a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

POP: O Hear Our Cry

Beloved, we lift up prayers before God,
trusting in the mercy of the One who comes to shepherd all people.
Let us sing our prayers together:

O Hear Our Cry, O Lord v. 1-2

Save your people, O Lord,
and be especially present with those whom we have named before you.

O Hear Our Cry, O Lord v. 3-4

Turn your face toward your people,
and restore us in your mercy.

We pray in the name of the coming Christ,
and we join in the prayer he taught, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

illumination: either way

God of newness,
we want to be ready…
we want to make room for you…
we want our lives to be changed by your advent.
So speak to us in our busy-ness and our quietness…
our uneven-ness and our level-ness…
our roughness and our smoothness…
so that, either way, your glory might be revealed to us.
Amen.

call to worship: make room

Make room for the advent of God!
Make room for unforgettable transformation!
Make room to see the world turned upside-down…
Valleys will touch the sky…Mountains will be flattened…
And we will all see it together!
So let’s make room for something new…and let’s worship God!

confession: speechless

We are filled with words;
and yet, it often seems as if we have nothing to say.
We like to speak when it serves our own purpose…
but we clam up when we’re asked to be prophetic.
We make excuses about disrupting the status quo…
or not wanting to risk our safe reputations.
The truth is…we are encouraged to speak out…
but all we can manage to say is, “What should I say?”
So give us transforming words…and empower us to speak them…

A cornucopia of liturgy for Advent 1!

Liturgies from Rev. Ross Reddick, Pastor First Presbyterian Church, Sylacauga, Alabama

First Sunday of Advent – Liturgies based on Isaiah 64:1-9

Responsive Call to Worship:
(based on Isaiah 64:1-9)

Leader: O that You would tear open the heavens and come down.
People: We expect quakes to announce your arrival. Instead, we see a stable in the distance.
Leader: O that You would tear open the heavens and come down.
People: We expect your arrival in fire and flame. Instead, we follow a star on a cold night.
Leader: You meet us in this place, as we remember your curious way.
People: As we wait, cleanse us. As we wait, mold us.
Leader: Our ears and eyes perceive no other god besides You, and so we worship this day.
People: We are all your people and we will wait for You.

Prayer of Confession:
(based on Isaiah 64:1-9)

Almighty God, how often you explode our expectations. Our arrogance convinces us that we can understand where and how you will show up in the world. Our excessive confidence is not centered in you, but in ourselves. We utter words of judgment against our adversaries; but we readily forget the ways we sin against you. We have all become unclean in your most Holy eyes. Even our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth when compared to the pure swaddle of the Babe of Bethlehem. If left to our own devices, our sins would take us away like a leaf in the wind. Forgive us, O God. Remind us of the ways you enter our lives and bind us to your sovereign love.

Assurance of Pardon / Declaration of Forgiveness
(based on Isaiah 64:1-9)

The prophet Isaiah reminds us that God meets those who gladly do right, those who remember God’s ways. We deserve to be handed over to our sins. “Yet, O Lord, you are our father. We are the clay, and you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Friends believe the Good News; in Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen.
First Sunday of Advent – Liturgies based on 1 Corinthians 1:3-9
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Responsive Call to Worship:
(based on 1 Cor. 1:3-9)

Leader: We give thanks to God! For the expressions of grace both far and near.
People: For the grace embodied in the expected Christ child.
Leader: For the ways we know of your presence, for the vocabulary of faith.
People: We give thanks to God! For the ways we are strengthened by fellow worshippers.
Leader: For the multitude of testimonies that rival the heavenly host.​
People: For gifts received not in packages, but spiritual gifts.
Leader: God is faithful! God is faithful!
People: We are invited into this fellowship, and called to worship with thanksgiving!​

Prayer of Confession:
(based on 1 Cor. 1:3-9)

Gracious God, though we enjoy the blessings of comfortable lives, we forget to give thanks. We accept graces offered, but refuse to be enriched. We think we can understand your love, but our collective testimony suffers atrophy. We need your strength, O God. Remind us of the gifts you’ve given, and the ways you offer yourself to a struggling humanity. Strengthen us to the end that we might be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

Assurance of Pardon / Declaration of Forgiveness
(based on 1 Cor. 1:3-9)

Paul reminds the congregation at Corinth that the Lord will strengthen them until the time Jesus returns. Though we are not faithful, God is! God who is faithful and just will cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Friends, believe the Good News; in Jesus Christ we are forgive.
First Sunday of Advent – Liturgies based on Mark 13:24-37

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Responsive Call to Worship:
(based on Mark 13:24-37)

Leader: Your Word tells us that we will see the Son of Man coming in clouds.
People: Your arrival will be one of power and glory.
Leader: The heavens will shake as your word rings forth, “Keep awake!”
People: Keep awake! For no one knows the day.
Leader: Keep awake! For no one knows the hour.​
People: Though heaven and earth pass away, Your word is eternal.
Leader: We keep awake, and we worship!
People: In the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn; we worship our Lord!

Prayer of Confession:
(based on Mark 13:24-37)

Merciful Lord, you have entrusted us with your creation, and commanded us to keep watch. But our eyes have become heavy, and our weary bodies ache. We fall asleep. We slumber through the cries of oppression; we slumber through the moans of hunger. We turn from your will because we don’t want to give up our own control and comfort. You’ve given us work to do, but as soon as you are out of sight or mind, we ignore our tasks. We opt to serve ourselves rather than others. Turn us from our ways to yours. Help stir us, O God. Awaken us to joyful obedience and the hope of your glorious return. Amen

Assurance of Pardon / Declaration of Forgiveness
(based on Mark 13:24-37)

Mark’s gospel makes it clear; the Son of Man is coming with great power and glory. When the time is fulfilled, He will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. God Almighty is in control; we rest our hope in God’s mercy and sovereignty. Friends believe the Good News; in Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen

call to worship for Advent 1 – rip open the heavens

Submitted by Rev. Daniel Hayward, Trinity Ingleside and Newington United Churches, South Stormont, Ontario, Canada.

Leader: O that God would rip open the heavens and come down, and make the mountains shudder.
People: But isn’t this season about tinsel decorations and Santa?

Leader: The sun will become dark, the moon won’t give its light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the planets will be shaken.
People: But isn’t this season about lights twinkling in the streets?

Leader: Then you will see the Christ coming in the clouds, with great power and splendour.
People: That sounds more like it – the hope we’re looking for, the promise of something better. We can’t wait!

Leader: But now we must wait. Keep watch! Stay alert! You don’t know when the time is coming.
People: Come, Lord Jesus!

Leader: Come, Lord Jesus. We wait for the arrival of this hope, we long for the return of Jesus, we look for the signs of God coming among us.

Call to Worship for Advent 1 – Restoration

Submitted by Rev. Melissa DeRosia, Pastor of Gates Presbyterian Church, Rochester, NY.

Advent Week One Theme: Restoration

Call to Worship (Isaiah 64:1-9, Psalm 80:1-7,17-19)

Leader: In the midst of our longing,

People: we wait for a sign.

Leader: God does the unexpected.

People: It is more than we can imagine;

Leader: rip open the heavens,

People: builds us anew.

Leader: We are your people longing.

People: Restore us God, Almighty that we might cry out your name.

Sunday’s Coming–and it’s Advent! Working Toward November 27

Here we are, a mere 6 days from the First Sunday of Advent. Some of us run with the apocalyptic/second-coming theme…some of us run away from it, looking for a cute baby to look for instead. Some of us have full-season themes all ready to go, others of us are on the week-by-week (or even the day-by-day) plan. We’re all probably praying something like Isaiah–“tear open the heavens and come down.” Maybe you’re pondering God’s faithfulness as we come to yet another season of waiting. Whatever your style, you’re welcome here! What are you up to this week? What liturgy do you need? What words are waiting to be born? What music needs do you have? Let’s create together!