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By Diana Dworin

Pass the faith

(New Lutheran Study Bible). Parents can weave Pentecost celebrations

Pausing for Pentecost

Celebrate the Spirit in your family C

elebrating the major events of the church year is a tradition in many families. On Easter morning, some families begin the day with worship at a sunrise

service or colorful eggs dot the lawn as children fill their baskets. On Christmas Eve, a figurine of baby Jesus may appear in the family’s nativity. But another major festival in the life of the Christian community—Pentecost—isn’t as likely to be on the cel- ebration schedule in most homes. Pentecost, which falls 50 days after Easter, marks the beginning of the church and the coming of the Spirit. “There’s always so much going on at this time of the year that it seems like we don’t give as much atten- tion to Pentecost, but it is such a major occurrence in church history,” said Devra Betts, the ministry coor- dinator of Holy Spirit Lutheran Church in Las Vegas ( When families celebrate Pentecost, they open new dimensions of faith formation. “It’s a great opportunity to talk about the spiritual gifts that each person in the family has as a child of God,” said Betts, explaining that parents and kids encourage each other when they point out and uphold traits that reflect the Spirit, such as kind- ness and sharing.

Also, pausing for Pentecost gives families an oppor-

tunity to reflect on the Lutheran belief that we come to faith, stay in faith and express our faith through the power of the Spirit—not by our own strength or will

into their family’s traditions by: • Baking a birthday cake. Because Pentecost marks the formation of the church, celebrating with a birthday cake is one way to talk about the story, which is found in Acts 2, in tactile ways that even young children can understand. Brainstorm ideas for decorating the cake with traditional symbols of the Spirit, such as a dove, wind, flames and the color red. • Learning a language. On Pentecost, the followers of Jesus began speaking in many languages—and they understood one another.

Make a game of learning how to say “peace” and “love” in a handful of languages, and then practice your listen- ing skills until you recognize the spoken words. You can translate these and other words into different languages at websites such as http:// and 

Tried & true Wind chimes

Some people find it relax- ing on a breezy day to listen to the sound of outdoor wind chimes, which play gentle improvised tunes as the wind passes through. By hanging chimes in a tree or overhang, the sounds can serve as year-round reminders for parents and children of Pentecost’s arrival of the Spirit, which came as “a rush of wind” (Acts 2:2). Although families can find an endless assort-

ment of wind chimes in stores and online, it’s easy to make one as a craft project for Pentecost. You can find simple instructions on the Internet at http:// blpr070501a.htm. Some inexpensive items you can use to create your chimes include metal washers, shells, unused metal kitchen utensils, tin cans and bottle caps.

Lutheran mom

Dworin, 42, is a mother of three and a former parenting magazine editor. Contact her at diana@passthefaith. org.

May 2012 41


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