a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Confession: looking for mercy

O Lord our Shepherd, maker of heaven and earth,
we lift up our eyes to the hills,
looking for your mercy and forgiveness.
You watch over us night and day,
and yet our feet go astray;
we slip, stumble, and fall into sin.

We confess that we do not watch for your guidance,
trust in your protection,
or offer your comfort to others.
Forgive us.
We need you to save us from the evil we bring on ourselves.
We need you to guide us as we go out into the world
and come back into your presence.

Restore us, we pray in Jesus’ name,
for he promises your mercy from this time forth and forevermore. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines, IA

Confession: Vulnerable Love

Holy and Beloved God, you are the one worthy of praise, who fills our hearts with extraordinary joy, and who weeps with us when we lash out and hurt each other. In your infinite love, you care for us, and teach us to love each other as you do. Instead, we too often use our feelings as a shortcut for manipulation, trying to get others to do what we want instead of listening for your guidance. Help us to change, to listen to each other, trusting in you and each other to love again in vulnerability, knowing that all shall be well. Amen.

 

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

Illumination: Word, Light, Way

Divine Word, speak your love into our hearts. Divine Light, shine your peace into our souls. Divine Way, lead our lives in your hope. Amen.

 

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

CTW: Scent of Bread

The scent of the Bread of Heaven has called us together

For when we pray, a window to heaven is opened

Let the joy of the feast to come fill you in this place

For whenever we gather at this table, we are filled to overflowing with God’s love

The Holy Bread we share with each other, for God’s gifts are for sharing

In sharing with one another, we see the face of Christ. Let us worship God!

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

Prayer for Illumination: Freshly Baked Bread

Holy Spirit, lift these words from the pages of scripture like the aroma of freshly baked bread. Help us to hunger for these words, to be fed by your grace, and to share what you offer with all of your children on this earth. Amen.

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

Blessing for teachers

Scripture reminds us that teachers are a gift from Christ himself to the church. Together with apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors, our teachers equip God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up, find unity, and mature in faith until we attain ‘the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.’ That’s no small task! Therefore, today we say THANK YOU. Thank you, teachers and leaders, for answering Christ’s call; we honor your service and offer our support, our prayers and our heartfelt gratitude.
Let us pray:

For helping the congregation fulfill our baptismal promises, may God richly bless you.

For sharing your love of Christ with God’s children of all ages –from toddlers to teens to retirees -may God richly bless you.

For inviting your students to dive into Scripture with both head and heart, may God richly bless you.

For preparing lessons that spark curiosity and stimulate discussion, may God richly bless you.

For challenging us to ask the hard questions and have courageous conversations, may God richly bless you.

For crafting activities that spur creativity and allow talents to grow, may God richly bless you.

For late-night lesson plans and last-minute substitute teaching, may God richly bless you.

For lock-ins, mission trips, escape rooms and bounce-house duties, may God sustain you!

For equipping us to be sent out into God’s world to share the love of Christ, may God richly bless you.

For living lives that in and of themselves teach us so much about what it means to be a disciple, may God richly bless you.

Bless you for being just who you are -men and women of faith who teach us to love God, our neighbors and ourselves. We thank you, we love you, we honor you and we pray God’s blessings on you this day and always! And all God’s people said: AMEN!

Submitted by Jerie Lukefahr

Confession: rather than

God of love, you come to us in the person of Jesus Christ,
who embodied humility for our sake.
We confess that we have chosen pride rather than humility.
We have tried to take advantage of our position and abilities,
rather than offering them up for the sake of others.
We have not listened to your Word made flesh.
Forgive us.
Teach us to give glory to you alone,
to humbly serve each other,
and to follow as disciples of Jesus Christ,
our risen Lord. Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines, IA

POP: lifetime after lifetime

We exalt you, O God our Sovereign,
and we bless your name forever and ever.
Every day proclaims your blessing,
and lifetime after lifetime sings praise to your name.
To you, whose greatness never ends,
we lift these prayers for your beloved people.

We pray for children and generations yet to come,
that they may know and praise your works with joy.
We pray for elders who ponder your glorious splendor,
that they may rejoice in your marvelous works.
We pray for those who have little to depend on except your might,
that all your people may have everything they need.
We pray for those who are sick, suffering, or grieving,
that their lives might bear the mark of your great goodness
and that, healed and whole, they may sing of your righteous deeds.

We pray to you, for you are gracious and full of compassion,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
We pray to you, in the name of the risen Christ,
in whom we pray together:
The Lord’s Prayer

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines, IA

CTW: witnesses

One: Come, let us worship God!
All: We come with joy and amazement. We come, startled and frightened. We come as we are.
One: We assemble together, saying “It is true!”
All: Are not our hearts burning within us?
One: Look! Touch and see! It is Jesus!
All: He has appeared! Our Lord is risen indeed!
One: Christ stands among us, saying “peace be with you.”
All: And we are witnesses of all these things!

Submitted by Rev. Betsy Turner, Luther Hays Presbyterian Church, Hayston, GA

Prayers of the People: eternally victorious

We give you praise, O God,
because you are eternally victorious over death.
In faithfulness you have raised up Christ for us,
and your mercy knows no end.

God of life, we pray for those who are bowed down
under the weight of hunger, injustice, uncertainty, or despair.
You who provide every good thing,
uphold your people.
Open your hands wide
and satisfy the needs of every living thing.

God of hope, we trust in your righteousness
and depend on your love.
Be near to those on whose behalf we call upon you;
to those who face sorrow, illness, injury, or death.
Fulfill our longings for wholeness, healing, and new life;
hear and answer all who cry out to you.

Steadfast God, preserve us in your love,
that we might speak your praise
and bless you forever
in the name of the holy one, the Risen Christ,
who teaches us to pray as we say:
The Lord’s Prayer

 

Rev. Nathan Williams, Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines, IA