Grace Cathedral

Grace Cathedral

Article | May 17, 2024

Congregation Update: United in the Holy Spirit

Blog|Steph McNally

Dear Friends,

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 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.

(Acts 2:1-2)

Hearing the account of Pentecost read in the church is a transformative experience. The power of the text sweeps us up and carries us to the moment when and where the church began. We find ourselves standing with the astonished and joyful crowd gathered in Jerusalem to hear Peter speak prophetic words of salvation, as the Spirit weaves us together into a single community of witnesses.

Pentecost reveals a divine vision of the church as a diverse and unified community. Peter, speaking the words of the prophet Joel, testifies to the authority of all, young and old, male and female, disenfranchised and empowered, to bear witness. The members of the crowd he is preaching to speak different languages and come from many different places. The miracle is that all can see and understand each other as never before. As Lisa Sharon Harper notes in The Very Good Gospel, “the power of God (has) made it possible for unity in the midst of diversity.”

When we gather in fellowship, the miraculous can happen. We can greet one another as beloved children of God, drawing strength from each other’s perspectives and gifts.

Through our life together at Grace Cathedral, we are given many opportunities to build community and encourage each other.

This Sunday, at the 11 am Choral Eucharist, we can celebrate with families whose children will be baptized into our community. We will offer our prayers and renew our baptismal vows as the Holy Spirit unites us in mystical and life-giving communion.

After the 11 am service, all are invited to an open house in the library hosted by the Education for Ministry (EfM). This is a great chance to learn more about this wonderful ministry, including the rich texts that participants read together. The book for this year’s EfM summer seriesWhy the Bible Began, explores how deeply divided groups can become one community, speaking again to the power of faith and fellowship.

Please note that the Bay to Breakers community will also be gathering this Sunday for their annual run, and that you may want to plan your journey accordingly! The only north-south crossover points along the route are at the Embarcadero and Howard Street in SOMA and Crossover Drive in Golden Gate Park. Information about street closures and Muni service changes can be found here

Wherever you find yourself this weekend, may you feel the presence of the Holy Spirit and the joy of being part of our community of witnesses.

With gratitude,

Steph McNally
Formation Programs Manager for Children, Youth, Families, and Adults

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