After months of quarantine restrictions, we were finally able to attend our first “communal” gathering. We had planned a Pentecost service for the date of the liturgical celebration – but there were more pressing things that needed to be done! The protests downtown were in full swing and we all felt it necessary that we let our voices be heard. BlackLivesMatter! Our first celebration of Pentecost 2020 was a call to be heard and understood, to join brothers and sisters across boundaries to communicate one message: Black lives should be cherished and honored, Black children protected, Black families celebrated.

We missed church in the formal sense Pentecost Sunday, but the next Sunday we gathered in the back of Lydia’s House to remember the coming of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost comes from a Jewish festival called Shavuot. On that day, the disciples gathered together celebrating this festival when, unexpectedly, the Holy Spirit was gifted to them. Tongues of fire appeared on their heads, and they were able to speak in all languages. This began the church, where to this day, we gather together with like minded believers to speak and hear truth and act with the power of the spirit.

For our small celebration we sat together on the grass and listened to Mary Ellen share about the Pentecost. We had a bench set up with various items that symbolized Pentecost: a board with red, yellow, and orange strips symbolizing the fire, a candle to remember the tongues of fire that appeared on the disciple’s heads and three figures representing three of the disciples. We prayed together and lit the candle. We thought of all that a candle represents… light in the darkness, warmth, energy. We prayed for the world and for our community, for a powerful change to policing, for a re-working of city budgets to prioritize services over prisons, for those suffering from COVID-19, and for our families. We remembered that “God is good, all the time.”

We then had a feast, thanking God that we could again gather as a community with homeless families and outside guests present. We are so thankful that this virus passed us by up to this point. We continue to practice caution as we start to gather again.