Greetings to all in the Love of Jesus Christ:
Happy Birthday, Church! That’s right, we are about to celebrate Pentecost, known affectionately as “the birthday of the church,” as over 3000 people were baptized and joined the early church. (You can read the whole story in Acts 2:1-42.) But Pentecost is so much more than just a birthday celebration. In fact, it may be the most important of all Christian holy days.
Christmas and Easter get all the attention – and the attention is certainly well deserved. We celebrate the incarnation – God’s love made flesh, God’s presence here among us. And we celebrate the resurrection – God’s act of bringing new life to that which seemed dead. But Pentecost is often treated like Cinderella, snubbed by her two famous step-sisters, unappreciated for her theological importance to Christian life.
On Pentecost, we celebrate that God’s Holy Spirit of creativity and action is given to US, entrusted to US. The light of God lives within US, and WE are called to let that light shine. The first half of the Christian year focuses on the birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. But the second half of the Christian year, beginning with Pentecost, focuses on God’s call to US to continue to ministry of Jesus, to continue embodying God’s love in a hurting world. Pentecost reminds us that Christianity is not a spectator sport. We are not called to be FANS of Jesus, cheering him on, like we cheer on our favorite quarterback. Instead, we are called to be followers of Jesus, Disciples of Christ, carrying on his ministry of love, compassion, and solidarity with all Creation.
In the Disciples world, one of the ways we honor the meaning of Pentecost is with a “special offering” to help fund new congregations – to continue the birthday of the church by giving birth to new congregations. Your gift to the Pentecost Offering helps fund New Church Ministry across the denomination, including here in Arizona. We are excited to have two new congregations in formation here in Arizona: Casa de Adoración in Phoenix, led by pastors Arturo and Janett Laguna; and Comunidad Limen Christian Church in Tucson, led by pastor Pedro Ramos-Goycolea. We look forward to continuing the spirit of Pentecost by starting more new churches in the future.
Dios les bendiga!
Regional Minister and President, Christian Church in Arizona
We invite you to pray for the following congregations in the months of May and June. Visit our Regional Calendar of Weekly Prayers for our annual list.
16 Iglesia Casa de Adoración, Pastors Arturo and Janet Laguna, and New Church Ministry
23 Comunidad Limen Christian Church and Pastor Pedro Ramos-Goycolea
30 Glendale Mission and Ministry Center & Executive Director Jeff Armour
6 Community Christian Church, Tempe & Pastor Bob Howard
13 Coolwater Christian Church (Scottsdale) & Interim Pastor Rick Gates
20 East Mesa Christian Church (Mesa) as they discern their future pastoral needs
27 Iglesia Cristiana Ebenezer (Tucson), Arizona’s oldest Hispanic Disciples congregation, led by Sandy Flores