“The Gift of the Holy Spirit: Surviving and Celebrating”

The “I Survived” book series was grandson Luca’s top choice for his eighth birthday. He could hardly contain his enthusiasm as he thanked me.  Who would think that children’s stories about surviving disasters such as shark attacks, tornados and the 9/11 attacks could be so popular?  It is assuring to know that others have made it through crisis like this COVID pandemic.  It’s helpful to hear how others managed.  We have a story to tell. You, no doubt have many survival stories to tell.   The narratives in our scriptures give us many examples of resilience and survival of the People of God.  We, at the PCGNY have a story to tell.  We are living it.  How we are surviving and thriving is an ongoing story.

June is the season after Pentecost, when the gift of the Holy Spirit is remembered as the driving force of the church.  God’s Spirit flows, dwells within, motivates, uplifts and connects.  The Holy Spirit is the creative force which gives people inspiration and hope during crisis.  As you read the scriptures for this month consider how God’s spirit has been an active force in your life. Consider how the Holy Spirit helped you survive and thrive. Think about folks who are willing to risk change, face failure and be open to alternatives.  And, when we come through this pandemic, there will be many stories to tell and songs to sing. We can celebrate several accomplishments right now:

  1. Seven youth have committed themselves to Christ, confirmed their faith and been approved as members of this church.
  2. Our worship services and YouTube sermon and music videos have been viewed by a record number of members with an increased outreach.
  3. Creative efforts of Lisa Gage and church families produced a video using our fabulous  choir singing Handel’s Messiah, “Hallelujah Chorus”.
  4. Membership coordinated an “All-Church Membership Phone Connection”.

In spite of the restrictions of congregational singing, my June sermon titles are hymns – Because I cannot keep from singing in my heart,            

Always singing, “Hallelujah!”                                  

Pastor Deb