This Sunday is Pentecost when we celebrate the Holy Spirit coming to the disciples.  You can watch the story here – https://youtu.be/_rjQ_XDPIis 

In Kidlington, the churches would usually get together for a joint service at St Mary’s parish church but this year we are having to do it as a virtual service with all the churches taking part.  The Bible reading which tells the story is in Acts chapter 2 verses 1 to 21 and the children and young people from Kidlington Methodist Messy Church and Junior Church, the Baptist and Anglican Junior churches have joined together to voice and illustrate the reading which you can watch here https://drive.google.com/file/d/1au2rqcVbMrQDJnp4vZzWADHy-jMFuAo2/view.  The whole service can be viewed here:

Look out for John singing one of the hymns.

The Holy Spirit is hard to explain but is sometimes called ‘the helper’.  Sometimes it is referred to as God’s continued presence with the disciples which is now with us.  We cant see it but we can feel the effect.  In the Bible story the disciples first of all experience something like a rushing wind.  Just like the Holy Spirit, we cant see the wind but we can feel or see it’s effect.  The Pentecost pinwheel and paper plate spiral both remind us of this, we cant see the breeze or breath which turns the pinwheel or spinner but we can see it’s effect.

In the Bible story the Holy Spirit then appears like tongues of fire on the disciples heads and so is sometimes represented as fire. You could try some of these fiery crafts and activities:

  • Make a Pentecost headband
  • John has found a science experiment which helps us learn about how fire behaves (in this case it is a candle flame.  You can follow it here or try it yourself at home (but be very careful!) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uau_eKoRn6c   John says the following about this activity ‘If we allow ourselves to remain ‘warm’ in the spirit we are more likely to help folk catch the same ‘fire’. And if we can see the love of God as unlimited, available to all, then our own ‘flame’ will not be extinguished – continue to burn.’
  • For older Messy Church folk, you might like to colour this fiery mandala.

The Holy Spirit often appears in other Bible stories as a dove so you might like to make a dove picture or make a prayer card including all the different ways the Holy Spirit is described.

Chris L has written a lovely prayer which reminds us that the Holy Spirit is part of the ‘Trinity’ which is God as Father, Son (Jesus) and Holy Spirit.  Try praying it together.

Two thousand years ago, Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit marked the beginning of the disciples going out to teach the Good News about Jesus and so many people regard it as the birthday of the church.  It is also the birthday of our Messy Church as we started in May 2013.  Usually for a birthday we might get together and have a party.  This year we cant get together but here is a great, party song which is all about getting together –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJxVHzARMmE