a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Affirmation of Faith for Holy Humor Sunday

We believe in God who was before all things, maker of all things, source of all life. We were made in God’s image for vital work in this world – to do justice, to speak truth, to live in love. But we recognize that God’s image also blossoms in our lighter side when we are curious, playful, laughing. God has given us the gift of humor to laugh at ourselves, to unmask the weaknesses of sin, and to turn back to the arms of love. In Christ Jesus, God came and walked among us, teaching us to embrace the weightier matters with a light touch. Though we sinned and rejected him, he still chose to die for us. The forces of evil grasped to contain him, but he arose, laughing, breaking all the bounds of sin and death. As we follow him, we laugh with him, following the true light that cannot be conquered. We believe in the Holy Spirit who teaches us to smile, to bear with difficulty, and to endure from now until the joyful resolution of all creation. We look forward to the coming kingdom of heaven where laughter and love resound in every home and every heart. Amen.

 

Rev. Elana Keppel Levy, Trinity Presbyterian Church, Bixby, OK

Transfiguration Affirmation

Our hope is God, our holy Parent,
who makes all things and from whom all blessings flow.
God’s faithfulness is the anchor of our hope.

Our trust is in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
More than a teacher,
His life, death, and resurrection giving meaning to our existence.
Christ’s faithfulness tethers us to holy mystery.

Our trust is in the Holy Spirit.
Blowing over and through creation, unexpected and untamed,
The Spirit stirs forgiveness, fruitfulness, and creates families.
The Spirit’s faithfulness ties together past, present, and future.

Holy Trinity, One God, we believe you transfigure our faith. Amen.

 

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

affirmation: in every place

We believe in God: omnipresent, in every time, and in every place, generating and sustaining all life, nurturing relationship with Creation.

We believe in Jesus, the Christ, who lived and loved, taught and died; the One who conquered death and who surprises us with grace, when we least expect or deserve it.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, who journeys with us and makes our faith possible, in every situation and every circumstance.

We believe that every place we pause to recognize the mystery of our Triune God, is a sacred place, from sanctuaries on North Sixth Street to sunrises over the Atlantic Ocean. Surely, God is with us in every time and in every place, and we are grateful.

 

Submitted by Jerie Lukefahr, Commissioned Ruling Elder (PCUSA)

*Loosely based on Gen 28:10-19 – can be adapted to reflect local elements. 

CTW and Assurance: God is in this place

Call to Worship:
Leader:          Surely, God is in this place,
People:          and calls us to worship in spirit and in truth.
Leader:          Surely, the Lord is in this place
People:          receiving our songs and praise.
All:                 Surely, God is in this place! Let us praise the Lord!

 

Assurance of grace:
Leader:          Surely, God is here, reconciling us through the gift of grace.
People:          Surely, Christ is here, bringing the Good News of our salvation.
Leader:          Surely, the Spirit is here, leading us to share this gift with others.
All:                 Thanks be to God, God is always with us.

 

Submitted by Jerie Lukefahr, Commissioned Ruling Elder (PCUSA)

Earth Care affirmation

We believe that somehow, God breathed life into the world and declared that it is all good– from the egrets winging their way over Eagan’s creek, and the creek itself – to the manatees meandering through the marina, and the inter-coastal itself**. We believe that God expects us to both enjoy and oversee this creation – to use it wisely, for our benefit and for that of our neighbor and to ensure that it will continue to reflect God’s creativity for generations to come. We believe that through Christ, all things are redeemed and will be made new – our own sinful selves as well as the world around us. We believe that every blade of grass and every drop of rain are miracles that testify to the work of the Holy Spirit. By living responsibly, we express our gratitude for the blessings of nature, in which we live, work, play and worship. Thanks be to God, our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer.

 

(**substitute your local environmental features)

 

Submitted by Jerie Lukefahr

Christmas Affirmation

We believe that God has come to us as a little child,
making our weakness his strength,
securing our salvation by becoming one of us,
blessing us with with a steadfast savior,
filling our hearts with joy to be shared with one another.
We believe that God has birthed righteousness and justice into the world,
giving us a law that will be written upon our hearts,
making the cause of the oppressed the highest priority,
declaring an everlasting reign of peace,
defeating the power of pain and suffering.
We believe that God calls us to participate in this reality of love,
inviting us to proclaim Christ’s resurrection at the Table,
transforming us as disciples to go out into the world,
sending us forth to announce his kingdom of peace and comfort,
challenging us to see everyone as nothing less than beloved children.
This we believe.
This we preach.
This we seek to embody in word and deed.

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY

Affirmation: God is coming

We believe that God has come to us;
that God brought us into being,
that this God gave us breath and purpose,
that we have been blessed to be a blessing to others,
that we have fallen short of this commandment
but that God has nevertheless loved us despite our brokenness.

We believe that God is coming to us;
that God is not happy to leave us alone,
that this God will come to us as a particular human being,
that God will be made known to us in flesh and bone like ours,
that Mary will soon give birth and Joseph will soon clap his hands in joy,
that Jesus Christ will be born and our salvation made complete.

We believe that God will come to us;
that God will have the final word and that Word will be good,
that this God will give us the presence of the Spirit to continue our work,
that we are called to be disciples to all the corners of the earth,
that the day is coming when tears and pain will be no more,
and all will gather at the Table to sing an endless and perfect “Alleluia!”

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY

CTW: we are welcome

One-Is there anyone here who has ever felt scared or worried on a Sunday morning? Were you wondering-will I fit in? Will I be welcome? Does God still love me? The answer is yes!

Come in your suits, your shorts, your flip flops, and your dresses.

All-We are welcome here.

One-Come from your jobs, your shelters, your schools, and your retirement homes.

All-We are welcome here.

One-Come wearing smiles, shedding tears, looking nervous or frightened, and with your anger.

All-We are welcome here.

One-Come with your questions and answers. Come with your prayer requests and answered prayers. Come to sing songs you love and songs others love. Come to hear God’s Word as part of this faith community.

All-We are God’s beloved. Let us worship our God who loves us just as we are.

 

Submitted by Rev. Susannah DeBenedetto, Salisbury, Maryland

litany of affirmation: we have an Advocate

We are not alone, sliding through a mystery with no guidance.
We have an Advocate who guides us with power and truth.

We do not pray alone, worried about “getting it right” or being heard.
We have an Advocate who prays with us, in deep, wordless sighs.

We do not work alone for the healing of the world.
We have an Advocate who directs our paths and reveals Christ to us.

We are born of water and fire, adopted into the family of God.
We have an Advocate who strengthens our relationship with the Holy.

We are a people of bountiful gifts and many connections.
We have an Advocate who blesses and encourages us.

We are yet coming to know more fully the height and depth and breadth of the love of God.
We have an Advocate who does not rest in revealing that truth to all creation.

 

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

affirmation of faith: a litany for justice

Moses, Nehemiah, Jesus,
and many other leaders in the stories of scripture
brought hope with their courage to speak against injustice
by calling out those responsible, and saying:

“What you are doing isn’t good!”

Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela,
and may other leaders in the history of the world
brought hope with their courage to speak against injustice
by calling out those responsible, and saying:

“What you are doing isn’t good!”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer famously said,
“The church is only the church when it exists for others.”
He wrote those words while he was in a Nazi prison,
because he had to courage to speak against injustice
by calling out those responsible, and saying:

“What you are doing isn’t good!”

We don’t have to write books from prison,
but we ARE the church…
and we ARE a community whose purpose
is to exist for others…

So we MUST have the courage to speak against injustice
by calling out those responsible, and saying,
“What you are doing isn’t good!”

We don’t have to be nailed to a cross,
but we ARE the church…
and we ARE a community whose purpose
is to exist for others…

So we WILL have the courage to speak against injustice
by calling out those responsible, and saying,
“What you are doing isn’t good!”

…and may our words be followed by our actions,
so that God’s light might shine bright in the world.
Amen.

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)