Dear “Virtual” Southminster Members,

Welcome to Pentecost Sunday! This is the day that Jesus told his followers it was better for them if he were to go away. Think about that for a moment. Jesus is the one who healed the sick, fed the multitudes, calmed the storm, made the blind see and the lame walk, and even raised the dead. And now he is going away? How is it that a good thing?

At Pentecost, Jesus goes away but the promise of Spirit is given to each of us. Yet, instead of the Spirit coming upon us, as was custom throughout the new testament, the Spirit now comes to dwell within us. Instead of the Spirit being at work for a specific time and function, now, the Spirit is as “rivers of living water flowing from your innermost being.” In other words, the Spirit that we celebrate at Pentecost is not merely an external support but an internal presence of transformation.

My sermon today focuses on the struggles that we all face. It is easy to give up. Too many of us feel all alone. We are frustrated on so many levels. But in walks… the spirit of gentleness — offering us strength and courage and even joy amidst the struggle itself. My hope is that as you worship today on this day of Pentecost, the Spirit that is within you will add light to your life. And as always, give me a call if you need anything from me or the community. I can be reached at 503.819.2442 or ludwigpdx@gmail.com

Virtual Pastor Don


Sunday, May 31st, 2020 — Virtual Worship Guide

Don’s LOL email received from a Southminster-ite this week:
“Think we should start a pool as to how soon the unmasked Deranged One is going to stage a packed house re-election rally, right after he orders Twitter to cease operations.” Now, who among you would send me an idea like that?

Welcome to Pentecost Sunday!

FOR REFLECTION
“It is the spirit that confesses all things are possible
– and the spirit that recognizes –
we are the miraculous, true wonder of this world.” 
~ Maya Angelou

CALL TO WORSHIP Acts 2: 17-21

In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your young men will see visions,
    your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days and they will prophesy.
I will show wonders in the heavens above
    and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

PASSING OF THE PEACE

Pastor Don: May the Spirit of Christ be with you.  
Congregation at Home: And also with you.  
Pastor Don: Please share the spirit within you to those around you.

OPENING HYMN

“Spirit of Gentleness” Text & Music by James K. Manley

HEBREW READING Genesis 32:22-30, Jacob Wrestles with God

The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children,and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel,for you have striven with God and with ‘humanity’, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.”

FAMILY INSPIRATIONAL VIDEO

“I will be a hummingbird” Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai stood up to seemingly insurmountable challenges all her life and won. Like the hummingbird in this story; to give up was never an option for her. Her spirit lives on in the millions of trees she helped plant.  

CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURE Acts 2: 1-4

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.                

SERMON
“The Struggle Itself!” 
by Rev. Don Ludwig

If you prefer to read the sermon text, click here.

MEDITATION ANTHEM

Come, O Holy Spirit, Come – Sequence for Pentecost “Veni Sancte Spiritus” Jerome Larkin, soloist

PASTORAL PRAYER

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear” (Psalms 46:1-2).

Spirit of Life and of Love, great mystery that lives in us and through us.
At the beginning of time you moved over the face of the waters;
you breathe into every living being, the breath of life.
Come, Creator Spirit, and renew the whole creation.

Spirit of Life and Love, voice of the prophets:
You enflame men and women with a passion for your truth,
and through them call your people to the ways of justice and compassion.
Come, Spirit of Righteousness, and burn in our hearts.

Spirit of Life and Love, Spirit of Jesus:
By your power Jesus came to bring good news to the poor
and release to those held captive.
Come, Liberating Spirit, and free us from the powers of sin and death.

Spirit of Life and Love, wind and flame:
You filled disciples with joy and courage,
empowering them to preach your word and to share your good news.
Come, Spirit of Power, make us bold witnesses of your redeeming love.

Spirit of Life and Love, Spirit of Peace:
You break down barriers of language, race, and culture,
and heal the divisions that separate us.
Come, Reconciling Spirit, and unite us all in the love of Christ.
A-men.

KEEPING IN PRAYER

With the community of Southminster, take a moment to off up your prayers of joy and concern (take a moment to silently pray). Spirit of Life and Love, empower each of them with strength and joy and purpose. May the winds of your flame provide the spark of peace and comfort.

  • It is with sadness that we share the news that Justin Walp, son of Matthew Walp, grandson of Georgia, nephew to Rebecca, Audrey and Merle Scheidler, and Roxann and Mark Balmer, passed away May 6, 2020. Justin died at home unexpectedly. A family gathering to share memories will be held at a later date. 
  • Denise Ackerman’s father had a stroke and is now recovering at home.
  • Donnette Sand’s mother passed away on May 13th while in hospice. Please keep Donnette and the family in prayer.
  • Wrye Mandel from handbells is having surgery on May 26th. It will be day surgery and then he will go be with his mom for a week.
  • Jennifer Carey-Davis is requesting prayers for Kim Wade, who completed chemotherapy and underwent a double-mastectomy surgery on Thursday, May 6th for stage-4 cancer.
  • Amanda and Erik Olson were laid-off from their jobs at AirBnB and are currently looking for employment.

TIME FOR OFFERING

As we reflect on all of our blessings, individually and as a community, may we consider how we may give of ourselves so that the work of Christ’s love and peace may continue throughout our world. (Please contact Marisa, staff@southmin.org, or one of our Trustees to discover simple ways you may give electronically or via mail.  Thank you for supporting the staff and on-going ministries of Southminster Presbyterian Church).

CLOSING SONG

“Holy Spirit, Dwelling Inside”

FINAL BLESSING & BENEDICTION

May each of you live as Pentecost people,
knowing that you are not alone,
trusting that you will find strength in the struggle itself,
and relying on the Spirit to keep you, hold you and empower you to do great things. 
And may you and your family be safe and healthy—always.  Amen.

JUST FOR FUN — CLOSING SONG

Billy Joel’s “Longest Time” – Quarantine Edition


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