Common Ground Editorial: May 2020

Welcome to the long weekend! As we gear up for a national holiday and the inevitable Queen’s Birthday sales, the Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand is preparing for her own significant celebration: Pentecost Sunday.

Pentecost Sunday is the seventh Sunday after Easter and celebrates the day the gathered followers of Jesus were first filled with the Holy Spirit and sent out from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth to plant and establish churches. At Pentecost we celebrate the birth of the Church.

In response, we’re pleased to bring you a collection of articles, artwork, poetry, and song curated around Sunday’s feast. The Revd Dr Murray Rae offers a historical, theological, and pastoral reflection on the significance of Pentecost Sunday. John Dennison, Melody Cooper, and Donald Goodall help us enter the wonder of Pentecost through a collaboration of poetry, photography, and music. Nathan McLellan addresses the doctrine of the Ascension, imploring us to remember and celebrate the extraordinary gift of the person Jesus Christ. You’ll also find a Staff Note from Katrina Belcher and an Alumni Interview with Danielle van Dalen. Finally, our new banner was painted by alumna Kareen Durbin (Internship, 2010/11). The objects represent Christ in our lives while the backdrop points us to the life and colour of Pentecost.

For some of us, this Sunday marks the first time since Lockdown that we will return to our houses of worship and gather with our church community. For others, we will continue to meet with family and small groups in our own homes. Wherever you are, we hope this week’s Common Ground helps you remember and celebrate Pentecost.

From now on, we will send out Common Ground monthly, usually on the second or third Saturday of the month. Look out for the next edition on Saturday, 20 June.

Ngā mihi nui,

The Venn Team