Circuit Worship: 23 May 2021

A service for Pentecost and Aldersgate Sunday. Led by Simeon Mitchell.

If you would like to join this service of worship using just the videos playing one after another, you can visit our playlist on Youtube by following this link – or simply pressing play on the first video.

Welcome and opening responses

Hello, and a very warm welcome to this service from the Oxford Methodist Circuit for Pentecost and Aldersgate Sunday. We begin with some responses invoking the Spirit to come among us in this moment as we begin our worship – wherever and whenever that is. I invite you to join in with the words in bold type.

Leader:       Come, Holy Spirit.
Response: Come, Lord of life.

Leader:       You bring each new day alive with possibility.
Response: You fill creation with vitality and hope.

Leader:       You give each human being great potential.
Response: You inspire people to transform the world.

Leader:       Come, Holy Spirit, and enter our worship.
Response: Come, Lord of life, and infuse our lives.

Song: StF 385 Holy Spirit, we welcome you

Reading: Acts 2:1-21

The Coming of the Holy Spirit

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. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’

Peter Addresses the Crowd

But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: 
“In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
   and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
   and your old men shall dream dreams. 
Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
   in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
     and they shall prophesy. 
And I will show portents in the heaven above
   and signs on the earth below,
     blood, and fire, and smoky mist. 
The sun shall be turned to darkness
   and the moon to blood,
     before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. 
Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”


Let us pray:
Holy Spirit, we welcome you, we need you, and we praise you.

Praise be to the fire of heaven,
Furnace of purity,
Flame of power.

A spark.
that is all we need
on this day, igniting God,
so that we can burst into bonfires
which signal to all those around us
that you are bringing life and grace
to us, and to the whole world.

Praise be to the voice of God,
Communicating wisdom,
Connecting us all.

A word.
Speak now, O poet of Pentecost,
so that we can be the voice
of all those forgotten by the world,
so that we might tell of your love
and be good news to everyone we meet.

Praise be to the breath of life,
Blowing with hope,
Stirring things up.

A breeze.
Blow gently within us, shattering Spirit.
Bring peace and calm where consolation is needed
but gust through our complacency and our comfortableness 
until our restless souls find their rest in you.

Holy Spirit, coming to us as fire, voice and breath
we welcome you, we need you, and we praise you.

Based on prayers by John Proctor and Thom Shuman


Song: StF 408 How small a spark


The Spirit came
and your Church was born,
in wind and fire
and words of power.

We pray, Holy Spirit, renew the life and faith of the Church amidst the challenges of these days. Strengthen our witness, and make us one in Christ.

The Spirit came
blowing fear aside,
and in its place
weak souls were stronger.

We pray, Holy Spirit, comfort those who suffer or grieve.
Bring healing and wholeness, and rest for the weary in body, mind or spirit.

The Spirit came
as your word foretold,
with dreams and signs,
visions and wonders.

We pray, Holy Spirit, transform narrow thinking and shatter rigid dogma
That peace and justice will prevail for all.

The Spirit came
warmed hearts
and stirred up holy men and women
to share good news.

We pray, Holy Spirit, move us to action
fill us with love that overflows for our neighbours.

The Spirit came
and is here today
urging us towards your kingdom
and drawing us into the new things you are doing in the world.

We pray, Holy Spirit, ignite a fire in our hearts,
a passion for justice that cannot be quenched
until no one is marginalized or oppressed,
until all of your children have the opportunity to thrive,
until the world is transformed and renewed.

We pray in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Song: StF 264 O thou who camest from above

Closing prayer and blessing

Thank you for being with us for this service today.

Some words of blessing to close.

Creator God,
as we journey into this week
give us the grace to allow your Holy Spirit to work through us.

Help us to celebrate all that is life-giving,
to restore hope where it has been lost,
and to bring about change where it is needed.

And so may the blessing of God,
Life-giver, change-maker, love-creator,
Be with us now and always.

Organ Voluntary

Fantasia on ‘Komm, heiliger Geist’, BWV 651 (J.S. Bach)

Jean-Baptiste Dupont plays the Ahrend organ of the Musée des Augustins, Toulouse, France

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