This weekend we conclude the Easter season with the feast of Pentecost, fifty days after Passover. In so doing we are following the Jewish people, our “elder brother in faith". The feast of Pentecost was a Jewish feast of new grain, new wine - the first fruits of the harvest. It was held fifty days after Passover, thus the name “Pentecost,” which means fifty. In the book of Acts we read that it was on this feast day that Peter was inspired by the Holy Spirit to speak to the Jewish pilgrims who had gathered in Jerusalem that day. As Luke tells it in Acts, it was on that day that the Spirit was given to the disciples and poured out onto the crowds who were listening to Peter preach. However, in the Gospel of John it is Jesus gives the gift of the Holy Spirit, and he gives it on Easter Sunday evening.
According to the Gospel of John, Jesus gives the Holy Spirit is a way that feels very nearly sacramental—he gives it by breathing on them. Jesus’ presence brought joy to the disciples whose spirits needed renewal after the tragic events of Jesus arrest and crucifixion.
Whether the giving of the Spirit happened on Easter Sunday evening as John says, or on Pentecost as Luke says, the key theological point is that the Spirit was given to the early Christian community! That same Spirit has been with the church, the Body of Christ, the community of disciples, ever since. In fact, the same Spirit is alive in the community of faith we call Martin. Pentecost is not simply a retelling of a historical event, but rather the giving of the Spirit continues to happen quite regularly in the lives of believers. That is what we celebrate on Pentecost: the presence of the Spirit in our lives and the life of Christ's church.
How many of us would really like to have been present during the ministry of Jesus, or even during the era of the early Christian church? What would it have been like to hear the words of Peter at Pentecost? What would it have been like to have seen the risen Jesus and to have heard him say, “Peace be with you” before receiving the Holy Spirit? Well, in all the ways that matter, we experience those things today. We experience that same Holy Spirit. When we were baptized, we affirmed the gift of the Spirit, and then we acknowledged that same Spirit in confirmation. When we confirm the young people who will publicly affirm their faith this Sunday, we will see the fruit of the Spirit in their lives and the presence of that same Spirit moving in and through them!

As we gradually return to the public celebrations of worship and communal life, let's think about the positive effects of our time in lock-down. How has the Holy Spirit alive within us, drawn us deeper in our faith? I give thanks for ways that God used our human challenges for good. Yet God created humankind, not to live in isolation but to be social beings, to gather in community to support, encourage and love one another. I hope that as we slowly begin to return to a routine that’s more familiar to us that we don’t forget the things we learned we could live without, and continue to practice those things that we found/find life-giving.

I have faith that we are beginning to emerge from the pandemic a stronger and more faithful Church - how could we not? We are filled with the Spirit!

If you are ready and able, I look forward to seeing you on Sunday as the banners sway with the Spirit's breath; if not, I will celebrate that one of the great "goods" God brought out of our suffering was the gift of connection across time and distance. We are truly ONE Body!

You are invited to bring your Palm Sunday 2020 stone this Sunday and lay it at the altar. Wear a little red for fun whether you are worshiping in the sanctuary or with us online.

Breathe deeply - let the Spirit fill you!

Grace and peace,
Pastor Lara
aka "The Vicar"
THE WAY CLASS BEGINS The World’s Religions 
“Religions are more alike than they are different.” “The great religions are different paths up the same mountain.” “Religions are like rivers, and God is the ocean.” Heard any of these common assertions? In reality, all religions are NOT the same, but we cannot understand the world and our fellow humans if we don’t have any understanding of the religions that shape people’s beliefs and actions. The Way Sunday school class is beginning a new book study that will help us do just that. Please join us as we read and discuss God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World by religion professor Stephen Prothero.
The Way meets at 12:30 p.m. each Sunday in classroom B7 and by Zoom at 932 6389 9829.
All God’s Children, Martin’s new social-justice group, would like to alert you to two opportunities to learn more about our region’s past and its future:
 
— On Monday, May 31, at 8 p.m., KERA-TV (Channel 13) will air Tulsa: The Fire and the Forgotten, about the 1921 Tulsa race massacre. Tulsa is marking the 100th anniversary of this horrific event that killed hundreds of Black residents, left 10,000 people homeless and destroyed a thriving business community that had become known nationally as “Black Wall Street.” No one was ever punished for these crimes, and many of us never learned of it in school.
 
— The next evening, June 1, at 7 p.m., Dallas’ Cafe Momentum will air Building Momentum, a documentary about the excellent work of this program that helps juvenile offenders turn their lives around. All God’s Children has signed up as one of the hosts for this screening; for details about how to watch it with our group, please email Doug Northup, DougN@martinmethodist.org
Response to the Martin Holy Land Trip has been amazing! Our trip website is now active if you wish to register online for this "bucket list" pilgrimage. You may also register over the phone by calling EO at 1-800- 247-0017.
Tour: HL22 Code: J
Departure Date: 01-10-22
Host ID: 49779
Prayer Concerns & Sympathy
Please continue to check the Facebook Prayer Page for daily updates or concerns. To be redirected to the Martin UMC Care Team Prayer Ministry page, click here:



Martin Community:
Jay Bradford, Virginia Browning, Nanette Cowain, Rosemary Dawes, Kristi Easterling, Doris Fash, Rev. Travis Franklin, Rev. Lara, Erin, Michael and Meagan Franklin; Emily Herbison, Mary Lewis, John Longyear, Susan & Mitch McCumber, Melissa Norton, Marcie Smith, Suzie Smith, Aaron Stark, Kathy Wentzel


Family & Friends:
Ryan Campanaro, Kelly Cook, Jill Davis, Tanya Deaton, Lee Erickson, Nora Finn, Bonnie Fuller, John Lewis and family, Rita Morris, D.J. & Lona Rater, Deb Viney, Glendora Waldrup, Jessica Walker, Kathy Walton, Landon Wren and family, Seth Woods



Names remain for two weeks
unless otherwise requested.

Please remember to notify Deanna
regarding any changes to the prayer list.