Pentecost – Bluegrass style!

As I always say, no-one does a hootenanny better than the Lutherans. Ok, I don’t always say that but I will be saying it more often from now on. I attended the House For All Sinners and Saints Bluegrass Liturgy for Pentecost last Sunday. If there is ever proof of how desperately we need community, it’s this! I never would have put bluegrass and liturgy together, much less thought of doing it on Pentecost. But there it was – bringing all the  foot stomping, body rocking and animated laughter that Pentecost is truly all about. I am now wondering if  God’s laughter sounds like bluegrass music.

The sermon (always done with a beautiful and profound simplicity by Pastor Nadia) focused on the danger bird (her words were Raptor Dove)– this mysterious Holy Spirit who comes into us and “messes us up”. You can see why I connect here – this is the theme that I have come to love, even crave, deeply.  This dangerous bird (seen with scary eyes and talons extended on the red drapey thingie in the picture below– I know none of the right Lutheran words) does that impossible thing in us – it causes us to make room for the other. S/He does what it takes to knock down our walls of being right and pride and whatever so that oneness can happen. Oneness has not been a priority in the Church for so long. You know that other pesky stuff that gets in the way – like being right, dissociating from those who disagree, and then dissociating from those who associate with those who disagree, and those who don’t do it our way, and those who associate with those who don’t do it our way, yada yada yada. But…. the Spirit rushes through and we begin to dance and what was I saying? Something shifts and soon we are pouring out our hearts in prayer, making room for everyone, for the Feast now and the Feast still to come.

On a personal note, I visit HFASS because my thirsty heart is being nourished by a female pastor. I can be greatly nourished by male pastors too but their voices are so prominent in my tradition that I need to step away once in a while and soak up more of the Holy from someone like me. The cool thing about this particular female pastor is that she isn’t one – she’s just a pastor. It’s a non-issue. She just loves God and loves people. That seems to be HFASS too – deeply rooted in faith and unbound in love.

Here’s some pictures of the celebration (All taken by the amazing Amy Clifford, another very nourishing woman. Used with permission of course.)

HFASSPent1

At a party, there should be balloons!

This is part of the incredible bluegrass band. Have you ever done a liturgy to bluegrass music? It works!

This is part of the incredible bluegrass band. Have you ever done a liturgy to bluegrass music? It works!

One cannot have too much joy. I LOVE this! (in case you are a church calendar noob like me, Christians traditionally wear red on Pentecost to represent the tongues of flames in Acts 2

One cannot have too much joy. I LOVE this! (in case you are a church calendar noob like me, Christians traditionally wear red on Pentecost to represent the tongues of flames in Acts 2

Danger Bird. Lest anyone think the Holy Spirit is merely a gentle dove flitting between clouds...get ready for tranformation!

Danger Bird. (Pr. Nadia calls it a Raptor-Dove.) Lest anyone think the Holy Spirit is merely a gentle dove flitting between clouds...get ready for transformation!

These strips of cloth are the prayers of the people - read aloud and now blowing in the Wind

These strips of cloth are the prayers of the people - read aloud and now blowing in the Wind.

And at a party, there should be cake. Red Velvet Cake, of course. (reminds me a bit of the Armadillo cake in "Steel Magnolias")

And at a party, there should be cake. Red Velvet Cake, of course. (reminds me a bit of the Armadillo cake in "Steel Magnolias")

The Feast - absolutely and always for ALL. No wonder God's heart is so palpable here.

The Feast - absolutely and always for ALL. No wonder God's heart is so palpable here.

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Showing 3 comments
  • Anne
    Reply

    Thanks for sharing – it’s wonderful to see the beauty of community in so many different expressions of worship. The caucaphony of difference will be ever meldodious in the presence of the Trinity.
    p.s. love ya and miss ya 😉

  • Pr. Nadia
    Reply

    Ellen,
    This is lovely. I’m so pleased that you were there and that the crazy raptor dove messed you up in a beautiful way in the midst of our community. You are so completely welcome to worship with us any time!
    Blessings of Pentecost,
    Nadia

  • Skip Newby
    Reply

    Looks like a great bunch of lovers. S/He was pleased I’m sure.

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