Volume 13, Issue 6
On Sunday, June 4, 2017, the Church (universal) celebrated Pentecost. On the Day of Pentecost we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit descending in a mighty rush of wind and flame to inspire the church’s proclamation of Christ’s rising and to empower its mission and ministry to the world. (See Acts 2:1-13; see also Joel 2:28-32.)
The notion of Easter as a season of 50 days ending at Pentecost is patterned after the ancient Jewish festival of seven weeks that extended from the beginning of the barley harvest (on the second day after the beginning of Passover) to the end of the wheat harvest at the Festival of Weeks or Shavuot (see Deuteronomy 16:9-12). The Festival of Weeks later came to be called Pentecost (“50th day”) by Greek speaking Jews.
In Jewish tradition, Shavuot also marks the giving of the law to Moses at Sinai, and the feast is marked by the waving of two loaves of bread made with wheat (as opposed to barley) and risen with yeast (symbolic of sin). The two loaves represent the two tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written.
The Companion to the Book of Common Worship describes Pentecost as follows:
According to the Day of Pentecost story in Acts 2:1-13, God gave the gift of the Holy Spirit to empower witnesses to the resurrection. Sounds from heaven, cosmic language, the rush of a mighty ruach (wind, spirit, breath) invaded the house in which the apostles gathered, and appeared to them as a burning fire. Tongues of fire touched their nerve centers. A power — the unseen power of God — moved among them and gripped them. The Holy Spirit is unseen, like the wind, which is why the Old Testament calls it ruach YHWH, “the wind, or breath, of God” (cf. John 3:8). The Spirit is the “unseenness of God” working among us.
According to Joel (2:28-29) the ruach is to open everybody to God’s future. People young and old will dream and will have visions of hope; they will be able to loose themselves from the way things are now, because God is establishing a whole new economy of creation. The Holy Spirit breaks us out of our preoccupation with ourselves and frees us to serve neighbors, loosens our grasp on possessions, and sets us to loving people. New creation is what Joel is talking about. Pentecost is new creation.
The book of Acts tells the story of the outcome of Pentecost’s new creation: people witness in word and in deed to the risen Christ. At the outset, the newborn church immediately tumbled out into the streets to witness to God’s mighty works in the languages of people all over the world. By the end of the story, a tiny, Spirit-filled community of faith that broke from its present order has spread across the continents with incredible power to bring new things into being. With the gift of the Spirit, all things are possible.
Therefore, on the Day of Pentecost, we celebrate God’s gift of Holy Spirit which draws us together as one people, helps us to comprehend what God is doing in the world, and empowers us to proclaim, in word and in deed, God’s plan of reconciling all people in the name of Christ (Ephesians 1:10).
Without the gift of the Spirit, Christ’s church dries up and withers away, and we are left with only our broken selves. With the gift of the Spirit, all things are possible. A spirit-filled community of faith opens eyes to needs in the world and sees its missing as God’s new people. The Day of Pentecost is the climax of the Great Fifty Days of Easter, celebrating as it does the gift of the Spirit to the body of Christ — the church.
Halstead Bible Fellowship: email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us at 112 West Third Street, Halstead, KS, – Sundays at 9:45am.
Pastor Visitation: If you would like a visit from Pastor Tony, please call 620-951-4438 ©
June Birthdays Happy birthday to:
Eden Page Quispe 12
Colin Bailey 25
John & Gwen Haspels, email@example.com
Dear Prayer Warriors, Again we thank you for all your prayers. I got my new teeth last week and have been working on getting comfortable with them. In spite of everyone’s warnings I still am finding it difficult to navigate these teeth. They look good (read in better than without) and the top set fit in really nice but the lower bridge doesn’t fit well and doesn’t stay in place while eating, talking or singing so I am tempted not to do any of those things:) The other day I was really frustrated and felt the Lord saying to me, “You know what to do when you are frustrated. You are busy telling everyone else what to do so do it yourself. Praise me. I will help you work this out but I want you to praise me.” It has helped a lot to do that as the Lord, himself knew it would. He is really kind to me and patient as well. So I am sending you a very short email so you will know what to pray for in the next few weeks. I will see the dentist again in June.
John left for Ethiopia on May the 30th and comes back on June 27th. He has the trusses ready for another termite proof church but….. the papers for both our cars are missing so he will need to find those and get them inspected and insurance paid before he can go down to Tulegit. Thank you for bringing that to the throne of grace for us!!
Mom turned 96 this May. My brother Tim came for the celebrations and so did Desta and family. Chuck and family and Heather and hers were already here. We celebrate a faithful woman, full of integrity who still can make us laugh with her stories of growing up on the farm in Nebraska. She got her driver’s license and is good for 4 years – when she will be 100. All in the Lord’s hands!! God be with you and fill you with faithfulness and integrity and give you lots of stories to tell.
Love in Jesus, John and Gwen
John & Joy Haspels, AIM, Nairobi, Kenya: firstname.lastname@example.org
Habtom, Heather, Faith, Hope and Josiah Kebede,
Box 1111, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: (c/o John Haspels) email@example.com
Dear Friends and Family, May God’s great love and joy fill each of your hearts and homes.
Thank you so much for your faithful prayers and support of us. We have seen God do so many amazing things through your prayers and support. Thank you!
Since the last update, God has been really moving the Citizenship process along. We sent in the paper work April 4th. By May 1st we had a finger printing appointment. We also just found out May 4th, they are scheduling Habtom for an Interview date (not sure when at this time). The Interview is a long process. You have to answer many different questions and take the American Civic/History test. Please pray for all Habtom’s studying and that Habtom would have peace and clear mind. Remembering all he studied and just to have the ability to answer questions clearly. We are praying for the interviewer and just blessing that time. Once this is done Habtom can swear in as an American Citizen, we can apply for the passport and head back to Ethiopia. So, continue to cover this process in Prayer.
I, Heather, finished my online course. I am very thankful for the Chaplaincy course from Crisis Response International. It has opened my eyes to many things including how many hurt and wounded people there are. I feel like it has given me tools to share the love of Christ in a clearer way. It was my goal to finish it before Baby. I am Thankful I did.
Thank you again for all your prayers and support. We really feel God’s goodness and are thankful to start preparing to head back to Ethiopia in faith that this final step is in His all-powerful hands.
We are Happy to Announce a week after his due date and In God’s perfect timing:
Josiah Daniel Habtom joined our family at 11:07pm May 27
20.5 inches long, 7lb 5.4oz
God bless, Habtom, Heather, Faith, Hope and Baby Josiah
Anne Adrian, ISI, Lakeland, Florida firstname.lastname@example.org
Summer for Regrouping & Relationship Building
Our Lakeland ISI Team is preparing for new directions in the fall. The ISI M28 training was excellent & empowering! We had 4 women from the Tampa Team, 2 of us from Lakeland. We’re excited about how God wants us to implement it here in Lakeland & in Tampa. Pray for God’s leading as we implement it, asking God for students who are ready.
As I shared with you in my April 11th update, I am focusing more on building relationships with the international women whom God has brought here. It is such a joy to get to know these precious women! Ramadan gives us unique opportunities to share the assurance of our salvation based on Christ’s work, not our own. Pray for opportunities, the right words & for their openness. I encourage you to join the worldwide prayer movement, www.30daysprayer.com as we pray for M*lims to respond to Christ.
Other Specific Prayer Items
TRUE Retreat, May 18-22 in PA, pray that God will open hearts & strong friendships to be built that will continue in discipleship
Mirka, who went to TRUE last year. The Schraders will see her in Prague this summer-for their time together that it would bear “fruit that will last”
Favor with Florida Polytechnic administration – meeting w Mustapha, the ISA, soon
To think “outside the box” as we plan to connect with new students in the fall
For a “host” church to invest in the ISI ministry here over the long
Two Chinese believers who are struggling for various reasons: Y& S
I thank God for you & your partnership with us over the long haul as we share the Good News of God’s saving power for the world in every season of our lives!! In Him, Anne
Ministries for Everyone
Adult Sunday School: This class meets at 11:00 a.m. every Sunday after service, led by Pastor Tony. All are invited and encouraged to bring a friend.
Prayer Meeting: Prayer every Monday at the Neighbor’s Store and Pantry at 5:00 p.m. All welcome!
Fellowship Group: A Fellowship Group meets for the study of God’s Word. The group meets at 7:00 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month at Halstead Bible Fellowship. See Steve Page for more information. Open to everyone. (June meeting will be on June 28th – this is a change from the regularly scheduled date)
Bible Study: Please join this Bible Study each Wednesday morning at 10:00. The study is held in our homes. Contact Joan Bailey for more information.
Men’s Breakfast: Second Saturday at Golden Harvest. 8:00 am. A time of fellowship for all men.
Breathe On Me, Breath of God
Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what Thou dost love,
And do what Thou wouldst do.
Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart
Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;
Wean it from earth, thro’ all its pulses move.
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art,
And make me love Thee as I ought to love.
Spirit of the Living God
Spirit of the Living God
Fall fresh on me.
Spirit of the Living God
Fall fresh on me.
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.
Spirit of the Living God
Fall fresh on me.