a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

confession: we believe ourselves wise

Creator God, you knit all things together with your infinite wisdom. We confess that we are often foolish, yet believe ourselves wise. We ravage your creation, taking what we want without concern, searching for freedom and happiness, forgetting that our true purpose and joy is found only in you. We seek first our own good, heedless of our place as one strand in the carefully woven fabric of your world. Forgive us. Open our ears to hear you speaking, and our hearts to embrace your purpose. Amen.    ~silence~

 

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

POP: on psalm 19

O God, the heavens declare your glory,
and all creation reveals your surpassing wisdom.
We give thanks to you for those who reveal your riches to us
and teach us in the way we should go.
We pray for all who are searching,
that you would shine your light ahead of them
and help all people rejoice in you.
We pray for those who struggle and suffer,
especially those we have lifted up by name today.
Revive all our souls and refresh our spirits.
Guide us in your service,
because your will is the desire of our hearts.
Let all that we say or do be acceptable in your sight,
we pray in Jesus’ name, saying together:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

communion: on Psalm 91

O God Most High, we give you thanks
today and every day for your unfailing goodness and love.
You are always coming to the rescue of your faithful ones,
and you promise to guard us in all our ways.
We praise you for the gift of this sacrament,
which is a sign of your promise to watch over us forever.
As we come to this table, we lift up before you
those who need your special protection today.
Grant your healing, your protection, your peace, and your hope
to all who are in need.
Give your special care and guidance to this nation,
and grant peace to all the earth,
in the name of the Prince of Peace,
who prays with us as we say together:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

Dedication: we wait upon you

Almighty God our refuge,
you provide all things for those who wait upon you.
We present these offerings to you as signs of our trust,
knowing that your angels guard all our ways.
Show us your salvation, today and forever,
we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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

Benediction–Claimed by the Spirit

Benediction – based on 2 Cor. 5:20 

You are claimed by the Holy Spirit 

to be an outpost of heaven on earth. 

Go therefore to bear the life of Christ to all people, 

forgiving and reconciling in Jesus’ name. 

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, 

the love of God, 

and the communion of the Holy Spirit 

be with you all. Alleluia! Amen.

 

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

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