a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

call to confession / declaration of grace: mind-expanding faith

CALL TO CONFESSION

God doesn’t call us to a blind faith…
but to a faith that is eye-opening and mind-expanding.
But we often find it more beneficial for ourselves
if we pretend we cannot see or understand God’s vision for creation.

So please join me in the prayer of confession…

 

DECLARATION OF GRACE

(NOTE: The words of Jesus in italics, which are the words spoken to Thomas, could be spoken by another person besides the worship leader, perhaps someone sitting within the congregation with a microphone)

This is Good News:

God does not mock us when we fail to trust,
but invites us into a deeper, more intimate relationship.

Put your finger here. Look at my hands. Put your hand in my side. Trust me!

God does not shame us when our faith waivers,
but challenges us to be strengthened by God’s promises.

Happy are those who don’t see…and yet trust!

God’s purpose is not to tear us down…but to build us up…
forgiven…refreshed…and renewed!

So let’s sing…and let’s give thanks to God!

CTW: in this sacred space

Gather in this sacred space
and hear God inviting us to imagine and create!
Gather in this sacred space
and know that the peace of Christ surrounds us!
Gather in this sacred space
and let the Spirit of God inspire us once again!
Gather in this sacred space
and let’s worship God together!

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

illumination: that we may cling to your heart

Draw us from our tombs…
from the dark, self-imposed prisons of knowing-it-all…
into the light of your unflinching good news.
Use our encounters with the stories of scripture
to unbind us from our fascination with the status quo…
so that we may cling to your heart,
and see the world through your eyes.
Amen.

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

confession: behind closed doors

Sometimes we hide ourselves
behind closed doors…
afraid to love…
afraid to share…
afraid to be vulnerable.

Sometimes we hide ourselves
behind locked minds…
unwilling to love…
unwilling to share…
unwilling to be vulnerable.

But you always invite us
to step outside…
to trust…
and to embrace your new life.

Forgive our faintheartedness…
release us from our reluctance…
and inspire us to go and be and tell and do
your good news…

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

dedication – these gifts we bring (lyrics)

Sung to the Tune of “What Child Is This”, this can be used as a doxology during Advent and Christmas. For those worship leaders who prefer to not use Christmas hymns during Advent, maybe this will do as a nice option.

These gifts we joyfully bring to you,
to fill the world with meaning;
our hearts and minds are longing for
the life of which you are dreaming.
This, this our gift we bring,
our lives we share, your praise we sing;
show us your vision, Lord,
for hope, and peace, and caring.

Here is an optional second verse for Communion Sunday:

We gather as one at your table, Lord,
the bread is broken, the wine is poured;
the walls we fashion around us fall,
we’ve dropped our spear and put down our sword;
This, this your gift we share,
you welcome all people from everywhere;
take…eat…remember me,
created…restored…community!

Submitted by Rev. Scott Cervas, Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church, (Lexington, KY)

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)