Worship for Sunday 5th June 2022, by Deacon Pru Cahill

Jesus’ disciples continued to meet, wait and pray in a locked room in Jerusalem. Jesus had told them to wait, “for the gift my Father promised.”

On the day of Pentecost, we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit and the day of the church’s renewal.

Pentecost by Andrew Wyeth, 1989

Call to Worship

Loving God,
you come to us in the unexpected and the familiar,
we are glad of your presence.
We want to live well in the life you have given us.
We long to experience the fullness of your love.

Loving God,
you come to us with a challenge to take risks and the offer of comfort, we welcome you into our lives.
We want to understand more about you.
We long to experience the fullness of your grace.

Loving God,
you come to us like a rushing wind and on a quiet breath,
we reach out to you.
We want to enjoy the gift of your Spirit.
We long to experience the fullness of your power.

Hymn: StF 690 The Church’s One Foundation

The Church’s one foundation

is Jesus Christ her Lord;

she is his new creation

by water and the Word.

From heaven he came and sought her

to be his holy bride;

with his own blood he bought her,

and for her life he died.


Elect from every nation,

yet one o’er all the earth,

her charter of salvation:

one Lord, one faith, one birth.

One holy name she blesses,

And shares one holy food,

and to one hope she presses,

with every grace endued.


Yet she on earth hath union

with God the Three in One,

And mystic sweet communion

with those whose rest is won.

O happy ones and holy

Lord give us grace that we

with them the meek and lowly

On high may dwell with thee,

Samuel Stone (1839 -1900)


Pentecost Prayer

Holy, sprightly Spirit of God,

we delight at your dancing among us,

filling the world with joyful possibility,

revealing the music of the Creator.

We rejoice at your daring spontaneity

and find ourselves caught off guard by your unexpected communications.


In a world that can seem predictable,

you spark into being new possibilities:

you gently purge our sin in the warmth of your breath,

freeing us from our bondage to past wrong.


In a world that can seem drab, you weave your ever-changing patterns into the fabric of our beings.


In a world that can be hostile,

your mediating love builds a path from loneliness to conviviality,

from antagonism to co-operation.


In a world that can appear purposeless,

your vitality shouts out a mighty ’Yes’ to life

and declares the source of all living to be the One from whom you proceed,

the Father and Mother, Creator and Lover of all.


We make our prayer in the name of Jesus, who promised your coming and reigns with you in the eternal fellowship of the Creator, one perfect Trinity of love. Amen.

John McLuckie Fire and Bread Wild Goose Publictions, 2006


Psalm 104: 24-34, 35b

24 How many are your works, Lord!
    In wisdom you made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures.
25 There is the sea, vast and spacious,
    teeming with creatures beyond number—
    living things both large and small.
26 There the ships go to and fro,
    and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.

27 All creatures look to you
    to give them their food at the proper time.
28 When you give it to them,
    they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
    they are satisfied with good things.
29 When you hide your face,
    they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
    they die and return to the dust.
30 When you send your Spirit,
    they are created,
    and you renew the face of the ground.

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
    may the Lord rejoice in his works—
32 he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
    who touches the mountains, and they smoke.

33 I will sing to the Lord all my life;
    I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
    as I rejoice in the Lord.
35bPraise the Lord, my soul.

   Praise the Lord.


Acts 2: 1-21

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by 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 men will see visions,
    your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
    and they will prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in the heavens above
    and signs on the earth below,
    blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20 The sun will be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood
    before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21 And everyone who calls
    on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

 Hymn: StF 379 Gracious Spirit, Holy Ghost

Gracious Spirit, Holy Ghost,

taught by thee, we covet most

of thy gifts at Pentecost,

holy, heavenly love.


Love is kind, and suffers long,

love is meek, and thinks no wrong,

love than death itself more strong;

therefore give us love.


Prophecy will fade away,

melting in the light of day;

love will ever with us stay;

therefore give us love.


Faith will vanish into sight;

hope be emptied in delight;

love in heaven will shine more bright;

therefore give us love.


Faith and hope and love we see

joining hand in hand agree;

but the greatest of the three,

and the best, is love.


From the overshadowing

Of thy gold and silver wing

Shed on us, who to thee sing,

Holy, heavenly love.

Christopher Wordsworth (1807 – 1885)



The East Lancashire Railway is running a marketing initiative to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Anyone named Elizabeth qualifies for a free day rover ticket. The advertisement on social media caught my eye and I read the small print with some delight. My middle name is Elizabeth and as such I am included in this offer. I love a free gift and so last week I took myself off to Bury with my passport (for proof of identity) to claim my complimentary ticket and enjoy a day out!

I am thankful of course but I also began to think more about this gift in the light of the story of Pentecost which is described in Acts 2. The gift I received is not available to the vast majority of the population. In this respect I am privileged and special: in the in-crowd.

In contrast, the gathering in Jerusalem on that amazing day two thousand years ago was wonderfully inclusive.  Pilgrims had gathered from all the countries named to mark the spring harvest festival (a festival which had been in place long before Jesus was born).

For a moment, I invite you to read the passage again (in fact the whole chapter if you have a Bible to hand), noticing words and phrases which speak of inclusivity and imagine what this must have felt like on that day, especially to visitors to Jerusalem. Those who would not have expected to understand the words spoken by a fisherman from the north country were able to hear Peter’s testimony clearly. They were amazed and delighted. The power of the Spirit in Peter and his testimony led to a turning away from sin and the request for baptism from over three thousand people!

I also invite you to consider times in your life when you have been included (where others have not), and times when you have known the pain of exclusion, whether because of language or some other reason. Pause if you need to and offer this as a prayer to God.

This passage speaks of a great celebration which we mark today as the church’s birthday but it also challenges us to do everything we can to ensure that everyone is included, whether in the decisions we make as a church community or in the way we communicate with God and with each other.


Gracious God, as your people celebrate the coming of your Spirit in different languages and in different cultures,
speak to us through the tongues of Pentecost,
with the gentleness of a dove
and the disturbing energy of living flames.
Speak peace to those who are violated by war
and live in fear of violence.
Speak freedom to those in prison
and to those imprisoned by addictions.
Speak hope to those who suffer injustice,
to those who are exploited.
Speak forgiveness to those wracked by guilt,
to those who long to begin again.
Speak encouragement to those struggling financially,
to those who are exhausted.
Speak wisdom to your Church
and to all in positions of influence.
Speak healing to those who are suffering.
Speak love to all who feel unloved,
those who have been betrayed.
Speak resurrection life to all people and all creation.
Speak comfort to those who mourn.


The Lord’s Prayer

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

The power, and the glory

For ever and ever. Amen.

Hymn: StF 395 Spirit of the Living God

Spirit of the Living God,

Fall afresh on me,

Spirit of the Living God,

Fall afresh on me.

Break me, melt me, mould me, fill me.

Spirit of the Living God,

Fall afresh on me.

Daniel Iverson (1890-1977)


The following hymn was written to mark the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977. Read more about it here.

Hymn: StF 705 It is God who Holds the Nations

It is God who hold the nations in the hollow of his hand;

It is God whose light is shining in the darkness of the land;

It is God who builds his City on the Rock and not on sand:

May the living God be praised!


It is God whose purpose summons us to use the present hour;

Who recalls us to our senses when a nation’s life turns sour;

In the discipline of freedom, we shall know his saving power:

May the living God be praised!


When a thankful nation, looking back, has cause to celebrate

Those who win our admiration by their service to the state;

When self-giving is a measure of the greatness of the great:

May the living God be praised!


God reminds us every sunrise that the world is ours on lease –

For the sake of life tomorrow, may our love for it increase;

May all races live together, share its riches, be at peace:

May the living God be praised!

Fred Pratt Green (1903-2000)



May the Spirit of truth lead us into all truth, give us grace to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and proclaim the word and works of God;

And the blessing of God, Spirit, Son and Father,

Remain with us always. Amen.

 (Prayers adapted from rootsontheweb.com)