Many of us will soon be dressed in red and joining our congregations (whether virtually or socially distanced) to celebrate Pentecost Sunday. On this day we celebrate the powerful movement of the Holy Spirit, who descended upon the gathering of God’s people, bringing the beauty of diversity and understanding.
As the leadership of East Ohio Next, we recognize the irony in celebrating the wind of the Spirit, while over 100,000 Americans have given up the wind in their lungs due to COVID-19.
We are unsettled about celebrating the wind of the Spirit of justice, while George Floyd had the wind of his life taken from him unjustly on the streets of Minneapolis this week.
We bemoan the celebration of the Spirit who brings diversity, while our beloved United Methodist Church has had to postpone the dates of General Conference, causing further harm to our LGBTQIA siblings.
We believe that the Spirit of God is still on the move. We also believe that as those who have been transformed by the Spirit, we need to stand up and we need to speak out. Yes, we need to pray, but we also need to work.
We want you to know that we are still praying, and we are still working. East Ohio Next remains committed to resisting evil, injustice and oppression in all forms and toward all people and to building a church which affirms the full participation of all ages, nations, races, classes, cultures, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities. This is a Pentecost Spirit Church.
This Pentecost, we ask that you join us in praying (and working) for a fresh movement of the Spirit:
Pray that the Spirit of Love would spur us into action, never tiring of God’s work.
Pray that the Spirit of Courage would convict us to look at our own hearts and clear out the cobwebs of sin.
Pray that the Spirit of Unity would move us to break down barriers of discrimination, fear, hatred, and division.
Pray that the Spirit of Justice would embolden us to live on earth as it is in heaven.
And if you don’t know what to pray or feel unable to pray, remember that the same “Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words” (Romans 8:26).
In the name of God our Creator, Christ our Redeemer, and the Spirit our Sustainer,
East Ohio Next