The celebration of Pentecost has its roots in the ancient Jewish “Feast of Weeks” that is celebrated 50 days after Passover. The celebration was connected to the firstfruits of the grain harvest and grain offerings were brought to the Temple. After the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70, grain offerings could no longer be brought to the Temple and the focus of the festival shifted to the giving of the Law on Mt. Sinai. The feast became known as Pentecost which means “fiftieth day” or the fiftieth day after Passover.
In Christianity, Pentecost became the birthday of the Church when the Holy Spirit fell down on approximately 120 Galileans who were gathered together in Jerusalem in an upper room for prayer. As the story in the second chapter of Acts explains, they all heard a sound like a mighty rushing wind and it was as if tongues of fire came and rested upon them while they began to speak in a language they did not know. They were telling the wonders of God in an unknown tongue to people from many nations who were hearing their message in their own native tongue. These foreigners came to believe the Gospel message they had miraculously received, were filled with the Holy Spirit, and took this message back with them to the places they were from. On Pentecost Sunday, the church commemorates this important event in our worship and we pray once again for another outpouring of the Holy Spirit to empower our Gospel witness to the world.
This year’s celebration of Pentecost is a very important event for Salem Anglican and our progress in planting a new Anglican Church for Salem. Saturday, May 19th, from 5-7 p.m., will be our first meeting in public space at Trinity Covenant Church. Trinity’s address is 5020 Liberty RD S, Salem, OR, 97306. We will continue our same format of meeting first for dinner and fellowship and then using the liturgy for Evening Prayer for our worship. The big change is that we will begin to offer an informal Eucharist every week as an addition to the liturgy for Evening Prayer. On important holy days, such as Pentecost, we will offer a formal Eucharist with the full Eucharistic liturgy and our clergy will be wearing vestments. We still look forward to the day when we are established as a new parish that celebrates a formal Eucharist every Sunday morning. You are welcome to join our community and help make this dream a reality.
Salem Anglican is family friendly and we invite you to bring your family to church. On most weeks children will meet separately during the Evening Prayer liturgy and will receive an age appropriate lesson with a craft or art project. They will then join the congregation for the Eucharistic liturgy. When we celebrate a formal Eucharist, children will start the service with the congregation and leave for an age appropriate lesson during the Liturgy of the Word. The children will then rejoin the congregation for the Eucharistic liturgy.
When you join us for worship, access to the church parking lot will be found on the side of the parking lot on Liberty. After you park, walk to the front doors and head to the left side of the building. We will begin dinner at 5:00 p.m. in the gymnasium where there is room for our children to run around. After dinner, adults will head to the fireside room in the education wing on the right side of the building. There is a classroom for our children directly a cross the hall from the fireside room. We hope to see you soon at Salem Anglican. Please feel free to contact us in order to introduce yourself and ask any questions you may have.
May the peace of the Lord be with you,
Anglican Church in North America