Day of Pentecost • May 23, 2021


Datang Roh Kudus • Komm, Heiliger Geist • Ven, Espíritu Santo

Veni, Sancte Spiritus • Viens, Saint Esprit • Come, Holy Spirit


Dear ILS Community,

Greetings on this fiftieth and final day of Eastertide, the festival of Pentecost. 

Although we stand at the threshold of “ordinary” time, we remember the gifts of the Holy Spirit poured out in extraordinary ways—those sometimes quiet, sometimes urgent out of the ordinary ways—that shape our common liturgical life. 

Between February and April, the Institute gathered virtually for seminars that explored the Spirit’s gift of language—images and metaphors in preaching, poetry, and lament that form and shape the body of Christ in worship and the world. A compilation of resources authored, mentioned, or discussed by our three presenters is available for download on the ILS website. If you did not register for a seminar but would like to purchase one or more sessions ($25.00 each) for personal or congregational use, please contact ILS administrator Doreen Olguin-Flores. Presentations will be available throughout the summer months.

Today’s lectionary readings also remind us that we have groaned and sighed, inwardly and aloud, with all creation while we await healing, peace, and justice, and for the time when all can safely gather again around font and table. The Institute’s advisory council continues to grapple with questions about diversity, equity, and inclusion pertaining to the Institute and the wider church. Between the first anniversary of George Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020, and the commemoration of the Emanuel Nine—those shot and killed on June 17, 2015, during Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston—our Facebook page will feature books, interviews, websites, and other resources intended to equip congregations and communities to continue these important conversations.

Finally, we pause on this Day of Pentecost to mark the work of the Spirit within and among the advisory council. In April, we bid farewell to Zeb Highben at the conclusion of his term. In June, we will welcome Rhoda Schuler and Omaldo Perez as we begin the planning for the next gathering of the Institute, April 25–27, 2022.

In the coming weeks and months, may the living breath of God that sighs and sings with all creation continue to pour out abundant gifts:


In all places and forever

glory be expressed 

to the Son, with God the Father

and the Spirit blest:

in our worship and our living

keep us striving for the best.

(ELW 687, st. 4)


Blessings and peace,


Brian T. Johnson and Chad Fothergill

Co-directors, Institute of Liturgical Studies