May 20, 2018 • 11:00 am

The Rev. Dr. Scott Black Johnston, preaching.


Day of Pentecost

It's Pentecost!

Today Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church joins churches across the world to celebrate the Day of Pentecost. As is our tradition, we will mark the birthday of the Church with a festive service in the Sanctuary, where we will worship together as one community. (There is no early service this morning.)

A particularly beautiful moment in this service (a practice from the ancient Church) is the drop of rose petals from the ceiling. These fluttering petals symbolize the tongues of fire that descended on Christ’s first followers.

Also today, the congregation will ordain, install and celebrate a new officer class for the 2018-19 program year. And our sermon series, Sifting the Real from the Fake in Life and Faith, continues, with the Senior Pastor Scott Black Johnston in the pulpit.

Join us for a full day of activities! Following worship, Ryan Jackson concludes the 2017-18 concert series with a free organ recital, starting at 1 pm in the Sanctuary. And at 3 pm, we celebrate the installation of the Rev. Werner Ramirez as our newest associate pastor! This service is at 3 pm in Kirkland Chapel. 

Sermon: "What Do We Know... About Call?"

Text: Acts 1:21-26; 2:1-13

[Peter said:] "So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.” So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed and said, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”


Fantasia on Komm, Heiliger Geist (“Come, Holy Spirit”) • J.S. Bach (1685–1750)

Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal • Traditional, arr. Alice Parker (b. 1925)

I’m Gonna Sing ‘til the Spirit Moves in My Heart 
Traditional Spiritual, arr. Moses Hogan (1957–2003)

Komm, Gott, Schöpfer, Heiliger Geist (“Come, God, Creator, Holy Spirit”) • J.S. Bach

Worship Notes

The Offertory Anthem, "I’m Gonna Sing ‘til the Spirit Moves in My Heart," is one of the most famous arrangements by the great Moses Hogan, one of America's foremost composers of African American spirituals.  Hogan's inimitable settings are sung and beloved by choristers and audiences throughout the world, and are remarkable for effectively bridging the gap between traditional spirituals and classical choral ensembles. Although Hogan was only 45 when he passed away from a brain tumor in 2003, his legacy lives on through his many compositions and arrangements as one of the most creative and influential figures in 20th-century American choral music.

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