Today is Pentecost , which is one of our Christian high holy days. Pentecost is also a Jewish festival that falls on the fiftieth day of Passover. In biblical times, Jews from all over the Roman Empire gathered in Jerusalem for the festivities of Pentecost. On the Pentecost after Jesus’ resurrection—ten days after Jesus had ascended into heaven—the apostles and other were gathered together in one place, when they were suddenly empowered by the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel. They went out into the crowds and preached in the native languages of all the people present, creating quite a stir. Peter seized the opportunity to address the crowd, preached Jesus’ death and resurrection, and won several thousand These events are recorded in Acts 2:141. For more info on Pentecost, visit http://www.kencollins.com .
We celebrate the baptism of John Perry. Baptism marks his acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, the beginning of his new life in Christ, the gift of the Holy Spirit upon him, and his initiation into Christ’s Holy Church. Baptism is one of our two sacraments in The United Methodist Church, along with Communion. Baptism is a means of God’s grace, an outward sign of God’s inner work of grace in which we put off the old, renouncing sin and the evil powers of the world, and pledging our loyalty to Jesus Christ. For more information on our understanding of baptism, visit http://www.umc.org/whatwebelieve/baptism.
We also celebrate Confirmation today. Confirmation is an opportunity to respond to the grace of God available to us, as acknowledged in baptism, and to promise to live as a person of faith. What God offers us must be accepted in repentance and faith. Confirmation is the first time that persons publically declare their intention to live out the vows of the baptismal covenant. Confirmation classes consist of about 18 hours of learning some of the essential doctrines and practices of our faith. Mary Lundin was baptized as an infant, and comes today confirming her faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Thank you for your support of our ministries with youth!
If you have not received the sacrament of Baptism and are interested in doing so, please talk with Pastor Dan to arrange a time.
For worshippers interested in renewing the promises they have made at their baptism, we invite you to participate today during the worship service in the Baptismal Remembrance .
We celebrate our graduates today, including :
Tyler Anna Sullivan East High School
Amy Cohee ETSU Quillen School of Medicine
Camille Gray Homeschool
Kaylie Crain Sullivan East High School
Sarah Harkleroad Northeast State Community College
Martin Harkleroad East Tennessee State
We also welcome the cast of Godspell to provide a song from our production. This afternoon is your last opportunity to see it and invite friends. Thanks to the many people who have worked so hard to make the production a wonderful experience, including Nancy Forrester, Camille Gray, and Samantha Gray.
Our General Conference , The United Methodist Church’s top legislative body, is meeting in Portland, Oregon, on May 10-20, 2016. The General Conference is the only body that can set official policy and speak for our denomination. The General Conference is an international body of nearly 1,000 delegates that meets every four years. The delegates are elected by annual conferences (at annual conference sessions) to attend General Conference. They represent all annual conferences around the world. Half of the delegates are laity (nonclergy members), and half are clergy. The conference can revise church law, as well as adopt resolutions on current moral, social, public policy and economic issues. It also approves plans and budgets for churchwide programs. For more information or to see it livestreamed, visit http://www.umc.org/whoweare/generalconference2016livevideostreamenglish.
Please pray for the delegates to be led by God’s Spirit in their decisionmaking, and for our United Methodist Church. And please pray specifically for our Holston Conference delegates. Our laity delegates to General Conference are: Del Holley, Emily Ballard, Becky Hall, John Tate, Bob Lockaby, and Karen Wright, with Alternates Joyce Moore and John Eldridge. Our clergy delegates are: David Graves, Kim Goddard, Sandra Johnson, Carol Wilson, Wil Cantrell, and Randy Frye, with Alternates Mark Flynn and Paul Seay.