The Gift of Power


The Spirit Calendar

A Weekly Devotional from the Connecticut Conference United Church of Christ


May 29, 2017


This week's author is Rev. Tom Clough, Eastern Regional Minister for the Connecticut Conference, UCC.
 

Scripture:  Acts 2:2-4 (NRSV)

And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Reflection:

On Pentecost the disciples discovered that they had been given the power to communicate with people from other lands who spoke languages different from their own.  They also found themselves to be inspired to use this power to tell these strangers about God’s deed of power.
 
No wonder we New Englanders have tried our best to ignore this third person of the Trinity! (And it is not just the dreaded call to behave like extraverts that frightens us.) When we talk about the Holy Spirit, we are talking about the gift of power!  And responsibility!  Whatever happened to the blessed delusion that the church would provide us with a sanctuary from all those disturbing conflicts that arise whenever we play around that third rail of power?
 
We have been given life.  We have been given love.  We have been given the power to communicate.  What a challenging adventure this adulthood has turned out to be.

Prayer:

May God bless us with inspiration and courage.  Amen.
 
Special Prayer Requests:
  • Those grieving in Mississippi after a shooting that left 8 dead, including a deputy sheriff, on May 27;
  • the family and friends of Richard "Ned" Bunell, member of First Congregational Church of Canton Center, who died on May 15th. Richard had been on the prayer list for several weeks;
  • Those suffering or grieving after an bombing in Manchester, UK, killed 22 people and wounded another 59 on May 22;
  • Those grieving in Egypt after an attack on a bus carrying Coptic Christians left 26 dead on May 26; and
  • those fallen soldiers who sacrificed their lives for our nation.
Continuing Requests:
  • Those grieving or suffering after a man drove his vehicle into pedestrians in Times Square, New York City, killing one and injuring 22 others on May 18;
  • the family and friends of Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Kyle Milliken, who was killed during military operations in Somalia. Milliken is the first U.S. service member to be killed in Africa since 1993;
  • those suffering or grieving a shooting in San Diego which left 2 dead, including the shooter, and 6 wounded on May 30;
  • those suffering or grieving in Seoul, South Korea after falling crane killed 6 workers and injured more than 20 others on May 1;
  • those living in the U.S. South and Midwest as violent weather continues after weekend storms left at least 15 dead;
  • Audrey Touloukian, granddaughter of Rev. Janice Touloukian, who is recovering after being hit by a car while biking on April 30;
  • Rev. Sara Smith, Senior Pastor of United Congregational Church of Bridgeport, who is recovering from an injury;
  • Mark Engstrom, member of the CT Conference Board of Directors, and his wife Nina, who are facing health issues;
  • the community of Conway, MA, and the United Congregational Church, UCC, Conway after a tornado touched down on Feb. 25 causing significant structural damage;
  • he people of South Sudan where nearly 1 million people are facing famine;
  • John Polglase, husband of the Rev. Betsey Polglase, Pastor of the Columbia Congregational Church UCC, who has chronic pulmonary disease;
  • the members and staff of Thompson Congregational Church after a fire severely damage the building on Dec. 29;
  • Michael White, former Operations Manager at Silver Lake Conference Center, who was diagnosed with colon cancer;
  • Juliane Silver, the daughter of the Rev. Jim Silver of Middletown, who is in dire need of a liver transplant. We pray that a donor will come forward giving the gift of life and a portion of their liver to Juliane;
  • Chacy Eveland, husband of the Rev. Marcia Eveland, pastor of the First Congregational Church UCC of Ansonia, who has been moved to a full-time facility for care of dementia;
  • the thousands of migrants worldwide who flee from violence and persecution in search of safety;
  • our ecumenical partners in the Kyung-Ki Presbytery in South Korea;
  • the Conference's partners working for peace in Colombia amidst violence;
  • the leaders of this nation, that they may meet the challenges of the day with insight, wisdom, and compassion;
  • this nation, that it may continue its difficult work to end the practices of racism;
  • those suffering due to the ongoing financial woes of the nation, be they struggling to meet an unaffordable mortgage, seeking employment, or working to find just resolutions; and
  • those serving or living in war or conflict zones around the world, or where terrorists have struck.
 
To be added to the prayer list, please send an email to Drew Page at: drewp@ctucc.org.

Please Remember These Connecticut Conference Churches
In Your Prayers:

Manchester
Second Congregational Church, UCC

Jack Dale Cook - P
 
Mansfield Center
First Church of Christ in Mansfield Congregational

Ann P. Plumley - CP
Joseph W. Blotz - CP
 
Marlborough
Congregational Church of Marlborough UCC

Robert G. Faulhaber Jr - SP
MaryAnn Purtill - AP
Denise Peterson - CE
 
Meriden
Center Congregational UCC

Jack Zappulla - DT
 
Meriden
First Congregational Church of Meriden

Bruce A. Miller - P

The Spirit Calendar: May 29, 2017 , by Thomas Clough.