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SCOTTISH CHARITY NUMBER SC006235 THE CHARITY LEGAL NAME St Andrews Church of Scotland: Dumbarton

Sunday Service

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Sunday 31st May 2020

Pentecost Service led by Rev Ian Johnson





Hymn   194 This is the day (Church Hymnary 4th Edition)

All-age time


Reading Acts 2: 1-21(Good News Bible)


Prayer for others

Hymn   594 Come Holy Spirit come (Church Hymnary 4th Edition)*






  microphoneone  To hear the Welcome & Hymn tune  Right Click on the Microphone and pick “Open Link in New Tab”

Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome:

‘Through the Holy Spirit he has given us, God’s love has flooded our hearts.’ Romans 5: 5

Let us worship God on this day of Pentecost singing the Hymn “This is the day”



Hymn 194       

1 This is the day,

this is the day that the Lord has made,

that the Lord has made.

We will rejoice,

we will rejoice and be glad in it,

and be glad in it.

This is the day that the Lord has made,

we will rejoice and be glad in it.

This is the day,

this is the day that the Lord has made.


2 This is the day,

this is the day that that he rose again,

that that he rose again,

We will rejoice,

we will rejoice and be glad in it,

and be glad in it.

This is the day that that he rose again,

we will rejoice and be glad in it.

This is the day,

this is the day that that he rose again,


3 This is the day,

this is the day when the Spirit came,

when the Spirit came.

We will rejoice,

we will rejoice and be glad in it,

and be glad in it.

This is the day when the Spirit came,

we will rejoice and be glad in it.

This is the day,

this is the day when the Spirit came.



All-age time

Today we remember that Jesus no longer walks the roads of the Holy Land, we cannot see him with our eyes, hear his voice with our ears, or touch his hand with ours, but we know that he is with us everywhere we are, and cares very much for us.

Something to do
•How many words of 3 letters or more can you make from the word Pentecost? (No plurals, proper names or foreign words)

•Can you unravel these names to get the names of places mentioned in today’s Bible reading
(answers at the end)

•Have some cake, play a game, have a party to celebrate the birthday of the world-wide church

Something to make
Print off the poster below. Colour it in (crayons, paints, collage) and put it in your window





Opening Prayer

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Heavenly Father


We use many images to speak of the Spirit

 to try to grasp your amazing, awesome presence and power with us


It is like a dove

 gentle, comforting, bringer of peace, builder of peace, anointer, enabler


It is like a rushing wind

 full of power and energy, seen by what it does

 its impact on the world round about

 it ruffles feathers, it sweeps away staleness and lethargy

 it brings newness and freshness, it creates movement


It is like fire

 it burns up the dross, the things in our lives that do not have worth

  of which we are not proud, of which we are ashamed

 it purifies, it refines, and like a flame it blazes in our lives

 filling us with new life, new hope, new energy

 it lets your love and goodness be seen at work in our lives

 it shines into all the dark places of the world

 and lets others see your goodness and truth


Whatever the image, you have sent your Spirit upon us

 to change us, renew us, make us different, make us Christ-like

 to empower us to be your instruments for change in the world


Send down your Spirit upon us now, on this time of worship

 that our praise and thanks may rise up to you

 that we may hear and respond to your word

 that we may find healing and renewal

 that we may be inspired and empowered

  to go out and bear witness to our Risen Lord


in whose name we pray. Amen



 bible      microphoneone  To hear the Readings  Right Click on the Microphone and pick “Open Link in New Tab”

Bible Reading

Acts 2: 1-21

When the day of Pentecost came, all the believers were gathered together in one place. Suddenly there was a noise from the sky which sounded like a strong wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire which spread out and touched each person there. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.

There were Jews living in Jerusalem, religious men who had come from every country in the world. When they heard this noise, a large crowd gathered. They were all excited, because each one of them heard the believers speaking in their own language. In amazement and wonder they exclaimed, “These people who are talking like this are Galileans! How is it, then, that all of us hear them speaking in our own native languages? We are from Parthia, Media, and Elam; from Mesopotamia, Judaea and Cappadocia; from Pontus and Asia, from Phrygia and Pamphylia, from Egypt and the regions of Libya near Cyrene. Some of us are from Rome, both Jews and Gentiles converted to Judaism, and some of us are from Crete and Arabia – yet all of us hear them speaking in our own languages about the great things God has done!” Amazed and confused, they kept asking each other, “What does this mean?”

But others made fun of the believers, saying, “These people are drunk!”

Then Peter stood up with the other eleven apostles and in a loud voice began to speak to the crowd: “Fellow-Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, listen to me and let me tell you what this means. These people are not drunk, as you suppose; it is only nine o’clock in the morning. Instead, this is what the prophet Joel spoke about:

‘This is what I will do in the last days, God says:

 I will pour out my Spirit on everyone.

Your sons and daughters will proclaim my message;

 your young men will see visions,

 and your old men will have dreams.

Yes, even on my servants, both men and women,

 I will pour out my Spirit in those days,

 and they will proclaim my message.

I will perform miracles in the sky above

 and wonders on the earth below.

There will be blood, fire, and thick smoke;

 the sun will be darkened,

 and the moon will turn red as blood,

 before the great and glorious Day of the Lord comes.

And then whoever calls out to the Lord for help will be saved.”




‘When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all Judaea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ - Jesus last words to the disciples before he left them at Ascension-tide.

I wonder how they reacted when they heard them:

“Oh brilliant! I’m fed up with life round the Sea of Galilee. It’s boring. Nothing ever happens. I want to travel. I want to see the world (and it will get me away from the wife, kids and her mother.”


“I’m not sure about that. Jerusalem is so expensive, and they always look for a way to rip you off. The folk in Judaea make fun of my Galilean accent (‘Life’s tough oop North!’). In Samaria they don’t just rip you off, they’d cheerfully rip you apart. As for the ends of the earth: they speak ‘Foreign’, they eat ‘Foreign’ and they live ‘Foreign.”

The Book of Acts tells a story of how the Apostles (formerly the disciples) lived out that instruction – beginning in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost and ending with Paul’s arrival in Rome, the centre of the world to the people of the Roman Empire. The story moves out through Judaea and Samaria, tells of a senior official from ‘Ethiopia’ (the same as the modern country of that name, or Northern Sudan?), a group in Syria are called ‘Christians’ for the first time, Paul travels through Cyprus, modern Turkey and Greece, Malta and Italy to the Eternal City. There are, however, gaps in the geography of going to ‘the ends of the earth’. That list of names in today’s story isn’t just meant to sound impressive - it fills in many of the ‘blanks’ in the Eastern part of the Roman Empire and the lands just beyond its borders (modern Iraq, Iran and the Arabian peninsula). (Scotland was of course unknown to them!)

It appears from sources outside the Bible that there was a Christian community in Rome within 10 years of Easter, and Paul reached the city at the end of his journeys about 20 years later. A great achievement, but there was still much to do. Many had still to hear the Good News (including new generations), many were hostile to it, and no real start had been made on transforming society or the economy, righting injustices etc. Those early years had also thrown up many challenges, one of the main ones being that people joined the church bringing ‘baggage’ with them:

•initially they were all ethnically Jewish, brought up in the Jewish faith, but…. Some spoke Aramaic and followed the traditional customs of the Holy Land, others spoke Greek and were immersed in the culture of the world outside the Holy Land. At an early date in its history we hear of a major row between the two groups (“There’s nae row like a Kirk row!”)
•sources outside the Bible indicate that the Jewish community in the Holy Land was deeply divided for socio-economic reasons, different understandings of how to live out their faith, and local rivalries and prejudices
•within the Holy Land there was widespread hostility among Jews towards non-Jews (Romans, Greeks, Samaritans, Arabs, Syrians), and among non-Jewish communities in the Holy Land, across the Mediterranean world and in Rome itself there was prejudice and hostility to Jews
•as people from ‘Gentile’ backgrounds started to join the church, they wanted to do so as ‘Gentiles’, rather than having to adopt Jewish practices such as circumcision and the food laws
•in the early days it had been easy to point to the Jewish Law and prophets, and the example of Jesus, in deciding what was acceptable behaviour for his followers in all areas of life. But referring to the Law and prophets didn’t work with Gentile converts: they had to point to the example of Jesus, his values and his standards
•they had to look at, and spell out guidance on, living the way of Jesus in the family context, in the treatment of slaves, in social and work environments, attitudes to sex, drinking, swearing, abusing others and so on
•out of this rag-bag collection of people – from the very rich to poor slaves, ascetic philanthropes to former sex workers, with all the ethnic and religious backgrounds – they had to create a community that worked as ‘the Body of Christ’, a unit working together to serve Jesus and support one another.

They also received a range of  reactions that they received from those who did not join the church:
•in some places complete indifference
•many Jewish people regarded their claims (especially those who followed the ‘Paul’ school of thought) as utter blasphemy
•those educated in the Greek philosophical tradition regarded their claims of incarnation (God becoming a human being in Jesus) and resurrection as complete nonsense
•in some places they ran into opposition from local people, who were concerned that if many people adopted the religion the Apostles were preaching then the structures of the local community would be undermined and the income and wealth of some would be adversely affected.

The story of the Day of Pentecost reminds of the way in which God provided the church with the means to bring together these disparate strands, with so many potential areas of conflict, to be the agent of his mission and an example to the world of what the Kingdom would be like. He poured out the Spirit (the ‘Holy Spirit’) upon the Apostles, and subsequently on those who came after them. They weren’t magically or instantaneously transformed into paragons of virtue, free from all prejudice and annoying traits, and endowed with every virtue. They were still the same folk, but the Spirit brought two important things to them:
•it helped them to discover and release capabilities they never knew they had
•it helped them move towards overcoming their prejudices and annoying habits, and developing the qualities seen in Jesus – patience, kindness, self-giving love, humility etc)

The command that Jesus gave to his disciples just before the Ascension has come down to us, as their heirs. We are to be his witnesses in our equivalent of Jerusalem, Judaea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth – whether that means Dumbarton, Bonhill, Helensburgh or wherever we are. Just as God provided the Holy Spirit for the Apostles, so he provides it for us:
•to help us to discover and release capabilities we never knew we had (who would have thought, three months ago, that we would be worshipping online? Our next challenges are to discover how to video-record services, and then stream them live!)
•to help us to move towards overcoming our prejudices (whether related to ethnicity, gender, sexuality, accent, behaviour or whatever) and annoying habits, and developing the qualities seen in Jesus – patience, kindness, self-giving love, humility etc)

The church in Corinth or Thessalonica was very different from the first group that met in Jerusalem a few years before. So it will be for us, as new people join us. The dynamic changes and they bring their own personalities and gifts. The important thing to remember is that God wants them to join us, he does not want us to stay the group we are. We don’t know when church buildings will open for worship, but we do know that after Covid-19 the church will be different from what it was like before. Adapting to the change may not be easy, but in the long-run it is a Good Thing. In a way, with things like social distancing and online communication, he is giving us exceptional opportunities to introduce change.

The Day of Pentecost is a day to celebrate  - celebrate what has been, to celebrate what will be, and to celebrate the presence of Jesus with us every moment. The ‘what will be’ will be very different from what we have known. It will have challenges, but through the Spirit Jesus is always with us. He will always remain the King and Head of the Church, caring for us, and seeking that his church witnesses to the world a foretaste of what the Kingdom will be.



Prayers for others

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Gracious God


We live in a world where many people

  live uncomfortably with uncertainty or doubt

Where will the next meal come from?

How secure is their job?

Will peace come back?

Will they be able to return home?

Will the captive be set free?

Will they or their friend or loved one be well again?

Can they believe what they are told in the media,

  by the authorities?

How much is propaganda, or ‘fake news’?


You are a God who cares.

You are a God who strives for truth, for justice and for peace

And so we bring you our prayers for those in need.


we pray for those who are ill, at home or in hospital

 those undergoing treatment

 and those for whom there is no treatment

 and for all who care for them


 we pray for those who are lonely or feeling low

 those grieving a friend or loved one


 we pray for those who are worried about work,

about money, about home


we pray for those who work for peace and justice

 that they may know your strength


 we pray for those who suffer loss of hope or purpose

 that they may know your comfort


 we pray for those who seek to heal and reconcile

 that they may know your patience


 we pray for those who feel the pain of anger, hurt or bitterness

 that they may know your peace


 we pray for those whose cries for help we cannot hear

 that they may know the courage of your presence


 we pray for the Queen

 and for all in positions of responsibility


 we pray for your church

 here and throughout the world

 help us to live together in love and unity

 and be your hands, your feet, your witness

 in everything we do


 We thank you for your people

 of every age and place,

 and for those dear to our own hearts,

 who have kept the faith on earth

 and have entered into the joy

 of your heavenly presence.


Inspire us by their example,

 encourage us by their fellowship,

 and bring us with them at the last

 to glory everlasting


We bring to you our prayers for people and situations of special concern to us


And we sum up our prayers in the words of the prayer Jesus gave us

Our Father, who art in heaven,

 hallowed be thy name;

 thy kingdom come;

 thy will be done;

 on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,

 as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation;

 but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

 the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen



  microphoneone      To hear the Hymn tune & Blessing  Right Click on the Microphone and pick “Open Link in New Tab”

Hymn 594

1 Come, Holy Spirit, come!

Inspire our souls with love,

transforming every heart and hope

with wisdom from above.

Let none of us despise

the humble path Christ trod,

but choose, to shame the worldly wise,

the foolishness of God.


2All-knowing Spirit, prove

the poverty of pride,

by knowledge of the Father's love

in Jesus crucified.

And grant us faith to know

the glory of that sign,

and in our very live to show

the marks of love divine.


3 Come with the gift to heal

the wounds of guilt and fear,

and to oppression's face reveal

the kingdom drawing near.

Where chaos longs to reign,

descend, O holy Dove,

and free us all to work again

the miracles of love.


4 Spirit of truth, arise;

inspire the prophet's voice:

expose to scorn the tyrant's lies,

and bid the poor rejoice.

O Spirit, clear our sight,

all prejudice remove,

and help us to discern the right,

and covet only love


5 Give us the tongues to speak

the word of love and grace

to rich and poor, to strong and weak,

in every time and place.

Enable us to hear

the words that others bring,

interpreting with open ear

the special song they sing.


6 Come, Holy Spirit, dance

within our hearts today,

our earthbound spirits to entrance,

our mortal fears allay.

and teach us to desire,

all other things above,

that self-consuming holy fire,

the perfect gift of love.




With unflagging zeal, aglow with the Spirit,

 serve the Lord,

 and the blessing of God Almighty,

 Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

 rest and remain with you,

 today, and every day, and for ever. Amen


Next Sunday we will celebrate Communion. If you wish to have some bread and wine/ juice/ water to hand to use during the service, that is OK


Jumbled names

Cappadocia, Mesopotamia, Elam, Parthia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Cyrene, Pontus, Arabia, Judaea


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