a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Confession: Prepare the Upper Room

Beloved God, you have told us to prepare the upper room for a special meal – and we have gotten lost on the way. Everything seems so straight-forward, like when you ask us to find a man carrying a pitcher of water when we enter Jerusalem. But is it that man over there? Surely it can’t be the one with the long hair, or the strange tattoo, or the one who smells funny. Right from the start, we are overwhelmed with the sights and sounds of the City. Where are you in the midst of this chaos and commotion? How will we ever accomplish what you have sent us to do? But then – finally – we start to see your face in the outcast, the poor, and the weak. In seeing your face, we can do what you have asked us to do. We ask the questions you have us ask, and find the upper room prepared as you said it would be. Help us to remember you. Help us to remember to trust you. Help us to always see your face in the people we encounter – and thus know your eternal loving presence. Amen.

– Rev. Lucus Levy Keppel, Ancho + Corona Presbyterian Churches, New Mexico

(Based on Luke 22:7-12, for a Maundy Thursday service)

POP: Hear us when we pray

Christ our Savior, Lord of all,
as we journey with you we are aware of the difficulty and suffering of the world you love so dearly.
There are those who suffer rejection, injustice, and violence for their commitment to your way or their differences from the religious majority in their land.
Blessed Jesus, Hear us when we pray.
There are many who seek power and status to fill a deeper need than the world can fill; there are many more who are oppressed or ignored on account of that pursuit of power.
Blessed Jesus, Hear us when we pray.
There are children who depend on others to speak for them, sinners who long to know that they are welcomed into your love, and misfits who struggle to know where they belong.
Blessed Jesus, Hear us when we pray.
There are those who face illness and death today, and there are those who grapple with broken and hurtful relationships; there are so many who cry out for mercy.
Blessed Jesus, Hear us when we pray.
And there are so many who seek to follow you, who are learning to serve their neighbors in love and treat their enemies with compassion.
Blessed Jesus, Hear us when we pray.
We are among those who would follow, and we place our lives at your disposal, joining together in the prayer you taught, saying:  …The Lord’s Prayer

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, Cedar Rapids, IA

confession–co-creators?

Invitation to Tell the Truth About Ourselves
One: God is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and God’s mercy endures to all generations. When we confess our brokenness, God’s grace offers us a glimpse of healing. Trusting in the gracious mercy of God, let us confess with open and honest hearts our failure to live up to God’s call. Let us pray.

Prayer of Confession (we tell the truth)
All: God our creator, you asked man and woman to tend this garden of your creating, to care for the creatures of your making, to speak and so join you in creating your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. We confess that we have sinned: we have used your creation rather than cherished it, we have lived greedily rather than gratefully, we have spoken words of destruction rather than love. We acknowledge the damage our heavy footprints, our hard hearts, and our rash tongues have done, and we pray for your forgiveness. Take the dust of our lives and re-form us into your image, and then breathe into us the grace to live for you. Amen. ~silence~

Assurance of Forgiveness
One: In the beginning, God breathed life into being, and every morning God’s mercies are new. Know that you, child of God, made in God’s image, are forgiven, loved and free. Believe and live the good news:
All: God’s goodness is planted more deeply than all that is wrong. Thanks be to God!

 

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

POP–come quickly

My God, my God, come close to your people!

You come to us to rescue us from powers that are too great for us.

Come to the help of all who face trouble or danger today.

O Lord our help,

come quickly to our aid!

 

O Lord, you bind us together as brothers and sisters, beloved in Christ.

Fill our hearts, our lives, and our voices with your praise,

and make us bold to proclaim your name to all people.

O Lord our help,

come quickly to our aid!

 

O Lord, we lift up those who are close to us who face trouble,

especially those who are sick, sorrowing, or confused.

Send forth your healing and restoring love.

O Lord our help,

come quickly to our aid!

 

O Lord, we pray for those who are poor, hungry, or homeless,

who are closer to us than many of us realize.

Open our hands to share what we have,

and open our hearts to share in relationship.

O Lord our help,

come quickly to our aid!

 

O Lord, we pray for all who are entrusted with power

over nations, corporations, and the powers of the world,

that their decisions might honor you and seek the welfare of all people.

O Lord our help,

come quickly to our aid!

 

O Lord, we pray for all the generations:

with thanksgiving for those who have gone before us and enjoy your eternal rest;

and with hope for those who will follow us, to whom we must still proclaim your salvation.

Keep your church faithful in every age.

O Lord our help,

come quickly to our aid!

 

Keep us faithful to you, O Lord,

and teach us to serve you,

as we pray together with Jesus, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

 

Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, Cedar Rapids IA

confession: turn impatience into action

Faithful God,

Just like our ancestors in the faith, we are impatient. They did not want to wander in the wilderness. We do not want to wait in traffic. Help us to turn our impatience into action. Focus our frustrations on the things that need to be changed. God, we do not want to wait any longer for an end to war. We do not want to wait any longer for an end to homelessness and hunger. We do not want to wait any longer for everyone to have enough. Kindle our righteous anger, O God, and move us toward acts of justice, so all may experience the saving love of your Son, our Savior. Amen.
submitted by Rev. Susannah DeBenedetto, Salisbury, Maryland

dedication: filled with your goodness

Jesus, our Teacher and Savior, truly you are God’s Son, and you provide for us all at the table of your grace. Fed and filled with your goodness, we offer our gifts and our lives in gratitude for your love. Receive what we present and bless us so we might be blessings to your people, we pray in Jesus’ name.

 

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, Cedar Rapids, IA

benediction: the kingdom of heaven

Do not be afraid.

The kingdom of heaven comes to change and transform us,

to reshape the world according to God’s reconciling will.

Go forth to bear witness to this community of love.

May the living presence of Christ be with you,

the life-giving power of God sustain you,

and the perfect light of the Holy Spirit shine within you,

now and to the end of the age. Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, Cedar Rapids, IA

illumination: transform and empower

King of heaven and earth,

you make all things new

through Jesus’ teaching and ministry.

Open our senses, minds, and hearts

to the good news of your kingdom.

Transform and empower our lives by this word,

so that our lives might help bring

your heavenly kingdom to earth.

We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen

 

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, Cedar Rapids, IA

confession: life springs

Prayer of Confession:

Parent Who Seeks, Christ who Speaks, Spirit that Springs, the correct and right seems so urgent yet you seek people of spirit and truth. We offer public politeness yet you give us sacred truth. We desperately fill reservoirs of cravings forgetting that life springs from You. Find us. Forgive us. Fill us. May we know for ourselves and not by others that you are the Savior of the world.

 

Assurance of Pardon:

​Hear the good news! Christ gushing up to eternal life!​ Know Christ is truly the savior of the World and of you.

 

Submitted by Christy Ramsey.

CTW: god is speaking

​​

One: ​Come those who ​thirst for living water.

​Many​: God is speaking to us.
One: Come to worship in spirit and truth
​Many​: God is speaking to us.
One: Come and know what you have heard from others
​Many​: God is speaking to us.
Submitted by Christy Ramsey.