May 31, 2020 Sermon

By Pastor Ellen Cross on May 31, 2020
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Introduction to the day

Pentecost derives its name from the Jewish festival celebrating the harvest and the giving of the law on Mount Sinai fifty days after Passover. Fifty days after Easter, we celebrate the Holy Spirit as God’s presence within and among us. In Acts the Spirit arrives in rushing wind and flame, bringing God’s presence to all people. Paul reminds us that though we each have different capacities, we are unified in the Spirit that equips us with these gifts. Jesus breathes the Holy Spirit on his disciples, empowering them to forgive sin. We celebrate that we too are given the breath of the Holy Spirit and sent out to proclaim God’s redeeming love to all the world.


The Holy Spirit calls us together as the people of God.


Gathering Song                              


Thanksgiving for Baptism

Those present may make the sign of the cross, the sign marked at baptism, as the leader begins.

Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God, the fountain of living water, the rock who gave us birth,

our light and our salvation.



P: Joined to Christ in the waters of baptism, we are clothed with God’s mercy and forgiveness. Let us give thanks for the gift of baptism.


C: We give you thanks, O God, for in the beginning your Spirit moved over the waters

and by your Word you created the world, calling forth life in which you took delight.


P: Through the waters of the flood you delivered Noah and his family. Through the sea you led your people Israel from slavery into freedom. At the river your Son was baptized by John and anointed with the Holy Spirit.


C: By water and your Word you claim us as daughters and sons, making us heirs of your promise and servants of all.


P: We praise you for the gift of  water that sustains life, and above all we praise you for the gift of new life in Jesus Christ.


C: Shower us with your Spirit, and renew our lives with your forgiveness, grace, and love. To you be given honor and praise through Jesus Christ our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.




The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

And also with you.


Hymn of Praise                            feast at your table                 praise band                     

Prayer of the Day

Let us pray. O God,

on this day you open the hearts of your faithful people by sending into us your Holy Spirit. Direct us by the light of that Spirit, that we may have a right judgment in all things and rejoice at all times in your peace, through Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.



God speaks to us in scripture reading, preaching, and song.


L:  A reading from Acts

            First Reading: Acts 2:1-21

Pentecost was a Jewish harvest festival that marked the fiftieth day after Passover. Luke portrays the Holy Spirit being poured out upon the disciples before the gathered and astonished people assembled in Jerusalem for the festival. Filled with the Spirit, the disciples were able to witness to the power of Christ’s resurrection.


1When the day of Pentecost had come, [the apostles] were all together in one place. 2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
5Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” 12All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”
14But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
17‘In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.
18Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy.
19And I will show portents in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
20The sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
21Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ ”


Word of God, word of life.

Thanks be to God.


Psalm: Psalm 104:24-34, 35b


24How manifold are your | works, O Lord!
In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full | of your creatures.
25Yonder is the sea, great and wide, with its swarms too man- | y to number,
living things both | small and great.
26There go the ships | to and fro,
and Leviathan, which you made for the | sport of it.
27All of them | look to you
to give them their food | in due season. R
28You give it to them; they | gather it;
you open your hand, and they are filled | with good things.
29When you hide your face, | they are terrified;
when you take away their breath, they die and return | to their dust.
30You send forth your Spirit, and they | are created;
and so you renew the face | of the earth.
31May the glory of the Lord en- | dure forever;
O Lord, rejoice in | all your works. R
32You look at the earth | and it trembles;
you touch the mountains | and they smoke.
33I will sing to the Lord as long | as I live;
I will praise my God while I | have my being.
34May these words of | mine please God.
I will rejoice | in the Lord.
35bBless the Lord, | O my soul.
Hal- | lelujah! R


L: A reading from 1 Corinthians

            Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13

Paul is helping the Corinthians understand the relationship between our God-given unity and Spirit-created diversity. The Spirit creates the unity of faith and gives all Christians diverse gifts for the common benefit of all. We need one another’s diverse spiritual gifts because the same Spirit has given them to each person for the common good.


3bNo one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.
4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.
12For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.


Word of God, word of life.

Thanks be to God.


Gospel Acclamation                Halle, Halle, Hallelujah                           ELW #172

Halle, halle, hallelujah.

Halle, halle, hallelujah.

Halle, halle, hallelujah.

Hallelujah. Hallelujah.


P: The holy gospel according to John.

            Gospel: John 20:19-23

                        Glory to you, O Lord.

The risen Jesus appears to his disciples, offering them a benediction, a commission, and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

19When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”


The gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.




Hymn of the Day              God of Tempest, God of Whirlwind                  ELW #400

1 God of tempest, God of whirlwind,
as on Pentecost descend!
Drive us out from sheltered comfort;
past these walls your people send!
Sweep us into costly service,
there with Christ to bear the cross,
there with Christ to bear the cross!

2 God of blazing, God of burning,
all that blocks your purpose, purge!
Through your church, Christ’s living Body,
let your flaming Spirit surge!
Where deceit conceals injustice,
kindle us to speak your truth,
kindle us to speak your truth!

3 God of earthquake, God of thunder,
shake us loose from lethargy!
Break the chains of sin asunder,
for earth’s healing set us free!
Crumble walls that still divide us;
make us one in Christ our Lord,
make us one in Christ our Lord!

4 God of passion, God unsleeping,
stir in us love’s restlessness!
Where the people cry in anguish,
may we share your heart’s distress.
Rouse us from content with evil;
claim us for your kingdom’s work,
claim us for your kingdom’s work!


A: We confess our common faith in the words of the Nicene Creed:

We believe in one God,

the Father, the Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.


We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one Being with the Father;

through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven,

was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary

and became truly human.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.


We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father and the Son,

who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified,

who has spoken through the prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Prayers of Intercession

Uplifted by the promised hope of healing and resurrection, we join the people of God in all times and places in praying for the church, the world, and all who are in need.

Brief silence


We call on your spirit of unity, giving thanks for our different vocations. Activate and utilize the diverse gifts present in your church, that they reveal your love for all. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.


We call on your spirit of life, present in air, wind, humidity, storms, and oxygen in our atmosphere, breathing energy into all things. Heal with your breath the whole creation, especially those who struggle to breathe due to air pollution. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.


We call on your spirit of righteousness. Wherever we as a people are divided, unite us. Wherever we are prideful, humble us. Give each one of us a heart for justice and empathy. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.


We call on your spirit of healing. Bless nurses, doctors, midwives, chaplains, counselors, and hospice workers as they care for those in need. We pray for all who long for comfort (especially). Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.


We call on your spirit of friendship. As Elizabeth welcomed Mary to her home, give us a spirit of welcome to those whom we meet in this congregation and outside these doors. Surprise us daily with unexpected grace, that we rejoice in every blessing you send. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.


We call on your spirit of hope. As you have led your saints in all times and places, stir in us the desire to follow their example, leading us from death to new life in you. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.


With bold confidence in your love, almighty God, we place all for whom we pray into your eternal care; through Christ our Lord.




Offering (We thank everyone who has sent their gifts and tithes to the church during this time of physical distancing when we can’t meet togetherIf you are able gifts can be mailed to the church at P.O. Box 350119, Jacksonville, Florida 32235.) Online giving is available.


Lord’s Prayer


Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name,

thy kingdom come,

thy will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those

who trespass against us;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

and the power, and the glory,

forever and ever. Amen.


God blesses us and sends us in mission to the world.





May the One who brought forth Jesus from the dead raise you to new life, fill you with hope,

and turn your mourning into dancing. Almighty God, Father, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit, bless you now and forever.



Sending Song                                                                        



Go in peace. Share the good news. Alleluia!

Thanks be to God. Alleluia!




The Altar Flowers Have Been Presented By Scott and Sher Holy in Celebration of Their Granddaughter’s First Birthday!! Happy Birthday Little One!!!!!

The Altar Flowers Have Been Presented By Mark and Carolyn Keister In Celebration of Their 39th Wedding Anniversary!! Happy Anniversary!!!!!!


Important Reminders

Would you like to add to our weekly announcements?? Please contact Teresa Koufonikos at 904-874-2837 or you can email the church, or Teresa Koufonikos at

Pray for your fellow church members. Do God’s will and share the Joy of Christ.

If you have questions,  concerns, personal needs or prayer requests, please do not hesitate to contact any church council member.

  If you are having a pastoral emergency, please contact Pastor Ellen Cross at 904-318-5436.



Prayer Concerns:


Doug and Megan Buscher have asked the congregation to pray for Megan’s father, Bud Larsen as he has entered Hadlow Hospice house. Please pray for strength, comfort, healing and peace for their entire family.

Gus and Teresa Koufonikos are asking for prayers of healing and strength that

For Mateo the Granddaughter of Dean and Kim Black for injuries that occurred during childbirth.

Please pray for Sharon Dorr, a personal friend of Pastor Ellen’s.

The Beall family has asked for continued prayers of strength and healing for Linda.

Please continue to pray for Vivienne Ather and family as they mourn the passing of Vivienne’ aunt and nephew.

Please pray for the family of Jose Luna, as they mourn to passing of his father. May God comfort them and give them strength during this difficult time.

The Koufonikos family has asked for prayers for Gus’ daughter Sarah as she cares for COVID patients in Cambridge Ma.



Michelle Pearson                     Tillie Herbert                            Terry McFeeters              Jo Ann McFeeters

Vilma Griffiths                 Jessamyn Sanders

The Lawrence Family               Lewis Family

Sharon Adkins                              Ava Hester

Vivienne Ather                        Munira Ather



Pat Ruiter                     (Teresa Koufonikos)

Dorothy Ruiter            (Teresa Koufonikos)

Michael Koufonikos    (Teresa Koufonikos)

Thomas DeYoung           (Teresa Koufonikos)

Theresa Castle                     (Theresa Rehm)

Peyton Kendall                     (Theresa Rehm)

Kasey Strong                         (Shirley Farrell)

Lindsay Weeks                     (Shirley Farrell)

Charlie Scheil      (Mark and Carolyn Keister)

Emerson                                     ( Lucy Blahy)

Sonia                                        (Vivian Ather)

Bud Larsen                         (Megan Buscher)



Lorraine Ivey                       (St. Augustine) 


Duane                                       (Bob Tano)

Marie Colegate  (Richard and Linda Beall)

Wes Johnson                 (The Tano Family)

Joleen Cummings       (Teresa Koufonikos)

Dale Crane                    (Teresa Koufonikos)



Chris Ather-U.S.
Steven Baker-Iraq
Lyndsey Buckle-U.S
Hickory Burns-U.S.
Tim Connor-U.S.
Kevin Kahl-U.S.
Mica Langley-U.S.
Liam Steinke-U.S.
Linda Kramer-U.S.
Joshua Lambert-U.S.
Sarah Schaet-U.S.
Jeremiah Nelson-Deployed
Nathan Christel-Deployed
Tabitha Lambert-Germany