This Sunday is the Feast of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit, in rushing wind and tongues of fire, descended upon the disciples, and sent them into the street, speaking the good news of Jesus Christ in languages they had not known before.
Here at St. James’ we have sometimes referred to ourselves as a Pentecost parish because so many different languages are spoken by members of our congregation, most notably in addition to English, Korean, Igbo and Krio, but also Tagalog, Farsi, Spanish, French, Italian and Jula. There are probably more that I don’t know about.
We celebrate our diversity here. We are proud of the number of languages spoken among us, and rightly so. But speaking in tongues is only half the story of Pentecost. The other half is about hearing, an equally indispensable part of any spoken communication.
How appropriate then to announce on this occasion the continuation of our parish conversations in several forms.
First is an All-Parish Forum, an informal analog to our Annual Meeting, after church on July 10, in the Parish Hall. Parish leadership both lay and ordained will share how we are doing at the halfway mark of our year and parishioners can raise issues or provide feedback or share information of parish wide interest. Lunch will be provided.
Second, we are continuing our Kaleidoscope conversations with the assistance of Eric Law, simply for us to get to know each other better across and not just within our several communities. These conversations will take place in various spots in the parish house on Saturday, June 25, the Vestry conversation from 9 to noon, and parish conversations from 1 to 4, with arrangements for lunch in between the sessions.
In the true spirit of Pentecost, these occasions are opportunities not only for speaking but for hearing each other, that we might be knit together more closely as the body of Christ and made more effective witnesses to the Gospel in the world.
All are welcome!