a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

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

Confession: not enough

Call to Confession
With humility and honesty, let us confess our sins to our God
who is slow to anger and quick to forgive.

Confession
Abundant God, so much of our harmful behavior is rooted in our envy.
You have given us our manna – our daily bread – but we want more.
We have allowed ourselves to be seduced by commercialism,
telling ourselves that we are not complete until we have the nicest things.
Forgive us when our actions convey that you are not enough for us.
Help us to live our lives simply and faithfully,
trusting in your steadfast love to provide all that we need. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon
Friends, our salvation is not something that can be purchased with money or fame.
Our salvation comes from Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone.
I announce to you this day, our sins are forgiven.
Alleluia! Amen.

 

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

Prayer: narrative

Author of our Lives,
we praise you for writing us into your narrative of salvation.
As characters in this chapter of your story of creation,
help us tell the truth of your steadfast love and mercy
to all who have ears to hear. Amen.

 

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

CTW: praise be

Praise be to God the Creator, who breathes life into being.
Praise be to God the Redeemer, who saves us from ourselves.
Praise be to God the Sustainer, who binds us together as one body.
Come, children of the Triune God, come worship our wild and wonderful Maker.

 

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

CTW: from many places

We have come from many places to gather in this place—from home and school and work, from next door and from miles away.

We have come on foot, by car, bus, and taxi, with friends, and alone.

Whatever the journey has held so far, wherever we find ourselves in our faith or life, God calls us together now, to see what God has done, and to follow wherever he leads us next.

And so we join our voices with voices past, present, and future, to worship God together.

 

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

POP: theological education sunday

Let us pray to God saying:
Holy and Merciful God, hear our prayer.

Today is a Sunday that many Presbyterian Churches
celebrate and support places of theological education.
We give thanks for the 10 seminaries of our denomination including:
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary,
Columbia Theological Seminary,
University of Dubuque Theological Seminary,
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary,
McCormick Theological Seminary,
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary,
Princeton Theological Seminary,
San Francisco Theological Seminary,
Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary,
and Union Theological Seminary.
We give thanks for the two other seminaries
in covenant relationship with our denomination:
Auburn Theological Seminary and Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico.
We also pray for our local seminaries, including:
Lexington Theological Seminary and Asbury Theological Seminary
May these places continue to teach faithfully the future leaders
of our faith families here and abroad.
Holy and Merciful God, hear our prayer.

Gracious God,
today’s scripture reminds us that words matter
and that the way we choose our words
holds within it the capacity to either harm or heal, to wound or welcome.
In this time when words are tossed around so casually,
may our words be used to build up the Body of Christ
and share love and compassion in a broken and battered world.
Holy and Merciful God, hear our prayer.

Healing God,
we pray for those who have been hurt by words of late:
for refugees and immigrants with or without documentation,
for women and girls who have endured words of sexism,
for people of color who hear words of racism,
for people with disabilities who are told they are “less than,”
for elderly people who are told they are useless,
for young adults who are told they are entitled, selfish, and irresponsible.
God of the Living Word, help us speak the truth in love
and to care for one another with the words we choose to speak.
Holy and Merciful God, hear our prayer.

God of Healing and Wholeness,
we lift up to you our words of prayer
for the people near and dear to our hearts
as we lift them up silently before you…
Holy and Merciful God, hear our prayer.

Triune God,
we love you for you hear our voice and our supplications.
We lift these prayers to your ears
along with the prayer you taught us to pray, saying: Our Father…

 

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

Illumination: wisdom implanted

Holy Spirit,
stir our hearts to be moved by your Word,
that we might leave this place
with your wisdom implanted within us. Amen.

 

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