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May 23, 2021 – Pentecost

“The Brick Church”  / “The Brickless Church”

Good morning (or afternoon, or evening) and welcome to worship. This morning, for the first time in fourteen months, members of First Church of Deerfield gathered bodily for worship, on the lawn of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association in old Deerfield. We give thanks for the dual blessings of warm weather and effective vaccines that made this gathering possible, and for the many creative spirits and willing hands that helped in preparing our reunion.

For our members and friends who are unable gather in person, we offer this digital version of the morning’s service, and continue to make this pledge: whoever you are, and wherever you may be (figuratively or literally), you are welcome here.


Sunday, May 23, 2021 – PENTECOST


Prelude   Andante   G.P Telemann
Dr. Thomas Pousont, organ


Today we feel the wind beneath our wings,
Today the hidden fountain flows and plays,
Today the church draws breath at last and sings,
As every flame becomes a tongue of praise.
This is the feast of Fire, Air and Water,
Poured out and breathed and kindled into Earth.
The Earth herself awakens to her maker,
Translated out of death and into birth.
The right words come today in their right order
And every word spells freedom and release.
Today the gospel crosses every border,
All tongues are loosened by the Prince of Peace.
Today the lost are found in his translation,
Whose mother-tongue is love, in every nation.
​(Malcolm Guite, Pentecost)

Hymn  Siyahamba
Thomas Pousont, vocals


The Acts of the Apostles 2:1-21 (NIV)

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

“‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young people will see visions,
your elders will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.

God of Pentecost,send your translating spirit among us. Teach us to speak in tongues of love;
so that speaking, we may be heard; and hearing, we may understand; and understanding, we may be reconciled to one another and to you. Amen.

What just happened?
Rev. Knapp


Hymn  Be Still, My Soul
Karen Smith Emerson, Nancy Pond, Thomas Pousont, Marc Dancer

May 23, 2021
shared by Mary Dancer

Today’s special offering will go to Save the Children, to support their work in caring for children in crisis at the US border. To make a donation, click here and select “Save the Children” from the drop-down menu. 


As a fire spreads,
As a wind blows,
As a dove flies,
So your Spirit moves,
Disregarding the boundaries
we have set for your grace.
May our love, too,
Reach beyond our borders.

Bless these gifts we offer today,
And through them, bless
The children who come from away.
Guard them from all harm,
And speed their deliverance
Into safe and loving homes.

You have taught us,
That where our treasure is, there
Will our heart be also;
May this offering open our hearts,
To those who seek refuge.
For we remember that our ancestors, too
Were once strangers in a strange land.

In the name of Christ, in the name of Love,
And by all your holy names, we pray. Amen.

Hymn  O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing
Karen Smith Emerson, Nancy Pond, Thomas Pousont, Marc Dancer


Go now in peace, in love, and in joy.
To seek the signs of grace.
May your souls be refreshed by the winds of the Spirit.
May your hearts be ignited by her flame.

May your scars you bear become your story,
And may your story become your gift to the world.

Benediction Response  God Be With You ‘Til We Meet Again
Karen Smith Emerson, Nancy Pond, Thomas Pousont, Marc Dancer

Postlude  Lobe den Herren   J.G. Walther


LET’S GET TOGETHER!  As the weather warms, new possibilities emerge for connection. The deacons are helping to arrange small, outdoor gatherings (of no more than four people) for the purpose of enjoying one another’s company and (re)discovering our common ground.  If you would like to participate in one of these gatherings, CLICK HERE to let us know you are interested, and one of the deacons will contact you.  I look forward to seeing you soon! — Pastor Liza

BE A PART OF OUR MINISTRY: If you have found spiritual sustenance at the Brick Church (or the Brickless Church!), and you would like to be part of our ministry and mission, we hope you will consider making a donation or pledge in support to the First Church of Deerfield. MAKE A PLEDGE or GIVE NOW or send check to:
The First Church of Deerfield, P.O. Box 276, 71 Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA 01342)


The First Church of Deerfield
an inclusive, inquisitive congregation of
the United Church of Christ
and the Unitarian Universalist Association

Rev. Liza B. Knapp, Pastor
Dr. Thomas Pousont, Director of Music Ministry
Tom Mershon, Sexton
Pat Auchard, Office Administrator
Ann Hallstein, Pastor Emerita

If you wish to make a donation in support of our ministry,
text “GIVE” to (413) 307-3730 or click below: