Beloved St. John’s community,

Sunday is Pentecost, which some call the “Church’s Birthday.” At Pentecost, we celebrate the story of the Holy Spirit descending upon a group of grieving, terrified disciples and causing them to express in different languages what they had seen of “God’s deeds of power.” They were not “speaking in tongues” as in private languages only they understood, but in the languages of the diverse people in their city. They were suddenly able to express in ways they never had before what they had experienced of God’s presence and power.

Whatever that experience was or wasn’t, it transformed the disciples from being grieving, few in number, and afraid, to suddenly multiplying in joy and abundance and impact. Suddenly they numbered in the thousands instead of the teens. They shared everything. They healed, they shared good news. It was like a vast explosion of hope, joy and healing that quickly spread throughout the globe.

In honor of Pentecost, I have asked a number of St. John’s parishioners to tell their own stories of encountering God’s power and presence. Each week throughout the summer, this weekly e-news will contain one of these stories. They are widely varied, beautiful, provocative and moving. I hope that as you read about God’s deeds of power in the “tongue” of 21st century St. John’s members, you will gain eyes to see what God has been doing in your own life, and words to share about it. In fact, if you have such a story to share with the St. John’s community, please send it to me. The first story is from Dick Howard. Read, and be filled with the Holy Spirit and with joy.

In the Spirit’s joy,
Lisa