Acts 2 describes the giving of the Holy Spirit during the celebration of Pentecost in Jerusalem. This is celebrated as the birthday of the Church, and we, who are the church, are sent in the name of Jesus to proclaim the good news!
In that same Holy Spirit, on Pentecost Sunday Palmerdale UMC gathered together in one worship celebration at 9 a.m. combining elements from both their “contemporary” and “traditional” worship celebrations to celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the Church. Following worship, they went out to their communities and engaged in various community outreach and projects.
Projects included work in three schools: Southeastern School in Remlap, and Pinson Elementary and Rudd Middle School in Pinson; yard work and cleanup in two neighborhoods; a prayer team that offered conversation and a loving ear in Triangle Park; children who made gifts and visited area nursing homes; and ladies who made home-made goodies to give away, and to celebrate together that evening after the work was completed.
More than 100 members of Palmerdale UMC went out for four hours. All of the projects were completed, and more than 3,000 people were touched with tangible expressions of the love and grace of God.
“It is remarkable what the people of God can do when we realize that we are empowered by the Holy Spirit and follow the Spirit’s guidance.” remarked Rev. Kevin Payne, Senior Pastor of Palmerdale UMC. “PUMC saw that we were not engaging our communities right around us as we are feeling called to do. On Pentecost, we remembered whose we are and who we are called to be, and recommitted ourselves.”
Several of the members of the congregation, who had previously not experienced a mission opportunity, stated how amazing it was. Others who regularly engage in various mission projects were ecstatic to be ministering to those right around the congregation’s campus.
Carol Kenyon, Palmerdale UMC’s Children’s Pastor stated, “We have an area for service for all ages. Everyone could be involved and see what it is like to be the hands and feet of Christ in practical ways. Our congregation is engaged and excited. We want this [community involvement] to be ongoing.”
Palmerdale UMC’s mission statement is To be a congregation where every member is a minister. It is awesome to see that mission is not only a statement, but also a way of living as the body of Christ.
Rev. Payne said, “We do – we want to be a congregation that empowers each other to follow as the Holy Spirit leads and equips. We want to not only say that we are all ministers, but be a congregation where we realize that we are all called to ministry.”
Through the gift and blessing of the Holy Spirit, Palmerdale UMC is celebrating a rediscovery of who they are and who they can be through the same Holy Spirit that fell that first Pentecost. And in doing so, they are reaching out in the name of Jesus Christ to make disciples to see their communities, and world, transformed.