From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
World Council of Churches Presidents
22 May 1996 17:08:17
16 May 1996
96173 World Council of Churches Presidents
Issue Pentecost Message
by Ecumenical News International
GENEVA--The following is the full text of the 1996 Pentecost message from
the presidents of the World Council of Churches. The presidents of the
World Council of Churches are Anna Marie Aagaard (Denmark), Vinton Anderson
(U.S.A.), Leslie Boseto (Solomon Islands), Priyanka Mendis (Sri Lanka),
Parthenios of Alexandria (Egypt), Eunice Santana (Puerto Rico), Shenouda of
Alexandria (Egypt), and Aaron Tolen (Cameroon).
"Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
"On the day of Pentecost the apostles and a group of women, including
Mary the mother of Christ, were all gathered in one place in Jerusalem.
"Suddenly they heard a noise like a strong, driving wind. They saw
what appeared to be flames of fire, and the flames rested on each of them.
They were all filled with the Holy Spirit.
"At Pentecost 1996 congregations of God's people will gather in many
places all over the world to give thanks for the great things God has done
and continues to do, as the Holy Spirit takes our lives and incorporates us
too into the fellowship of the Spirit.
"The emerging of a new community with the event of Pentecost and the
emerging new communities thereafter as witnesses to the Spirit's continuous
presence constitute one God-given reality. The experience of the Spirit is
linked with the experience of communities bound in the Spirit to Christ and
to each other.
"In Jerusalem, once, there were pilgrims from all over the known
world: Partians, Medes, and Elamites, visitors from Rome, Cretans and
Arabs. They were strangers to one another, unacquainted with each other's
stories, histories, homes and even languages.
"But the breaking in of the Spirit within this complex setting made
them hear and see that they were all being invited into a community of
faith -- without being asked to do the impossible: to forget their stories,
abandon their homes or step out of their traditions. It was in their own
tongues that they heard -- and understood -- the good news of Christ's
resurrection. To their amazement and perplexity they heard and understood
the good news that God is faithful and calls everyone into the community of
resurrection faith -- even if the tower of Babel still stands, even if they
will remain in many ways strangers to each other, even if it will continue
to be difficult for them to acknowledge a bonding together of the unlike as
a sign of the Spirit's presence.
"And so, let us pray on this day of Pentecost:
Come, Holy Spirit, come.
Comfort, cleanse and renew your churches.
Make our ways godly,
so that the community we are
may be a witness in word and deed to your presence,
and that this witness may suffice
for men and women everywhere
to know that you are God;,
both the Giver and gift of new life."
For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
phone 502-569-5504 fax 502-569-8073
E-mail PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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