a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

confession: overwhelmed

God of Life…
we are often overwhelmed…
overwhelmed by our own needs;
overwhelmed by our own schedules;
overwhelmed by the summer heat;
overwhelmed by our own responsibilities.
We read the stories of Jesus,
and see that he was overwhelmed, at times, too.
People followed him everywhere.
People wanted from him.
People begged for him to do.
And he gave…and he did.
But he also stopped…rested…reflected…relaxed.
We know we are created to care for others.
And we know we are created to care for ourselves.
So help us to find balance…and to live it…
even now…as we offer to you our silent confessions…

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)

assurance of grace: Jesus feeds hungry strangers

Assurance of Grace

True abundance does not come because of what we do
but because of the Person we know.
Jesus still feeds hungry strangers – even us –
and calls us to share food with others.
Thanks be to God.
Let us share God’s bounty.

Submitted by Rev. Laura Cunningham, Nauraushaun Presbyterian Church (Pearl River, NY)

confession: our distorted passions

CALL TO CONFESSION

The Psalmist asserts that all have gone astray, fleeing from the shepherd who longs to gather us together and heal our brokenness. Let us take this time to return to God, admitting our failings and holding close to the understanding that God longs to gather us in.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION (UNISON)

Holy God, we must confess that we are led off your way into paths marked by our distorted passions: greed, lust, and our hunger for power. We confess that once we follow our passions, it is easier to continue down these treacherous paths rather than returning to you once again. Give us the strength to turn back to your Way. Transform us once again by your saving grace that we might pursue your Son our Lord with all our heart, mind and soul, and so be renewed into the fullness of life that you have promised us. We pray this in Jesus name, Amen.

TIME OF SILENT CONFESSION

ASSURANCE OF PARDON

God assures us: No one has wandered so far down other paths that God cannot find them. No one is beyond God’s love or reach. Friends remember this: It is through the life, death and resurrection of the Christ that we are forgiven. Let us rejoice and give God Glory!

Submitted by Jason Carle, pastor at Overland Park Presbyterian Church (Overland Park, KS)

CTW: We Belong To God

L: People of God, hear what God says to you:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you.”
P: The LORD has created us; the LORD has formed us.
God has called us by name; we belong to God.
L: When you pass through the waters, God will be with you.
P: When we cross the rivers of life, the will not overwhelm.
L: For the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, the LORD is your Savior.

Submitted by Stephanie Anthony, pastor at First Presbyterian Church (Hudson, WI)

prayer of dedication: from smallest to largest

Receive the gifts we offer, O God.
Receive the gift of our lives – from the smallest to the largest.
Bless them all to your transforming work in the world. Amen.

Submitted by Stephanie Anthony, pastor at First Presbyterian Church (Hudson, WI)

assurance: faithful still

Hearing God’s Forgiveness – Adapted from the PC(USA) Brief Statement of Faith

L: Like a mother who will not forsake her nursing child,
P: like a father who runs to welcome the prodigal home,
L: God is faithful still. Hear the good news: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.
P: We can trust and rejoice in this promise!

Submitted by Stephanie Anthony, pastor at First Presbyterian Church (Hudson, WI)

confession: we dismiss the gifts of children

Holy God, who revealed yourself to us as a child, forgive us when we dismiss the gifts of the children among us. Forgive us when we think their offerings are unimportant enough to relegate to a few special Sundays a year. Forgive us when we are impatient about their wiggles and giggles in our all-too-solemn worship. Forgive us if we keep them from learning your Word and joining your family by sending them away so we won’t be distracted. Forgive us for expecting 21st century children to learn in 20th century ways. Transform us, O God, not into childish people, but into your children, ready to learn, ready to listen, ready to welcome unconditionally, ready to serve. Amen.

Submitted by Stephanie Anthony, pastor at First Presbyterian Church (Hudson, WI)

CTW: Through the Voices of Children

L: “Let the children come to me,” Jesus said.
P: The spirit of the Lord rests on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding.
L: Receive the kingdom of God as a little child.
P: The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid.
L: To all who receive him, who believe in his name, he gives power to become children of God.
P: And a little child shall lead them.
L: Lord, open our hearts to the Word you speak through the voices of children today.

Submitted by Stephanie Anthony, pastor at First Presbyterian Church (Hudson, WI)

CTW: rest for your soul

Are you lost?

Are you weary?

Do you long for rest for your soul

and joy overflowing?

Come!

Come and worship!

Our God is like a shepherd who cares for us,

like a mother who feeds us at her table.

Come!

Come let us worship God!

Submitted by Rev. Sarah W. Wiles, Bethany Presbyterian Church (Tacoma, WA)

CTW: Here, Now!

All week long,

we are asked to be many things to many people,

But here, now,

we are simply your children, O God.

All week long,

we are pushed and pulled, torn in many directions,

But here, now,

we find our center, O Christ.

Here, now,

ready our hearts for worship, O Holy Spirit.

Submitted by Rev. Sarah W. Wiles, Bethany Presbyterian Church (Tacoma, WA)