a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Invitation: we are not alone

In the broken and messy world in which we live in there are many things to worry about: debilitating illness, hate inspired violence, or the uncertainty of our future well being. It is easy to close ourselves off emotionally, physically, and spiritually to seal ourselves and our hearts away behind doors forged from fear. Yet despite our efforts, Jesus enters in unhindered and says, “Peace be with you.” He encourages us to engage the worries, doubts, and fears we face filled by the Holy Spirit, our advocate…we are not alone.

At this table, we remember the life, death, and resurrection of our savior who bids us to go out sharing Good News and practice acts of forgiveness with ourselves, our neighbors, and our enemies. This table is for those who feel certain and those who feel frightened. This table is for those who feel filled by the Spirit and those who are seeking to be filled. This table does not belong to the Presbyterian Church, it belongs to Jesus Christ—and it is he who invites all to share in the bread and cup of peace, love, and life everlasting.

Submitted by Rev. Andrew Black, Unity Presbyterian Church, Terre Haute, IN

Confession and Assurance: Chaotic Mess of Voices

Holy and Beloved God, though the world calls us in a chaotic mess of voices, your voice stands apart. Yours is the soft, still voice that speaks to our very heart of hearts. If we would pay attention to your voice, we would hear your love and concern for us – and for those whose voice is getting lost in the chaos. Help us to hear you, and through you, to hear the voices of the oppressed, the lost, the seething, and the frightened. May your voice bring justice and mercy to us and to all the world.

 

My friends, God hears your voice – whether you shout from the top of your lungs or whisper softly below your breath. God has already forgiven you for not listening – and is calling you to live this Good News through the Holy Spirit.

Praise God, who sends the Spirit of Truth and Love to the world. Amen!

 

Submitted by Rev. Lucus Levy Keppel, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bixby, Okla.

A day of holy celebration

Children of God, let us rejoice in the day of Pentecost! We give thanks to God for the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.

Today is a day of holy celebration.

Siblings in Christ, we are inheritors of the work of the church- work done by apostles and preachers, disciples and teachers, lay leaders and children, followers of the Way of Jesus and their loving neighbors.

Today is a day of holy celebration.

We come to this place- perhaps not recently from Mesopotamia or Cappadocia or Phrygia and Pamphylia- but from other states, cities, and townships. We come from states of doubt, rejoicing, and curiosity, drawn here together by the Holy Spirit.

Today is a day of holy celebration.

Peter assured those who heard the many languages of the apostles that they were not drunk, but overwhelmed by the power of the Spirit.

Today is a day of holy dedication.

Those who were gathered to celebrate the giving of the law, the Torah, were awed by the fire of the Spirit, pouring forth in line with the teaching of Jesus- burning away divisions and clearing a path for unity.

Today is a day of holy dedication.

The work of the Holy Spirit always brings order out of chaos- as it did in the beginning over the face of the darkness, on the day of Pentecost, and in the church across creation today.

Today is a day of holy dedication.

The Holy Spirit has been poured out and move, unrestricted, over young and old, without regard to race, gender expression, physical or mental ability, or sexual orientation.

Today is a day of holy inspiration.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control- are not mix and match, but are planted and nourished in the words and deeds of those who have been found by grace in the Way of Jesus.

Today is a day of holy inspiration.

We give thanks, with our whole hearts, bodies, and minds, for the power and pervasive love of the Holy Spirit, which guides our prayers, preserves our faith, and leads us into path of righteousness for God’s own sake. We are awed and appreciative.

Today is a day of holy inspiration.

Thanks be to God! Amen!

Submitted by Rev Julia Seymour, Lutheran Church of Hope, Anchorage, AK

CTW: Companion, Comfort, Counselor

As we gather together, we remember that we are not alone in our faith:

God is our Companion.

Though the Way is not easy, and we may suffer in righteousness,

God is our Comfort.

When anger fills our hearts, and grief crushes our spirits,

God is our Counselor.

And through it all, we are together:

For we are all children of God, our Companion, our Comfort, and our Counselor. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Lucus Levy Keppel, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bixby, Okla.

communion: blow through this place

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

We praise you, O Lord, and all the earth with us,
for your Holy Spirit calls all things into being.
The entire created order serves you joyfully,
and your gracious presence is the song of every heart.

We bear witness that you alone are God,
and we give thanks that you have claimed us as your people.
By water and the Word, you make us your own;
by fire and the Spirit, you call us into the world.
Wherever we go, the risen and ascended Christ is our good shepherd.

Therefore we join our voices with all your people
in every time, every place, and every language,
singing praises to your holy name:

Holy, holy, holy…

Holy One, we enter your gates with thanksgiving;
Blessed Christ, we rejoice in your holy presence.
By your gracious invitation,
we gather at this holy meal
where we give thanks and call upon your great name.

Send forth your Holy Spirit once again.
Blow through this place;
reveal yourself in this bread and this cup;
make your dwelling within this congregation.
Join us to one another
and transform us by your presence,
that we may be the sign of your life in this world
for all who are hurting, hungering, and searching.

Reveal your goodness through us, O Lord,
for your mercy is everlasting;
we pray with your faithful ones in every age,
joining our voices in the prayer you taught us, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

POP: arise, O God

Arise, O God, and scatter the shadows of enmity and hatred!
In Christ’s resurrection, you drive away sin and death
like smoke before the wind;
in Christ’s ascension, you give glory to the one whose suffering saves us;
therefore we rejoice and sing for joy before you.
Teach us to honor your name above all things
and keep us from being content with anything but your will.

You, O God, defend widows and set orphans in families,
you who dwell on high!
You give a home to the lonely and freedom to the prisoners;
you lead your people through the wilderness
into communities of wholeness and abundance.
Show us your presence once again, Holy One;
shake us from our complacency,
and refresh us in all our thirst.
Make a home for all people,
provide generously for the poor,
and use your church to heal your world.
Make room especially for those we have lifted up by name,
and for those whose names are far from our lips
or deep within our hearts.

We sing to you, O God,
praising you for your glorious creation,
trusting in your mighty power,
and celebrating the wonders of your promise.
Blessed are you, O God,
in Jesus Christ,
who teaches us to pray as we say:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

POP: you are the presence

You, O Lord, are Sovereign;
you are the presence of beauty
and the awesome power of love.

Your creative promises stand firm
and hold the world steady;
your steadfast love endures from the foundation of the world
to the completion of all things.
Send forth your comfort on those who cannot trust your word.
Renew our hope.

O Lord, the raging waters of chaos find their order
in bearing witness to your greatness;
even in confusion and uncertainty your praises can be sung.
Deal gently with those who are tossed about by change.
Guide those who enter new beginnings.
Heal those who suffer illness or grief.

Lord most high, you are great above all things.
We praise you for raising on high our Lord Jesus
and seating him beside you forever.
Glory be, forever and forevermore!
We sing our praise in Jesus’ name,
and we join him in prayer, saying:
The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

CTW: search and grasp

Praise our God everyone; give the Lord a raucous greeting!
God is our Advocate, our Helper, the one who gives life.
We search and grasp, even though God is as close as our breath.
Glory to the One who suffered in order to bring us to God!

Submitted by Rev. Will Ryan, First Christian Church, Burlington IA

CTW: not far

Leader: Praise God who made the world
People: …and everything in it
Leader: Worship God who gives all life
People: …their breath and nourishment.
Leader: Come search and Find God
People: ..for God is not far from each one of us.

Submitted by Christy Ramsey

CTW: in the presence of mystery

Pulpit side: Come, people of God—make a joyful noise!

Lectern side: Come, beloved of Christ—lift up your offering of praise!

Travellers: We gather in the presence of mystery,
grace known and unknown,
promises fulfilled and still awaited.

“Locals”: We have received beyond measure,
building our hope on a foundation of love.

Morning ppl: The Spirit of truth fills this place,
empowering us to lead lives
worthy of Christ’s calling.

Night owls: The Spirit of truth fills this place,
revealing the Way:
to love as we have been loved.

Light eyes: In the triune God we live and move
and have our being,
and so we come to worship, one by one,

Dark eyes: to be remade as the Body of Christ,
together and whole,

Outdoorsy: making God’s justice and peace visible

Indoorsy: even in our days.

Over 45: Come, Body of Christ—see what God has done

Under 45: and see what God will do!

Submitted by Rev Teri Peterson–originally written for a liturgy class at Montreat Conference Center’s Arts Recreation and Worship Conference, as examples of options other than “one – all” or “women – men” responsive liturgy.