Dear Parish Family,
The school year has ended, we are experiencing
the annual spring rains and storms, and the temperatures are rising---so
summer must almost be here! But before we can actually enter into
summer we have one last rite of spring to celebrate, Pentecost,
which is also called the birthday of the church. It is called
the birthday of the church because before the event of that very
first Pentecost when the wind rushed and tongues of fire appeared
over the heads of the people and all languages were spoken, there
were followers of Jesus but no specific movement that could be
meaningfully called "the church." Pentecost marks the
day of the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the early followers
of Jesus, just as Jesus had promised the disciples. This event
took place fifty days after Jesus' resurrection from the dead,
thus the name Pentecost. So from a historical point of view, Pentecost,
is the day on which the church was actually started and came into
being. This is also true from a spiritual point of view because
it is the Holy Spirit that brings the church into existence and
continues to enliven to this very day.
It reminds us of the continued Presence and Power of the Holy Spirit in our lives today. What happened on that first Pentecost still continues to happen to Christians throughout the world today---God still pours out the Spirit upon all those who put their faith in Jesus Christ and become his disciples. It also serves to remind us of the Inclusive Ministry of the Church. On Pentecost Peter explained that the Spirit would be given to all who turned from their sin and turned to God through Jesus. For in the era of the Old Testament, the Spirit poured out almost exclusively on prophets, priests, and kings---in the Age of the New Testament, the Spirit would be given to "all people." ALL would empowered to minister, regardless of their gender, age, race, or social position. And yes, that means each and every one of us at St. Paul's!!
On the day of Pentecost FIFTY YEARS ago a young man was ordained a Priest in the Episcopal Church. After serving God and the Church throughout the world, God and the Holy Spirit led that priest to St. Paul's Episcopal, in Altus, Oklahoma where he served us until his retirement. On Pentecost we will give thanks for his ministry to us and join with him in celebrating the 50th Anniversary of his Ordination to the Priesthood. And one more time "Buddy Dugan" will proclaim and preach to us the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ!!-----So, if you have something red to wear, put it on and come to celebrate on Pentecost, June 9th---It should be quite a celebration!!