a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

POP: help us care

Let us pray to the Lord, saying:
Healing God, help us care for one another.

We recently acknowledged the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria.
We pray for our friends and family in Puerto Rico who are still recovering.
We pray for the estimated 2,975 people who lost their lives because of the storm.
We pray for the people of Puerto Rico who have endured the horrors of colonialism.
We pray for our politicians, that they may give Puerto Ricans as much respect and dignity
as they do those of us who live in the states.
Healing God, help us care for one another.

We pray this day for those who are still recovering from Hurricane Florence,
for friends, family, and strangers in the Carolinas and Georgia,
for those whose businesses had to close during the storm and lost revenue,
for those without homes that had no where to run,
and for those in marginalized communities who are more heavily affected by the destruction.
Healing God, help us care for one another.

Today is a day that the Presbyterian Mission Agency encourages congregations such as ours
to pray especially for the gifts of new immigrants.
We acknowledge this day, Gracious God:
that your scripture, time and time again, tells us to treat the foreigner with compassion,
that your son came into this world on the run from a dangerous political regime,
that he was born in a dirty, dusty manger as a marginalized person,
and that this country is not treating immigrants as justly as you call us to.
We give thanks for the gifts that new immigrants bring to this country
and we choose to remind ourselves of the truth that diversity makes us stronger.
Healing God, help us care for one another.

Gracious and Steadfast God,
we pray this day for those who are sick and in need of your care,
for those who are hospitalized,
for those undergoing treatment for cancer and other illnesses,
for those who cry out to you for health and healing.
We pray especially for those we lift up to you in silence…
Healing God, help us care for one another.

Author of our Lives,
hear us now as we pray as you taught us to pray, saying: Our Father…

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

Illumination: dance in your love

Divine Spirit,
surround us with the wisdom of your word
that we might dance in your love
and be messengers of your truth in this world. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

confession: at the edge

Lord, you are before and behind us, around us and within. We give you thanks for your constant presence, even as we admit that we don’t always see or hear you with us. So often we find ourselves standing at the edge…of uncertainty, of fear, of society, of faith, of life. We pray for your path to be clear, to show us your way, but we confess that sometimes we see it and we are afraid and turn our eyes back instead. We long for comfort, stability, familiarity. We admit to you that we prefer the easier way of what we have always done, even if it is not where you currently call. Forgive us, O God. Forgive us for our selective memory, our tendency to nostalgia, our hearts set on self-preservation. Turn our eyes forward, to where you are leading. Remind us that you are our God, and will never leave us. Give us faith to see your way, and courage to walk it. Focus our minds, hearts, and strength on your love, that we may know you fully…for to know you is to love you, and to love you is to serve you, whom to serve is perfect freedom.
It is with faith and hope that we ask these things in the name of your Son, Jesus the Christ, whose love casts out all fear and leads us into new life with you. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, St. John’s Church of Scotland, Gourock.

Confession: swallowed up

Call to Confession
God saves us despite us being unworthy of that salvation.
In response to that grace, let us confess the ways we have fallen short.

Confession (Responsive)
God of Endless Mercy,
we have often been swallowed up by our our greed and selfishness,
desiring that which we do not have, filling our lives with things that do not save us.
We have often been swept away by the floods of our own making,
polluting your creation, neglecting to be faithful stewards of the earth.
We have often attacked one another and led lives of violence,
sending missiles instead of accepting refugees, ignoring your commandments.
Lord have mercy, for we have sinned and fallen short of your glory.
Christ have mercy, for we are broken and need your salvation.
Lord have mercy upon us and hear us as we pray in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon
Friends, our help is in the name of the Lord
who has heard our plea and answered our confession with absolution.
In Christ’s name, I announce to you that our sins are forgiven!
Alleluia! Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

Prayer: stick with us

Saving God,
you are a God who has made it a habit to stick with us through thick and thin.
Thank you for calling us your own
even in moments when we haven’t been the best investment.
Help us, in our worship of you this day,
to be turned in a direction that pleases you. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

CTW: blessed

If it had not been the Lord who was on our side – let us say together:
If it had not been the Lord who was on our side,
we would have been swallowed up alive. But such is not the case!
Blessed be the Lord, who is our rock and our redeemer!
Blessed be the Lord, in whose name is our help!
Blessed be the Lord, who made heaven and earth!
Come, let us worship God!

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

POP: where there is no way

You are a God who leads us, who makes a way when there is no way.
We give you thanks, O Lord, for you are stronger than every foe.
We give you thanks, for your creative Spirit is always at work, making all things new.
We give you thanks, for though we feel scattered or on edge, there is no place we can go beyond the reach of your love.
And so we are bold to lift our voices to you, to admit our need.
We pray this day for your Church, in this community, in this nation, and in the world.
We ask your blessing on your Body, that we may in turn be a blessing to others.
We ask your guidance, strong and sure, for we are not certain of the way forward.
We pray for the gift of discernment, and the courage to follow, even when we feel battered by the waves.
Give us eyes to see and ears to hear…and feet ready to follow…and hands ready to serve.
Take from us any thought that does not glorify you, and lead us on your way.

We pray this day for the nations of this world, and for our leaders, that they too may have the gifts of discernment and courage.
Give them wisdom to seek the good of all, not only some.
Give them compassion, and imagination, and love.

We pray this day for your people near and far who live each day with fear.
Whether they fear someone in their home, or violence in the streets, or the government, or themselves…bring peace, O God.
Bring peace to those in the midst of war, and to those whose greatest enemy is within.
Bring peace that passes all understanding, peace founded on justice, for the people of Syria, and Sudan, and Palestine, and Korea.
And bring us together, to be creators of justice and peace for all your creation.

We pray this day for those who are ill, in body, mind, or spirit.
May your healing presence surround and fill them, may your comfort enfold them.
Guide the hands and minds of doctors and nurses and all who care for others, that they may understand and so treat people toward wholeness.

We pray this day for all those who find the news too much to bear—people living with stories they have not been able to tell, with hearts burdened by trauma, with lives upended by choices made by others.
Shield their hearts, O God.
Give them hope, and help, and a listening ear.
Give us courage to hold their stories, their feelings, and their prayers, to be a friend to those who feel alone.

You are a God who makes a way when there is no way, who creates paths in the desert and through the storm. You carry our burdens and lift our spirits, that we may bravely walk this earthly way. Lead and guide us to go forward into your future, with faith, hope, and love.
We pray these and all things in the name of the One who is the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, Jesus the Christ. Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, St. John’s Church of Acotland, Gourock.

POP: god of wisdom

Let us pray to God saying:
God of Wisdom, draw near to us

Ever-present God,
we look around the world and we see places where people cry out to you:
in places torn by the ravages of war,
in countries demolished by natural disasters,
in areas of rural Kentucky where there are no jobs,
in families across our state who have been devastated by opioid addiction.
Help us bear your light into the places in the world that need illumination and healing.
God of Wisdom, draw near to us.

Gracious God,
give us a gentleness born of wisdom
that we might go out into the world and serve as your ambassadors.
In order to do that, bless us with the wisdom needed to do so –
a wisdom that is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield,
full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy.
God of Wisdom, draw near to us.

God of all mercy and grace,
give us the courage to seek you out,
to search our hearts for your truth,
and to be guided by the stories of scripture.
Since our hearts do not rest until they rest in you,
lead us to the pastures of your protection,
that we might be faithful members of your flock.
God of Wisdom, draw near to us.

Healing God,
we pray for those among us this day who need your love:
for those who struggle with depression’s grip,
for those who journey with physical disabilities,
for those who are lonely,
for those who are hopeless,
for those who are addicted,
for those who are angry and bitter,
for those who are broken and battered,
and for those we lift up to you in silence this day…
God of Wisdom, draw near to us.

Giver of Hope and Truth,
hear us today as we pray the prayer you taught us to pray, saying: Our Father…

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

illumination: curiosity and wonder

As children welcomed to your presence,
instill within us a sense of curiosity and wonder
as we gather to listen to your Word. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

confession: not very good listeners

Loving God, you are always speaking, giving us instructions, directing our attention, and telling us your love. We confess that sometimes we are not very good listeners. We aren’t sure what is your voice, and what is ours, and what is just noise. We are easily distracted. We like our own ways. But even when we are too busy, you still call. We admit that we find you difficult to hear, and we ask for your help. Open our minds and hearts. Tune our ears to your voice. Help us to listen to what you have to say, and then help us to follow wherever you lead.
(Silence)
Thank you, God, for hearing us, and for speaking to us. Remind us of your love and forgiveness, and give us strength to be faithful to you. We pray in the name of Jesus, who taught us to pray together:

 

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, St. John’s Church of Scotland, Gourock