a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

CTW: let go and pick up

As we gather for worship, O Lord, help us let go . . .
Of the things that trap us, the fears that silence us, the anger that haunts us.
As we gather for worship, O Lord, help us let go . . .
Of the worry, stress or anxiety that have filled us since the last time we gathered in your presence.
As we gather for worship, O Lord, help us let go . . .
Of grief, sadness, or a desire for something else.
As we gather for worship, O Lord, help us pick up . . .
The gift of your grace, your love and your life that fills us.
As we gather for worship, O Lord, help us pick up . . .
The gift of each other, the gift of this community, the gift of this time of worship.
As we gather for worship O Lord, help us say together,
We are here.  We are not alone.
Jesus Christ is among us today.
Alleluia!  Amen.  

Submitted by Rev. Shannan R. Vance-Ocampo, Transitional Presbyter. Albany Presbytery. New York

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)

A day of holy celebration

Children of God, let us rejoice in the day of Pentecost! We give thanks to God for the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.

Today is a day of holy celebration.

Siblings in Christ, we are inheritors of the work of the church- work done by apostles and preachers, disciples and teachers, lay leaders and children, followers of the Way of Jesus and their loving neighbors.

Today is a day of holy celebration.

We come to this place- perhaps not recently from Mesopotamia or Cappadocia or Phrygia and Pamphylia- but from other states, cities, and townships. We come from states of doubt, rejoicing, and curiosity, drawn here together by the Holy Spirit.

Today is a day of holy celebration.

Peter assured those who heard the many languages of the apostles that they were not drunk, but overwhelmed by the power of the Spirit.

Today is a day of holy dedication.

Those who were gathered to celebrate the giving of the law, the Torah, were awed by the fire of the Spirit, pouring forth in line with the teaching of Jesus- burning away divisions and clearing a path for unity.

Today is a day of holy dedication.

The work of the Holy Spirit always brings order out of chaos- as it did in the beginning over the face of the darkness, on the day of Pentecost, and in the church across creation today.

Today is a day of holy dedication.

The Holy Spirit has been poured out and move, unrestricted, over young and old, without regard to race, gender expression, physical or mental ability, or sexual orientation.

Today is a day of holy inspiration.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control- are not mix and match, but are planted and nourished in the words and deeds of those who have been found by grace in the Way of Jesus.

Today is a day of holy inspiration.

We give thanks, with our whole hearts, bodies, and minds, for the power and pervasive love of the Holy Spirit, which guides our prayers, preserves our faith, and leads us into path of righteousness for God’s own sake. We are awed and appreciative.

Today is a day of holy inspiration.

Thanks be to God! Amen!

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

CTW: Companion, Comfort, Counselor

As we gather together, we remember that we are not alone in our faith:

God is our Companion.

Though the Way is not easy, and we may suffer in righteousness,

God is our Comfort.

When anger fills our hearts, and grief crushes our spirits,

God is our Counselor.

And through it all, we are together:

For we are all children of God, our Companion, our Comfort, and our Counselor. Amen.

 

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

CTW: in the presence of mystery

Pulpit side: Come, people of God—make a joyful noise!

Lectern side: Come, beloved of Christ—lift up your offering of praise!

Travellers: We gather in the presence of mystery,
grace known and unknown,
promises fulfilled and still awaited.

“Locals”: We have received beyond measure,
building our hope on a foundation of love.

Morning ppl: The Spirit of truth fills this place,
empowering us to lead lives
worthy of Christ’s calling.

Night owls: The Spirit of truth fills this place,
revealing the Way:
to love as we have been loved.

Light eyes: In the triune God we live and move
and have our being,
and so we come to worship, one by one,

Dark eyes: to be remade as the Body of Christ,
together and whole,

Outdoorsy: making God’s justice and peace visible

Indoorsy: even in our days.

Over 45: Come, Body of Christ—see what God has done

Under 45: and see what God will do!

Submitted by Rev Teri Peterson–originally written for a liturgy class at Montreat Conference Center’s Arts Recreation and Worship Conference, as examples of options other than “one – all” or “women – men” responsive liturgy.

CTW: whispered alleluias

One: It was dawn. The sun was warming the earth. The birds were singing.
Many: The beauty of the day was lost on the grieving women.
It may as well have been midnight as they approached the tomb.
One: It was dawn. The earth was rejoicing. The breeze whispered alleluias across the land.
Many: It made no sense. The stone had moved. The body was gone.
Confusion and fear shoved grief to the side.
One: It was dawn. The trees swayed in the rhythm of songs from the heavens.
Many: Dazzling clothes, strange voices, familiar words:
On the third day the Son of Man will rise again.
One: It was dawn. The women were running. The words were forming.
Many: Christ is risen! Come and see!
One: Christ is Risen!
ALL: He is risen indeed.

 

Submitted by Laura Viau.

CTW Psalm 130

God we cry out to you from the valleys of our lives.
Hear our pleas, listen to our cries, hear our voice, O God.
Lord, we wait, and we wait, and we wait.
Divine one, our soul waits for you, for our hope is in your word.
Hope in the Lord, you people of God,
For God’s love for us is unbreakable!

 

Submitted by Rev. Will Ryan, First Christian Church Burlington IA

CTW: God Refines the Soul

We gather together, full of bountiful hope and terrible fears.

A crucible is for silver, and a furnace is for gold, but the Lord refines our hearts.

Sin coats us like rust, eating away at our connections to each other, but God anoints us with oil to keep us safe.

A crucible is for silver, and a furnace is for gold, but the Lord refines our hearts.

In the fire of the Holy Spirit, we are forged anew – again and again – into the image of God.

A crucible is for silver, and a furnace is for gold, but the Lord refines our hearts.

Let us worship God, who refines our hearts and strengthens our souls for everlasting life.

Amen!

 

(Based on Proverbs 17:3)

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

CTW: return to the Lord

Leader: God’s call rings out through the world, God’s message to us.
People: God calls us to come back, to fast and weep, and ask for forgiveness.
Leader: We need to change our entire lives, what is inside of us, not just outside.
People: For our God is loving and compassionate.
Leader: We enter this season of Preparation by returning to the LORD.
All: Together, let us sound the trumpet and worship God!
submitted by Rev. Will Ryan, First Christian Church Burlington IA

Transfiguration Invocation

God of the high and low, we come before you this day seeking your Holy presence. We come to sing praises, pray petitions, and listen to the Word at your holy mountain. We come to experience metamorphosis, to be changed into your people. Change us in this hour so we might speak your Spirit of hope and grace to the world. We pray this in the name of Christ, AMEN.

 

Submitted by Rev. Will Ryan, First Christian Church, Burlington, IA