

Setting captive sinners free;

Holy Spirit, ever binding

Age to age and soul to soul

In communion never ending,

You we worship and extol.


(Text: Timothy Rees, alt. Music: ‘Oude Nieuwe Hollantse Boerenlities en Contradansen’, 1710; arr. Julius Röntgen. Text and music: public domain.)


Affirmation of Baptism

Dear friends, we give thanks for the gift of baptism as we come before God to make public affirmation of baptism into Christ.

Let us pray.

Merciful God, we thank you that you have made us your own by water and the Word in baptism. You have called us to yourself, enlightened us with the gifts of your Spirit, and nourished us in the community of faith. Uphold us and all your servants in the gifts and promises of baptism, and unite the hearts of all whom you have brought to new birth. We ask this in the name of Christ.


I ask you to profess your faith in Christ Jesus, reject sin, and confess the faith of the church.

Do you renounce the devil and all the forces that defy God?

I renounce them.

Do you renounce the powers of this world that rebel against God?

I renounce them.

Do you renounce the ways of sin that draw you from God?

I renounce them.

Do you believe in God the Father?

I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died, and was buried;

he descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again;

he ascended into heaven,

he is seated at the right hand of the Father,

and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting.


You have made public profession of your faith. Do you intend to continue in the covenant God made with you in holy baptism:

to live among God’s faithful people,

to hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s supper,

to proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed,

to serve all people, following the example of Jesus,

and to strive for justice and peace in all the earth?

I do, and I ask God to help and guide me.

People of God, do you promise to support and pray for one another in your life in Christ?

We do, and we ask God to help and guide us.

Let us pray.

We give you thanks, O God, that through water and the Holy Spirit you give us new birth, cleanse us from sin, and raise us to eternal life. Stir up in your people the gift of your Holy Spirit: the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord, the spirit of joy in your presence both now and forever.



 *Prayers of Intercession

United in the hope and joy of the resurrection, let us pray for the church, the world, and all in need.

A brief silence.

Passionate God, you sent your Spirit through the gifts of fire, wind, and word. As you equipped the disciples for their work, equip us and our sisters and brothers in the Anglican Thunder Bay North deanery to bring the good news to all those who long for you. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Restoring God, wind and flame bring life and destruction throughout the world. We pray for the safety of the communities threatened by fire, for those fighting the fires, and for the care and support of those whose lives have been disrupted or livelihoods lost. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Ever-present God, your spirit embraces all. Send your spirit of understanding to immigrants, refugees, and any experiencing language barriers. Bless the work of translators, ESL teachers, ambassadors, and international peace organizations. Safely guide those fleeing war and danger. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Merciful God, you anoint us with your spirit. Bless nurses, doctors, midwives, chaplains, counselors, and hospice workers as they care for those in need. We pray for all who seek your comfort including … Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Generous God, you promise to listen to our prayers wherever we might be. Be with us now, as we offer you our silent prayers … Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Life-giving God, we give thanks for those who have died to new life in you. Comfort all who mourn, and usher in a world where war is no more. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Rejoicing in the victory of Christ’s resurrection, we lift our prayers and praise to you, almighty and eternal God; through Jesus Christ, our risen Lord.




The peace of Christ be with you always.

And also with you.


Offering Prayer

Generous God, in this meal you offer your very self. We give thanks for these gifts of the earth. In the breaking of this bread reveal to us the Risen One. In the pouring of this wine pour us out in service to the world; through Christ our Lord. Amen.


*Great Thanksgiving (p.206, said)

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is indeed right, our duty and our joy, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, almighty and merciful God, through our Savior Jesus Christ. Fulfilling the promise of the resurrection, you pour out the fire of your Spirit, uniting in one body people of every nation and tongue. And so, with Mary Magdalene and Peter and all the witnesses of the resurrection, with earth and sea and all their creatures, and with angels and archangels, cherubim and seraphim, we praise your name and join their unending hymn:

(p.206, sung)


Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,

Heav’n and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest, hosanna in the highest.


In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.


Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, let us pray as Jesus taught us.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.


Invitation to Communion

Come and know Christ. The body and blood of Christ given and shed for you.



If watching online, when the presiding minister says, ‘The body and blood of Christ, given and shed for you,’ we welcome all to take and eat a piece of bread, remembering and giving thanks for the promises given us in Christ Jesus. Please also do so, taking a glass of wine or another beverage.


Prayer after Communion

Gracious God, in you we live and move and have our being. With your word and this meal of grace, you have nourished our life together. Strengthen us to show your love and serve the world in Jesus’ name. Amen.



The God of all, who raised Jesus from the dead, bless you by the power of the Holy Spirit to live in the new creation.



*Sending Song God Be With You Till We Meet Again (#536)


God be with you till we meet again;

By good counsels guide, uphold you,

With a shepherd’s care enfold you;

God be with you till we meet again.



Till we meet, till we meet,

Till we meet at Jesus’ feet;

Till we meet, till we meet,

God be with you till we meet again.


God be with you till we meet again;

Holy wings securely hide you,

Daily manna still provide you;

God be with you till we meet again.



God be with you till we meet again;

When life’s perils thick confound you,

Put unfailing arms around you;

God be with you till we meet again.



(Text: Jeremiah E. Rankin. Music: William G. Toner. Text and music: public domain.)



Go in peace. Serve the Risen One.

Thanks be to God.


From sundaysandseasons.com. Copyright © 2023 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

Sermon: May 28 - Day of Pentecost

Text: Acts 2:17-21

       Act’s description of the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost announces that it is something that can’t totally be explained, then or now. The author invites us to imagine hearing a sound from heaven like a rushing wind. Then we vividly see tongues of fire resting on the disciples. Next we witness them speaking about the power of God, miraculously doing so in many languages, so that all can understand.  In the midst of all of this ‘holy chaos’, as another writer puts it (SB), God transforms a scared group of ‘confused believers into people compelled to tell what Jesus taught and did’. (FL) ‘Pentecost serves notice that God intends for the way of Jesus to transcend the boundaries of culture, language, and religion. This is a message for all people’.

       So it is that this last celebration of the Easter season is not an ending, but a beginning. Many times it’s nicknamed ‘the birthday of the church’. One tradition is to have the readings or prayers offered in different languages, symbolizing the Spirit’s help in sharing the good news.  We might wear red, reminding us of the power of the Sprit that day, and of the power of the Spirit that rests upon us, shared in the waters of Baptism and the Word. Pentecost celebrates God’s continuing love for the world. It also announces God’s continuing call for us to trust in God’s presence in the Spirit, unexplainable as it sometimes might be.

       Peter is one of the first to proclaim the scope of this transforming presence of God, using the ancient words of the prophet Joel. I appreciate how Jeremy Williams unpacks the power of this passage for not only that day, but for ours as well: ‘Joel writes that God’s spirit would be poured upon all flesh…The pouring does not discriminate by gender; the passage deliberately names daughters, when often ‘sons’ could be used to refer to children regardless of sex or gender … [Neither does] the pouring … discriminate by age … Young people will see visions and the elderly will dream dreams. The pouring [further] does not exclude those on the lowest rungs of the social ladder – enslaved men and enslaved women. It is [also] worth noting that those who are named as receiving the pouring out of the Spirit are relatively powerless without the Spirit … The wealthy, the patriarchs, the able-bodied, and the enslavers are not named. [Williams cautions that ‘this is not to suggest that they are not included. [Yet, that writer also wonders whether] perhaps by tending to those who are chronically ignored and overlooked, the prophet highlights that those who think they are safe because of their wealth, gender, ability, or domination of others are the very ones who need tongues to call on the name of the God and be saved.’ (WP) Such is the power of the Spirit.

       2000 years later, Peter continues to call to us as a church and as followers of Our Saviour’s to live so as to reveal, share, this Pentecost power.  Paul in our reading from the letter to the Corinthians affirms that that we are able to do this in ways not even imagined, when we use the variety of gifts shared with us by the Spirit.  In John, Jesus announces to the frightened disciples in the locked room on the night of Easter that filled with God’s presence, God’s Spirit, they will be able to live in peace and in forgiveness, and to share the same. This gifted commissioning is ours also to share on the other side of those closed doors. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!  So we go into the world, aided by God’s Spirit.

       All of this sounds wonderful, but also risky. Peter and others are mocked for their witness, told they were drinking new wine. Paul gets killed in Rome because of his witness. By the time Acts and John came to be written down, likely none of the original disciples are still alive, many dying at the hands of the authorities, those answering to a power other than that of God’s Spirit.  Maybe, then, it’s safer to put these images away much like we do for the trappings of Christmas and Easter.  It’s exciting to visualize the day of Pentecost, and to imagine ourselves as Peter or one of the others.  Yet, it can also feel so much more comfortable to be quiet witnesses for Creator, acknowledging God’s Spirit, but not making a big show of it.  Sometimes it seems better just to go with the status quo, rather than seeking to being a new voice for God. The Spirit will understand. Besides, we don’t look good in red.

       In the midst of these conflicting images, another writer contends that ‘the Church is most faithful when it reaches beyond its comfort zone and hears and welcomes new and challenging voices. It is most effective when it finds new ways to address the hurts and struggles which we all share. … [As prophesied by Joel], ‘unfamiliar, even disconcerting, voices are the lifeblood of the Church, keeping it in touch with the world for which Christ died. They are God’s gift, pushing us to see how Pentecost was not a one-and-done phenomenon, but the template for how a Spirit led community looks when Christ, [through the Spirit] is alive in it’. (FL)

   On this day of Pentecost, and all days, God’s Spirit enables us to be the voice of good news, of the power of God, in this world. Creator is doing so with both old and new languages, so that those formerly excluded can hear, and so that all can know peace, forgiveness, and hope.  Pentecost continues: join in; there is room enough for all.                                                                                                               Amen.