a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

CTW: we come to ourselves

One: We come to what is familiar. Time, place, people.

All: Watching God, help us to see them in new ways.

One: We come to what is called your house. The place of God.

All: Drive out from among us all that stands in the way of seeing you, being loved by you, and being transformed.

One: We come to ourselves, our bodies called your temples.

All: Make your home in us and our home in you. May your grace make us new and send us out.

 

Submitted by L. Elaine Hall, Bethelview/Valle Crucis United Methodist Churches, Boone, NC

confession: seduced by control

Call to Confession

God longs for relationship, and through relationship to transform the world into the kingdom. When we confess our sin, we find our relationship with God renewed and our life turned again to God’s way. Let us pray together.

Prayer of Confession

God, we think we know what you want, and we try our best to follow the rules. So often, though, we are seduced by our own desire for answers, for black-and-white lists of do’s and don’ts. We like to believe we can earn, or even buy, our way into your kingdom. We confess our need to control, and pray for your forgiveness when we impose our rules on you and on others. We confess that we like things the way we are, and pray for your forgiveness when the status quo keeps some away from you, even as it benefits us. Turn over the tables in our hearts, minds, and churches, and make room for your grace to dwell.

~silence~

We pray in the name of the One who disrupts the world with love, Jesus the Christ.

Amen.

Assurance of Forgiveness

Friends, hear this good news: only Christ is in a position to judge, and his very nature is mercy. If anyone is in Christ, the whole creation is made new, filled with hope and grace, infused with forgiveness. Thanks be to God. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, the Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL

CTW: come into the house of God

One: Come into the house of God, singing praise!

All: We come to this house of prayer for all nations, leaving behind division to seek after grace.

One: Come, whether your heart is pure and ready, or sometimes full of wrong things.

All: We come, craving a glimpse of the Holy One, who is abounding in steadfast love.

One: Come, for in God’s presence all are welcome.

All: We come to worship and be transformed.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, the Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL.

CTW: inward heart

One:  God calls old and young, tall and short, insider and outsider.

All:  God calls beautiful and plain, beginner and expert, silly and serious.

One:  God calls rich and poor, left right and center, faithful and doubting.

All:  God calls into the heart, not based on appearance or circumstance.

One:  God calls…listen, can you hear?

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, the Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL

confession: You, O Lord…

You, O Lord, are our strong tower, our refuge and help in every trouble. Forgive us when we hide away from the challenges of following your call, using your word to build walls that insulate us from your world.

You, O Lord, are everywhere present. Forgive us when we want you to walk alongside us, when we ought to ask for the grace to walk alongside you wherever you are going.

You, O Lord, are the one who hears and answers our cries. Forgive us when our prayer is only self-serving, asking your stamp of approval or your help for our desires, and not for your glory.

You, O Lord, are our counselor and comforter. Forgive us when we seek only comfort, ignoring what we have done wrong and refusing to be confronted or challenged.

You, O Lord, are the one who calls us to come and follow. Forgive our blindness to your people in need, our deafness to your creation groaning for relief, our hearts hardened against the new thing you are doing. Teach us to pray, teach us to listen, teach us to serve, teach us to follow you wherever you are going.

~silence~

One:  Help us, O God,

All:  to know you so well that we cannot help but love you, and to love you so much we cannot help but serve you, sharing your good news in every place, for it is in doing your will that we find perfect freedom. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, The Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL.

confession: we do not see

One:    Do you not perceive it?

All:     No, God, we confess that often we are blind to the new thing you are doing.

One:    So often we are not looking, and sometimes we choose not to see.

All:     We are comfortable with the way things are—we weary of the call to your newness.

One:    Sometimes we see, but our hearts are hardened and we look away, making excuses.

All:     But you call us to respond, to live in your kingdom now.

One:    Forgive our status-quo caution, our focus on self-preservation rather than on your kingdom.

All:     Forgive our narrow vision and insistence that you fit into our plans.

One:    Open us to the movement of your Spirit,

All:     and give us hearts ready to be generous in response.

sung: Kyrie Eleison

silence

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, the Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL.

CTW: God is gracious

Leader: Return to the Lord your God,

People: for God is gracious.

Leader: Confess to the Lord your God,

People: for God is merciful.

Leader: Repent to the Lord your God,

People: for God is slow to anger.

Leader: Praise the Lord your God,

People: for God abounds in steadfast love.

Leader: Worship the Lord your God.

All: Together, let us worship God!

 

Submitted by Rev. Daniel Commerford, Bethany Presbyterian Church, Covington, GA

CTW: we are here, we are home

Leader: We are here.

Side 1: In this place where we experience God’s love.

Side 2: In this place where we practice loving each other.

Leader: We are here.

Side 1: Some of us have returned from a distant country.

Side 2: Some of us have snapped out of our own petty preoccupations.

All: At least for now.

Leader: We are here.

All: We are home.

 

Submitted by Rev. Joanna Harader.

confession: space

Holy One,

The space between us is too great–

this agonizing expanse between you and us:

The rift we have created by demanding our share.

The distance we have put between us as we flee to a far country.

The resentment we hold when things don’t seem fair.

Our refusal to join your gracious party.

Forgive each selfish request

each step away

each bitter thought

each joyless rejection.

Forgive us

and run toward us

with open arms.

Submitted by Rev. Joanna Harader.

confession: holding on

God of the old and the new,
we want to embrace your new way,
but we like the old just fine.
We repeat tired ideas and resist new possibilities.
We hold on to old grudges
and resist your word of reconciliation and new life.
We are too afraid of the unknown to step out into something new.
Forgive us, loving Lord.
Help us to see the way of your new creation in our lives and our world,
that we might be reconciled to you and one another in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Submitted by Rev. Andy James, First Presbyterian Church, Whitestone, New York