a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

illumination: teach us the lyrics

Holy God,
in the midst of our stillness, let your Spirit move;
through the sound of sheer silence, may we hear you whisper;
to the rhythm of creation, set the beating of our hearts;
and with the words of these stories we hear today,
teach us the lyrics to your song
Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Scott V. Cervas, Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)

Approach and confession: idols

God of love and justice, you are alpha and omega, beginning and end…and in between you are the breath of life, the rock on which we stand and the hand that holds us fast. We come into this place, gathered as your people, listening for the voice of your Spirit, still speaking in the wilderness of our hearts. We know your commandments, we can say all the right words…and yet we confess to you that our lives are not always a demonstration of your love. We have looked for loopholes, or created reasons to follow our own way. We admit that we have trusted in other gods—gods of money, security, family, or power. We are on a first name basis with the gods of greed and jealousy, and we are loathe to turn away from the god of privilege. Our everyday actions often proclaim any number of idols, and we come now to ask your forgiveness and help. We cannot leave them behind without your strong hand to guide us in the right way. Give us once again the joy of your grace, and set us on the sure foundation of your word. It is in you, lord, that we live and move and have our being. As you forgive so freely, fill us again with the blessing of creator, redeemer, and sustainer, that we may show your glory in every word, thought, and deed. We pray in the name of Christ, whose faithfulness is our hope and our light, and who taught us to pray together…

 

Submitted by Rev Teri Peterson, Marchmont St Giles parish, Edinburgh Scotland

Confession + Assurance: Hope for God’s Children

Beloved God, your hopes for us can seem far removed. How can we work for a better tomorrow when today is so difficult? How can it be that people so different from us can also be your children? You call us to serve each other in love, and we instead demand service from others. You call us heirs to your Kingdom of peace, and we act like spoiled children, throwing tantrums when we don’t get our way. Help us to see your way before us – and call us back to right relationship with you and each other. Amen.

Family of God – hear this good news: God’s mercy is boundless, and God’s love is beyond all understanding. God has already forgiven you, and is calling on you again to serve each other, to build the Kingdom, and to celebrate your ties with one another.

Praise be to God! Amen.

 

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

CTW: Child of God

Child of God, you are welcome here.

We gather with our siblings, sustained by the faith of Christ.

Child of God, you are called.

Our hope is in God’s light, working together to build the Kingdom of Heaven.

Child of God, you are loved.

May God’s love always fill us to overflowing, sustaining our Spirits. Amen.

 

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

Confession: Shiphrah and Puah

Scripture offers us stories of
Heroes who have been
Immoveable in their efforts to inspire
People to stand against evil in the world.
Hatred and violence are too often a
Real problem…and we must wonder:
Are we…actively or inactively…silently or loudly…
Helping to preserve the problem?

Against our deep desire to trust your vision, we often
Neglect our responsibility for one another, failing to
Do justice, live kindness, and be humble.

Prepare us for your work…
Unite us in your purpose…
And
Heal us from our indifference… 

 

Submitted by Rev. Scott V. Cervas (Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY)

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. 

POP: let us see light

Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens,
and your faithfulness soars over us like the clouds.
We call on your righteousness, strong as a mountain,
and your justice, deep as the ocean;
for humans and all that lives on the earth,
we call out for mercy.

Your love is immeasurable,
and we lift up all your people who seek to know you.
Gather us under the shadow of your wings
and unite us with each other by your grace.

We pray for those who count themselves excluded from life’s good things,
that they might feast upon the abundance of your house.
We pray for those who hunger and thirst for righteousness or healing,
that you would give them drink from the river of your delights.
We pray for those whose lives are in danger or at an end,
for with you is the well of life.

In your light let us see light,
and in your loving-kindness let us make you known;
we pray in the name of your Christ, saying together:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

Dedication: delight

Lord, you take delight in us
and fill us with every good thing
so that all who hunger may share in our joy.
Receive what we offer as testimony to your goodness,
and let these gifts lead to rejoicing
in your church and all your world;
in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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

Confession: some other place

Creating and transforming God,
you call us to spread the joy of your kingdom
and live as agents of your renewal in the world.
We confess that we are content to locate your kingdom
in some other place, some other time, some other reality.
We have been unwilling to welcome your ever-present Spirit,
to strive for your justice in this world,
or to recognize the risen Christ in the face of others.
Forgive us.
Open our hearts, our minds, and our lives
to see the truth right in front of us.
Free us from our foolishness,
and teach us to live by your wisdom,
in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

POP: we call on you

We call on you with thanksgiving, Lord of heaven and earth,
and we come before you with all our heart.
We set you apart as the one deserving of all our praise,
and we call on your love and faithfulness
for the sake of your name.

We call to you, trusting that you will answer.
We pray for all who are sick, suffering, or struggling;
O Lord, increase the strength of those who are weak.

We pray for those who govern nations and hold power in the world;
speak your words of wisdom and justice, and let there be ears to hear.

We pray for those whose gifts of beauty and skill
give glory to your name and joy to others;
guard them my your mercy.

Lord God most high, we pray for those who are weighed down
by injustice, violence, or fear;
lift up the lowly and bring forth justice.

We call on you for ourselves,
in the midst of whatever trouble we may find ourselves in.
Walk along with us and guide us in your service.
O Lord, make good the purposes for which you have called us;
we trust in your enduring love,
made real for us in Jesus Christ,
who taught us to pray, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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