Pentecost is a great opportunity to continue to build relationships in your congregation. Although there are a lot of resources on this site, they are no substitute for building deep connections within your congregation by learning kanohi-ki-kanohi (face-to-face) about the languages, cultures and customs of your brothers and sisters in Christ. The language resources are best used to supplement what you already have in your congregation.
Some ways that you can engage in diverse worship to celebrate God’s gift of the Holy Spirit include:
- Ask people who speak different languages to lead different parts of the service (e.g. liturgy, collect, sentences, readings, intercessions) in their own language with the primary or other languages of your congregation displayed on the power point or read afterwards.
- Do a dramatic reading of Acts 2. When you get to verse 11 have numerous people worship God in their own language. For example, they may say the words of Revelation 4:8 “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come” or a simple phrase “Jesus is Lord.” This could be done simultaneously, or repeated with a new language joining in each time for a more dramatic effect.
- Find parts of the liturgy where people can simultaneously speak in their own language, such as a response during the intercessions (e.g. Come, Holy Spirit), the Apostle’s Creed or the Lord’s Prayer.
- Ask people from minority groups to lead the singing, or teach your music team to lead, using songs from their own culture. Where possible have a translation available. The English language resources page has a list of bilingual and multilingual songs.
- Incorporate other cultures’ symbols or ways of celebration into your service. It is important that this is led by someone from that culture so that it doesn’t slip into tokenism or appropriation.
- If you don’t have any other languages/cultures represented in your congregation play songs from other languages/cultures at appropriate moments in the service. For example, during the offertory or Eucharist.
Pentecost is a celebration that reminds us that we are a diverse whānau (family) – and we should continue to mark and celebrate that throughout the year. What are some ways that your common worship (readings, intercessions, music etc.) could better reflect the diversity of your congregation and connect to the global church on an ongoing basis?