Power in the Spirit, 2020
Thursday, July 9
We're glad you're a part of the Power in the Spirit online community this week. Here's what you can expect each day:

  • This Morning Devotional, including writings, a recorded message, and an origami craft.

  • An Evening Workshop at 5:30 PM, led by a presenter from within the Virginia Synod. To see the complete schedule of workshops, click here. The link to the Power in the Spirit Zoom room is below.

  • An Online Vespers Service, beginning at 6:45 PM and led by congregations throughout our synod. This is also in the Power in the Spirit Zoom room, linked below.
So Far...
Considering Depictions of the Spirit: Paraclete
Considering the Works of the Spirit: Advocacy
Each day, we consider the Holy Spirit from a different angle. We will look at how the Spirit is depicted in scripture. We will examine the different ways the Spirit works in our world. We will look for ways the Spirit meets us in daily life. Through poetry, readings, visual arts, and crafts, we will spend time with these images and themes as we prepare for each evening's gathering on Zoom.

Today, we're considering how Jesus promises the Holy Spirit will be the "Paraclete," the Advocate.
A Reading from Scripture: John 14:15-27
Jesus said: ”If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.

”I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?”

Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.

”I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid."
Art by Vickie DeVilbiss
A Poem by Edith Blake
© Edith Blake
A nticipating the needs of others
D eveloping strategies to help those in need
V iewing all people as the same
O pening our minds to listen
C alling upon God to help our belief
A ccepting change will happen
C heering for those less fortunate
Y ielding ourselves to become a better person
A Reading from Karen Baker-Fletcher
Those who are wise draw from the sagacious power of the Spirit to create beauty out of ugliness, celebrate life in the midst of suffering, and walk in love in the midst of hate. [...] The Holy Spirit is a distinctive, relational action or mode of being in the Trinity. Or, to emphasize the dynamic movement of the Spirit, one might say that “she” is the dynamic agent of divine healing revealed by Jesus Christ. Her constant unchanging nature is to comfort, heal, renew or recreate, and instruct. She is the power through which God “creates a new thing.”

A healing comes to mind. A healing big enough to hold anger and turn it into justice seeking, rather than vengeance seeking. A healing big enough to hold bitterness, transforming it into peace. A healing big enough to hold hate and transform it into love. A healing big enough to overcome death and create new life. … The Holy Spirit is the power of resurrecting healing. The distinctive relation Christians call “the Holy Spirit” is healing, renewing, comforting, instructing, guiding and encouraging the people of God; not only healing them, but also empowering them with gifts to go and heal others.

-Dancing With God: The Trinity from a Womanist Perspective (2006) P. 163
A Reading from Walter Rauschenbusch
“The social nature of religion [ i.e advocacy on behalf of others ] is clearly demonstrated in the work of the Holy Spirit… Wherever the kingdom of God is set to the front, inspiration will spontaneously spring into life at the points where the conflict is hot and active in the present… The social order cannot be saved without regenerate [people]; neither can it be saved without inspired [people]… [The social gospel/advocacy] sees before it the Kingdom of Evil to be overcome, and the Kingdom of God to be established, and it cries aloud for an inspired word of God to give faith and power and guidance.”

-A Theology for the Social Gospel , Nashville, 1945, pp. 188, 194, 196.
A Word from Pastor Katie Freund
Each morning we hear from a pastor in our Virginia Synod, who speaks about today's theme. Today, we give thanks for this message from the Rev. Katie Freund, Pastor of the Quicksburg Parish in Shenandoah County. Click the video to hear from Pastor Katie.
Do you need closed captions? YouTube will generate them for you! Once you're on the video page, just look for the "cc" symbol and click it.
The Rev. Kelly Bayer Derrick, Assistant to the Bishop of the Virginia Synod
Tonight's Live Workshop on Zoom, 5:30 PM
Join us on Zoom at 5:30 PM tonight! Click this link or manually enter:

  • Meeting ID: 878 4206 3307
  • Password: 581963

Stay for worship at 6:45 PM!

Tonight's topic is: “ Walking on the Two Feet of Love: The Spirit and Advocacy – John 14”

Jesus sends the Spirit to us to be with us and in us, to intervene on our behalf as our advocate, counselor, teacher, helper, and comforter and to call us through the gospel to life in Christ and for our neighbor. One way we love God and love our neighbor is as advocates – working and acting together for justice and peace in all the earth. We’ll be joined by guests from the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy who will share specific ways that we can practice advocacy with and for one another.  
Worship Tonight at 6:45!
Pastor David Drebes, coordinator of Power in the Spirit and pastor of College Lutheran Church in Salem, will lead tonight's worship following our workshop session. The service bulletin is available as a pdf. Just click this picture:
Click the picture for tonight's service bulletin.
Arts & Crafts!
Each day we'll include a coloring page and an origami guide. In these times of limited travel and social interactions, you may find that the simple acts of coloring and folding paper will still your mind and bring you peace.
Click here for today's origami instructions, provided by OrigamiWay.com. Consider setting aside a space in your home for each day's creation. The gathering of icons will grow as our week proceeds.

For more information about the history of origami, click here to visit PBS.org.
Coloring is for all ages! And if you ever struggle with focusing during a prayer, you may find that busying your hands with crayons or colored pencils will help calm your thoughts. Click here for today's coloring page.
Power in the Spirit
A Ministry of the Virginia Synod, ELCA