Seasons & Celebrations
As Christians, we mark various milestones in Jesus’s life and ministry with seasons and celebrations throughout the year. This pattern of observances is sometimes called “the church year” or “Christian year”. We think of it as a cycle of commemoration and witness that links the historical origins of our faith with our living experience as people of faith in today’s world.
Happening Now: The Season After Pentecost
The color green is associated with the Season After Pentecost, symbolizing growth and fruitfulness.
Pentecost (May 15 this year) occurs 50 days after Easter. It commemorates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the followers of Jesus, and the establishment of the Christian church. For that reason, Pentecost is a favorite time to confirm and receive new church members.
The day after Pentecost (May 16 this year) marks the start of the Season After Pentecost. This is the longest season in the church year, lasting until the first Sunday of Advent. The Season After Pentecost is also known as Ordinary Time. That name doesn’t mean this season is unexceptional; rather, the word “ordinary” refers to the use of ordinal numbers (first, second, third, etc.) when counting the Sundays between Easter and Advent.
What to Expect During Pentecost and The Season After Pentecost
- Pentecost worship typically focuses on our relationship with God and what it means to live a spirit-filled life.
- The Season After Pentecost is a time of striving to grow spiritually and to do God’s work as followers of Jesus. During this season, worship often emphasizes nurturing and growing the gifts we have been given.
- The color red is associated with Pentecost, symbolizing the fire or flame of the Holy Spirit.
- Green is the color of the Season After Pentecost, symbolizing growth and fruitfulness.
Other Christian Seasons
Details about current seasons and celebrations at Northlawn UM Church will be posted as we move through the church year. Additional information on seasons of the church year is available via links in "Seasons At A Glance" (see sidebar, on right).
Worship activities symbolizing our special connection with Jesus and the church include the Sacraments of Holy Communion (also called the Lord’s Supper) and Baptism. At Northlawn UM Church, we celebrate Holy Communion monthly, usually the first Sunday of the month. Baptism of children and adults may take place at any time during the year.
Each person receives a small piece of bread, which he or she dips into grape juice before eating. The bread and juice symbolize the bread and wine Jesus shared with his disciples at his last meal with them the evening before his crucifixion. At the time, Jesus said the bread represented his body and the wine represented his blood, as well as God’s promise to his followers of everlasting life. By re-enacting this meal, we express our willingness to follow Jesus and express our unity with all his followers. As United Methodists, we offer Holy Communion to all who love Christ, repent their sins, and live in peace with each other. Children old enough to understand the purpose and nature of Holy Communion are welcome to take part. Gluten-free bread is available each time we serve Holy Communion.
The person being baptized (or the parents of a child being baptized) professes their desire to be connected to the community of Christ as represented by the church and congregation. The congregation also pledges to care for and nurture the person being baptized. Water is sprinkled or poured on the person’s head to symbolize new life, God’s love, and the forgiveness of sins. While Baptism may take place during worship any time of year, individuals are baptized just once in their life.