On Sunday it was delightful to join with the congregation of Christ Church URC South Manchester as we celebrated Pentecost. The Junior Church group had explored the explosive transformation of disciples through making popcorn – wished I had been with them for that, but they brought it in to share with the congregation. And together we celebrated in messy style with party poppers (snapshot above – you can just make out the trails of paper heading towards the ceiling) the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit in preparation for going out as witnesses to Christ in the world.
We also used the prayer offered in the worship resources for the recognising of Missional Partnerships across the Synod on the 20th. I hope that we can all continue to use that prayer. As we use that prayer, in praying for cities and nations, we continue to hold before God all those who are still struggling with loss, grief, and pain one year on from the bombing at the Manchester Arena.
Holy Spirit, Breath of God,
You were there at the beginning
– a partner bringing creation into being
You were there at the baptism of Jesus
– a partner on the way of the cross
You were there at Pentecost
– a partner moving the disciples into the streets and towns,
cities and nations to fulfil their commission to share in the Good News.
Today, you are here with us
– our partner on the journey of Jesus-shaped mission.
Breathe upon your churches in our partnerships
and with all whom we hold or seek a relationship in ministry.
Release us into being all you have created us to be.
Broaden our hearts and minds to deny selfish ways,
to take up our cross and embrace the way of Jesus.
Move us beyond the limitations, physical or otherwise, that we have set and speak through us your good news of poverty undone, lives renewed and sin forgiven.
In the name of Christ