White flowers starting to bloom on a branch with bright green leaves, with Trinity Church in the background
Photo: Margaret Streeter

A Pentecost Reflection: God’s Breath Is Still With Us

The book of Ezekiel in the Hebrew Bible weaves an astonishing story. Ezekiel sees a valley decimated with death, brittle bones scattered far and wide, a panorama of desolation after a great disaster. God asks Ezekiel if he thinks that those who have died can live. Can the full person be revived, God asks — can they be raised in the truest physical sense, recognizable in all their corporeality? 

Ezekiel cannot fully answer, but God acts. God’s breath, the Ruach of God, which in Hebrew can also be translated as “Spirit,” re-animates the bones with new life. 

For many of us this year, we have felt as if we are living in the “valley of the shadow of death.” It has not been a year for easy breathing. The pandemic made it, quite literally, impossible for many to breathe, and all who have been lost are God’s beloveds. All of us have been wary of our own breath in this season — not wishing to bring harm to others, while also trying to protect ourselves. 

And yet, God’s Spirit, God’s breath, is still with us.

This Sunday, on Pentecost, Trinity Church will have its first in-person worship service since the pandemic began. And while we will continue to take full safety precautions, God’s Spirit will certainly be there. As in the Book of Acts on that first Pentecost, the Spirit revives us, breathing new life into our community and in our beautiful church home from which we have been absent for so long.

For those who cannot be there in person, there is no reason to worry. God’s breath and spirit moves for you also. Like the early church community, brimming with the joyful proclamation that resurrection was truly possible, and sharing that news far and wide into the world, we believe that God’s love transcends all finite spaces. 

Indeed, the very breathe of God resides in each of us — not only now in life’s valleys — but on into eternity.

Summerlee Staten

Summerlee Staten is Executive Director for Faith Formation & Education at Trinity Church Wall Street. Share your thoughts or questions with Summerlee, and beginning June 6 join her Sundays at 10am for Discovery adult education hour.

Children’s Time 

Sundays at 10am | Online

Children and their families are invited to learn together Sunday mornings. We’ll begin with an opening assembly, including a prayer and a song, then break into small groups for a time of exploration and community.

Godly Play (Preschool and older) — An interactive storytelling circle of wonder, faith, and play, followed by hands-on activity and sharing.
Story: The Story of Pentecost
Response Time: Drawing, coloring, and collage materials

Whole People of God (2nd Grade and older) — An interactive multimedia exploration on the week's liturgical themes with hands-on arts activities and sharing.
Lesson: Breathe
Activity: Blow in color — bring watercolors or food coloring, cotton swabs, a cup of water, and a straw

Register to join.

This meeting opens early at 9:10am for the Family Service Watch Party — join us! If you are already registered for Children’s Time, we will meet on the same Zoom link. No need to register again.

Summer Sundays with Discovery

Sundays at 10am | Online
Beginning June 6

Happy Pentecost and Trinity Church Reopening! Our Evictedseries has ended, and we will take a brief hiatus this Sunday and next for Memorial Day weekend and Trinity Sunday. We will resume our online Discovery program on June 6 with a new Summer Sundays series:

Join us this summer as we explore together the Gospel of Mark! For three special Sundays (June 6, July 11, and August 8), Discovery will hear from Dr. Peter Ajer, Professor of New Testament at Church Divinity School of the Pacific, as he gives us a “Bible toolkit” for thinking about the Gospel of Mark, its Ancient Near Eastern context, and how Mark still speaks to us today. For all other Sundays in the summer, we will look at stories, parables, and verses in Mark with discussion moderated by Trinity parishioners and staff. This series is designed for all to participate at any point throughout the summer.

Register to join.

Spiritual Resources