image description
Tags: Parish News

Pentecost Celebration Unites Flushing Deanery

pentecost_flushing-deanery-thumbnail.jpg270 parishioners gathered outside from four parishes in the Flushing Deanery to celebrate Pentecost together.

By Blanche Palasi

“Flood the nations with grace and mercy! Send forth Your Word, Lord and let there be light!” These resonating lyrics from the first hymn introduced the Flushing Deanery’s fourth annual celebration of Pentecost.

Two hundred seventy attended from St. John’s (Flushing), St. George’s (Flushing), All Saints' (Bayside), and Zion (Douglaston). Held in the sunny, outdoor area of Zion Church, members from various congregations filled the courtyard. The diversity of parishioners who joined to worship truly captured the birth of the Church.

The event began at an hour early for some, who arrived in advance to help prepare. As people set up for the service, everyone was more than eager to volunteer where they were needed. Without being asked to, individuals were busy carrying chairs and fixing the altar.

Waiting in their seats, parishioners from different churches socialized, laughed, and bonded with one another. The chaos of transporting food and frustrating technological difficulties failed to hinder everyone’s anticipation for the service.

The mass was inclusive of all backgrounds and held in three different languages: English, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese. Although we spoke different tongues, the Holy Spirit was a common tongue for all. Father Benitez of St. George’s captured idea in his sermon: “What binds us together is not common culture or common tongue, but our love of God. We are a Pentecostal people”. Despite recent terrorism and xenophobia, he encouraged us to “celebrate diversity” and continue Jesus’s message of inclusivity.  

Following the uplifting service was a barbecue and picnic hosted by anyone who chose to donate food. The tables were overflowing with all kinds of cakes, pies, cheeses. Volunteers not only brought food, but also grilled burgers and hotdogs while others organized hungry masses of people. People enjoyed their food in the shade while the children played around the courtyard.

Individuals talked not as strangers from separate churches, but as parishioners from the same community. The service closed with the lyrics, “And for these blessings, we lift our hearts in praise; without a doubt we’ll know that we have been revived when we shall leave this place”. Just as the disciples left that glorious day, everyone at the Pentecostal celebration left not only with new friends, but also a newfound excitement to spread the good news of Christ. 

>Click here for photo gallery