a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

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)

Adventy Affirmation

We trust God, whose Love and Justice are revealed over and over through creation, community, and story, through the voices of prophets and the lives of ordinary people, through a helpless newborn baby.

We trust Jesus the Christ, embodiment of God’s word, born a refugee, raised in poverty, dependent on the kindness of others. His obedience to God’s call brought him together with the most unlikely characters, and his insistence on God’s radical love for all led him to the cross. Yet God’s love was more powerful than human force, and on the third day love walked out of the tomb, alive and free in the world.

We trust the Holy Spirit, breath of all life, who blows where she will, calling us to the same path Jesus walked, and leading us all in the holy dance of life in the kingdom of God.

Even as days grow dark, even in the midst of uncertainty, even now: the fire of God’s love burns bright, the wind of the spirit cannot be contained, streams of living water flow in the desert, and all earth cries glory, as we wait the dawn of God’s new day.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, the Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL.

affirmation: the gifts of women

We believe in God, Creator and Sustainer of all that lives;
the One in whose image all are made;
the One who kept covenant with Sarah and Abraham and never forgot Hagar,
who answered Hannah’s deepest prayer, and
gave songs to Miriam, Deborah and Mary;
the One who loves, hears and sings over us still today.

We believe in Jesus Christ, Redeemer and Savior of all who believe;
the One who loved Martha and Mary;
the One who fed the crowds,
who healed the woman who bled, and
raised Jairus’ daughter and Lazarus;
the One whose love, life, death and rising re-creates us still today.

We believe in the Spirit, Comforter and Interpreter for all who cry out;
the One who came in fire and wind;
the One who gave courage to Esther,
who caused David to dance, and
made John leap in Elizabeth’s womb;
the One who breathes life into the Word and us still today.

We believe that the Body of Christ is made up of
hands large and small, hearts old and young,
legs strong and weak, and feet made beautiful
as they carry the Good News to the nations.

We join those who have gone before and those in the generations to follow
in praise of the triune God who was and is and is to come. AMEN.

Submitted by Laura Viau.

affirmation: seasons of life

We believe that God creates, orders and sustains all seasons of life;
God makes spring color burst from the grey of winter,
and the summer heat dissolve into the cool of autumn.

We believe that in the right season, God sent Jesus
to be our Light, our Life, our Love and our Salvation.

We believe that in this present moment, the Holy Spirit sustains us,
and gives us patience, creativity, imagination and courage,
as we seek new ways to answer God’s call.

We believe that God is with us, in every season of our life together.
And we are grateful.

 

Written for a congregation going through a discernment process.
Submitted by Jerie Messer Lukefahr

Palm Sunday Affirmation

We believe in the God who is the pillar of fire and the pillar of cloud.
We trust in our Holy Parent who judges and shows mercy.
We hope in our Creator who is faithful to all that is seen and unseen.

We believe in the Jesus who rode in triumph into Jerusalem.
We trust in the Messiah who was crucified, died, and was buried.
We hope in the living Christ who walked out of the tomb.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, giver of faith and formation.
We trust in the Breath of Life who stirs, sustains, and sanctifies.
We hope in our Advocate who brings to us, and through, us the gift of God’s peace.

 

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