Pentecost— Family faith formation @ home



Invite various persons to bring a designated item and use this liturgy to begin your time of learning together. 

One:    Come, let us gather around and see how the Spirit will nurture our faith today.

All:      Who is with us?
One:    Christ, the light of the world.
(Place a candle on a table in your gathering place and light it.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:   The Love of God, who came to meet us in the world.
(Place a cross on a table in your gathering place.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:    The Wisdom of God, who speaks through the Scriptures.
(Place an open Bible on a table in your gathering place.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:    The Grace of God, who proclaims we are children of God.
(Place a symbol of baptism – a bowl of water, a seashell – on a table in your gathering space.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:    Our risen Lord, who meets us at the table.
(Place a symbol of communion – a plate and cup, a loaf of bread, grapes – on a table in your gathering space.)

One:    We are here, Holy Spirit, ready for your leading.

God sightings and prayer offerings 

Invite each person to share where they saw or experienced God this week. Invite each person to share something — a person, community, experience, event, etc. – for which they want to offer prayer. 

Good and gracious God, we thank you for all the ways you were and are present in our lives and in the world. [Invite each person to say aloud the sighting they named earlier.] We bring our prayers to you, prayers for… [invite each person to say aloud the prayer need they named earlier]. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

Connecting with Scripture: Acts 2:1-21

Read the Scripture aloud the first time using the New Revised Standard Version or the Common English Bible.

For the second reading of the text, watch and listen as it is read in different languages by many voices.


Connecting through story

Now listen and watch the story unfold.



  • You’ve now heard the story in three different versions (once from your Scripture reading, once in many languages and once in a storytelling version with Legos). What did you hear that was the same and/or different in each encounter with the text?
  • What part of the story stands out to you?
  • What part of the story raises questions for you?

Connecting with our lives

Engage in dialogue:

  • Why do you think there were (and are) so many different languages spoken?
  • Why do you think God wanted people to be able to understand one another?
  • What role did the Holy Spirit play in helping people understand one another on that Pentecost so many years ago?
  • In what ways do you think God wants us to understand one another today?
  • Even when we speak the same language, what gets in the way of us understanding each other?
  • What role does the Holy Spirit play in helping people understand each other now?
  • How is the church called to help people understand each other even today?
  • Why did God create the church?
  • How would you define the church?
  • In what ways does the church continue to make God’s presence real and alive in the world today?
  • How are you (and the church) making God’s presence known and felt in the world today?

Teaching points that can be incorporated into your discussion:

  • Today we celebrate Pentecost – 50 days after Easter – the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the church.
  • In the story of the Tower of Babel, everyone spoke the same language, which led to the people trying to become self-sufficient to the point of not needing God. As the story goes, God gave them different languages and scattered them. The comparison of the story of the Tower of Babel and the Pentecost Story shows a people who now fully realize their absolute need of God and the divine gift of understanding so that they can come together in their devotion to Christ and work together to glorify God.
  • When the church was birthed on that first Pentecost day, it was not a building but a people empowered by the Holy Spirit to be the church.
  • One view of the church is to understand it not as having its own mission rather it is called to join in God’s mission.
  • Another view is that the church is the interim personification God’s continuing presence in the world until Christ comes again.
  • As it works to embody God’s very real presence in the world, the church is an amazing, confusing, mysterious, frustrating, exhilarating expression of God working through the Holy Spirit and human partners to continue Christ’s work in tangible and concrete ways. Sometimes we trip over our humanity, but we must never forget God made the church, set it on a path and calls us to enliven it.

Invite each person to think of one way they have been a part of the church continuing God’s work and presence in the world. Then, ask each person to create a scene by directing and positioning the people gathered to create a human snapshot. Do a lightening round of the “Big 5” questions after each scene: whom, what, when, where and why?


Close your time together by praying for one another, your neighbor, community and the world.


REBECCA DAVIS is the associate professor of Christian education at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. A teaching elder and certified educator, she served congregations for over 20 years before moving into academic teaching. In addition to teaching and mentoring students, her passion is child advocacy and ministry.