Friday, 29 May 2020

"Pour out the Holy Spirit on us"

President Dr Deidre Palmer has warmly thanked Uniting Church members for their creative responses to being the Church during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a special message for Pentecost, Dr Palmer said it had been "a joy to see the ways you have adjusted to these dramatically changed circumstances."

"I give thanks for all of you – members of the Uniting Church, sisters and brothers in Christ, who are faithfully expressing the ministry of Christ through this time of pandemic."

Dr Palmer particularly thanked those who have continued to lead worship, those who are ensuring that people are pastorally supported and nurtured in their faith, and advocates for justice across the life of the Uniting Church.

"This Pentecost, as we listen prayerfully for the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, God will bless us and guide us with visions and dreams."

"What are the visions for our Church that you are seeing? What are you dreaming for our present and into the future?"

Dr Palmer focused her reflection on the words in the Uniting Church prayer for Holy Communion, “Pour out your Holy Spirit” .

"We are requesting a generous pouring - that we may be drawn into communion with Christ and filled with Christ’s reconciling love. It comes with anticipation that God is at work among us in the creative, transformative action of the Holy Spirit," said Dr Palmer.

"We have been inspired by the narrative in the Book of Acts that speaks of the Holy Spirit being present at the birthing of the Church, empowering the first followers of Jesus, to embody Christ’s grace and hope in the world.

"Here in Australia we see that the Spirit was active in this ancient land, walking with the First Peoples, and in our journey as the Uniting Church we experience the Holy Spirit active with us today, as we face the call to be the Church in these turbulent times."

The reflection covered the Bible passages of Acts 2:1-21 - the Coming of the Holy Spirit and Peter's address to the crowds in Jerusalem - and 1 Corinthians 12:3-13 - Paul's explanation of Spiritual Gifts and the concept of One Body with Many Members.

Watch the whole message on the Uniting Church in Australia Vimeo channel.