This Sunday, May 23, is Pentecost, the celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the Christian church. Today I’m going to share some important decisions about reopening our campus for in-person worship and some thoughts about Pentecost.

Our Genesis Team has guided our church for 15 months through the ups and downs of closing and reopening our campus. At the Genesis meeting on May 19, we reaffirmed our commitment to keep moving ahead in gradually reopening and made these decisions:

If you are attending 8 a.m. patio worship on May 23:

  • Masks will be strongly recommended but not required for fully vaccinated people.
  • Seating distance will be reduced from 6 feet to about 4 feet.
  • If you want to sing or if you are not vaccinated, you need to wear a mask.
  • No registration is required for patio worship.
  • We expect this service to move into the Sanctuary on June 6 due to rising outdoor temperatures.

If you are registered for and attending 10 a.m. in-person Sanctuary worship:

  • Masks are still required at this time
  • Seating distance will be reduced from 6 feet to about 4 feet to allow us to have more people in attendance.
  • We expect about 100 people this Sunday, May 23.
  • We’ll also be celebrating a baptism!
  • Registration is required for Sanctuary worship and opens at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, May 24 for Sunday, May 30.

Recorded worship will continue at 9:45 a.m. on and YouTube UMC St. Mark’s Oro Valley. If you go to Facebook St. Mark’s UMC Tucson, you will see a link that directs you to YouTube. Just click on that link to view worship.

Keep listening for the ways we’ll be gradually reopening over the next few weeks.

Now, Pentecost! Miss Mouse is coming to Children’s Time this Sunday as she loves the party that is Pentecost. She loves when the Holy Spirit comes in loud and powerful ways, like a mighty wind. Sometimes God’s Spirit does crash into our lives that way. You may have had that experience or know people whose lives have been dramatically changed by the breaking-in of God’s Spirit. The Apostle Paul had that experience on the road to Damascus in the Book of Acts.

Sometimes, though, God’s Spirit comes in quieter ways that have just as much impact. The Holy Spirit is that part of God that strengthens and inspires us, motivates us to change and move out into the world and use our gifts to let others know about God’s love. When that happens, it can be quite a party, too, even if it’s a quieter one. Since we’re in a sermon series called “Jesus and Love in the Ten Commandments” and this week focus on the “Joy of Sabbath,” I’m going to make the connection between Sabbath – time devoted to God – and Pentecost. Join us for worship!