Pentecost at home

Photo by Caterina Berger on Unsplash

Pentecost, the birthday of the church, is Sunday, May 31, 2020. At least part of what I wrote about Pentecost last year is even more true this year: The church isn’t a building; it never has been—it’s the people of God, filled with the Holy Spirit given to us in baptism… bringing light to dark places, mending and making, healing and helping, one conversation or small act of love at a time.

There are two terrific new picture books that help us to remember that even when we can’t go to church, we are the church. This is the Church by Sarah Raymond Cunningham and illustrated by Ariel Landy shows the rich and wide variety of contexts in which God’s people come together to do God’s work in the world. We Gather at This Table by Anna V. Ostenso Moore, illustrated by Peter Kreuger, will help children make the connection between the altar and the table, the church and the neighborhood, and how each are holy.

My friend Juniper has some great ideas for celebrating Pentecost at home. If you decide to take their suggestion and celebrate the birthday of the church with cake, I posted a recipe last week that you probably have all the ingredients for already. Another idea from Juniper is to make a “tongues of flame hat” and adorably, my husband made one last year and models it on video.

I have a feeling that when we are together again in our beautiful, beloved places of worship, we’ll continue to imagine all kinds of new ways to be the church. Until then, take a deep breath. What we need is here.

“What we need is here” is a line from Wendell Berry’s poem “The Wild Geese.” It has been made into this simple and lovely song by Episcopal priest Amy McCreath.

Wendy Claire Barrie is the author of Faith at Home: A Handbook for Cautiously Christian Parents.

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