a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Communion: a word

The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

With our whole heart and our very being
we praise you for you are a wise and wonderful God.
With nothing more than a word,
you created the whirling planets
and breathed life into all of creation.
You made us in your image,
that we might be stewards of this good earth.

Together, with all of creation, we sing your majesty:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

You blessed us with the promise of abundance and grace
if only we lived within the bounds of your mercy.
But we pushed those boundaries and neglected your earth,
mistreating one another and failing to care for creation.
So you sent your Son, Jesus Christ,
to redeem us for we were unable to redeem ourselves.
In the flesh he came among us and preached the Gospel
not only in word but in deed.

We give you thanks that the Lord Jesus,
on the night before he died, took bread,
and after giving thanks to you, he broke it,
and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take, eat. This is my body, broken for you.

In the same way Jesus took the cup, saying:
This cup is the new covenant sealed in my blood,
shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.
Whenever you drink it, do this in remembrance of me.

We gather this day, God of all majesty and power,
to lift up your holy name and proclaim the mystery of faith:

Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Giver of Every Mercy,
send us the presence of your Spirit
that she might bless us in this holy meal,
sending us forth into the world
to be both hearers and doers of your Word.
Unite us this day with our sisters and brothers around the world
as we preach the Gospel and grow in our understanding of discipleship.

Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ,
all glory and honor are yours, Holy God,
both now and forever more. Amen.

 

Submitted by Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

CTW: for the journey ahead

Come, children of God, and be welcomed here as you are.
We gather in this place to worship God and God alone.
Come, children of God, and be fed at the Lord’s Table.
We come to receive what we need for the journey ahead.
Come, children of God, and let us find the fuel for our faith.
We come to the Table to receive God’s blessing and share it with others.
Come, let us worship God.

 

Submitted by Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

CTW: Scent of Bread

The scent of the Bread of Heaven has called us together

For when we pray, a window to heaven is opened

Let the joy of the feast to come fill you in this place

For whenever we gather at this table, we are filled to overflowing with God’s love

The Holy Bread we share with each other, for God’s gifts are for sharing

In sharing with one another, we see the face of Christ. Let us worship God!

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

Prayer for Illumination: Freshly Baked Bread

Holy Spirit, lift these words from the pages of scripture like the aroma of freshly baked bread. Help us to hunger for these words, to be fed by your grace, and to share what you offer with all of your children on this earth. Amen.

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

Communion: reality was thirsty

Our souls long to give you thanks and praise, O God,
just as the deer longs to quench its thirst in springs of water.
When reality itself was thirsty for you, Living God,
you poured out the living water of your presence;
through day and night, you called creation into being.
We join our souls, hearts, and minds
with the multitude of your creation
singing praise and thanksgiving for your good works.
We put our trust in you,
and we give thanks to you, our help and our God.

From the depth of your compassion to the depth of our sin,
you sent your Beloved, Jesus the Christ,
to show your faithfulness every day,
to sing your song of joy every night,
to teach us your ways, O God of our life.
When it appeared that your strength forgot him
and our enemy Death claimed the victory,
you were yet present
and made the grave itself a spring of living water.
We put our trust in you,
and we give thanks to you, our help and our God.

In your righteousness, O God,
pour out your strength upon us again.
As we gather around this meal of bread and cup,
draw us near to you
and lift us up with the lightness of your Breath in us.
Send forth your Spirit of light and truth to lead us,
and bring us to the place you dwell in all people and places.
Then let us worship in joy and gladness,
in spirit and truth,
in song and service,
with all your people in every time and place.
We put our trust in you,
and we give thanks to you, our help and our God.

We pray through Christ, with Christ, in Christ,
who prays with us as we say together:
The Lord’s Prayer

 

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines, IA

Invitation: we are not alone

In the broken and messy world in which we live in there are many things to worry about: debilitating illness, hate inspired violence, or the uncertainty of our future well being. It is easy to close ourselves off emotionally, physically, and spiritually to seal ourselves and our hearts away behind doors forged from fear. Yet despite our efforts, Jesus enters in unhindered and says, “Peace be with you.” He encourages us to engage the worries, doubts, and fears we face filled by the Holy Spirit, our advocate…we are not alone.

At this table, we remember the life, death, and resurrection of our savior who bids us to go out sharing Good News and practice acts of forgiveness with ourselves, our neighbors, and our enemies. This table is for those who feel certain and those who feel frightened. This table is for those who feel filled by the Spirit and those who are seeking to be filled. This table does not belong to the Presbyterian Church, it belongs to Jesus Christ—and it is he who invites all to share in the bread and cup of peace, love, and life everlasting.

Submitted by Rev. Andrew Black, Unity Presbyterian Church, Terre Haute, IN

communion: blow through this place

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

We praise you, O Lord, and all the earth with us,
for your Holy Spirit calls all things into being.
The entire created order serves you joyfully,
and your gracious presence is the song of every heart.

We bear witness that you alone are God,
and we give thanks that you have claimed us as your people.
By water and the Word, you make us your own;
by fire and the Spirit, you call us into the world.
Wherever we go, the risen and ascended Christ is our good shepherd.

Therefore we join our voices with all your people
in every time, every place, and every language,
singing praises to your holy name:

Holy, holy, holy…

Holy One, we enter your gates with thanksgiving;
Blessed Christ, we rejoice in your holy presence.
By your gracious invitation,
we gather at this holy meal
where we give thanks and call upon your great name.

Send forth your Holy Spirit once again.
Blow through this place;
reveal yourself in this bread and this cup;
make your dwelling within this congregation.
Join us to one another
and transform us by your presence,
that we may be the sign of your life in this world
for all who are hurting, hungering, and searching.

Reveal your goodness through us, O Lord,
for your mercy is everlasting;
we pray with your faithful ones in every age,
joining our voices in the prayer you taught us, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

Communion: Turning

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
Then let us sing!

Canticle of the Turning v. 1-3

Mighty God, we rejoice with all who hunger,
for your Son Jesus, whose coming we proclaim,
spreads a table of blessing before us
and feeds us with his very presence.

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us
and upon this meal,
that we might be united with Jesus Christ,
and with all who magnify his name.
Sustain us with your presence
and keep us faithful to the end,
singing with joy and confidence:

Canticle of the Turning v. 4

We pray with the One whose life turns the world
and we say together:
The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

Communion–refuge

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

We thank you and praise you, God of mercy,
for you offer us refuge in times of trouble.
Your Spirit swoops low over turmoil and chaos,
and creation emerges from the shadow of her wings.
O Most High, you call forth a people
to bear your promise,
and despite our wandering, your maintain your covenant.

Your Word descends from heaven for our salvation,
to confound the powers of sin that trample upon us,
and to lead us forth into the fullness of your faithful love.
You Holy One endured suffering
and descended into the very pit of death,
so that death itself may be defeated.

Therefore we exalt you above all things, O God,
and we join all the saints who sing to your glory:

Holy, holy, holy…

Holy are you, O Lord,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, the Risen One,
on whom our hearts are forever fixed.

Through this meal, we join in the great melody of your praise.
Pour out your Holy Spirit upon this bread and this cup,
so that this meal might awaken our hearts once more
and help us shine with the rising light of your kingdom.

Join us with Jesus Christ and all your faithful ones,
so we might confess you in all that we do
and sing praise to you in all circumstances.
We praise you for your loving-kindness that is greater than the heavens,
and your faithfulness that reaches beyond all our understanding.
Be exalted, O Most High God,
in the glorious name of Jesus Christ,
in whom we pray, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

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

communion: dwelling

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

We give you thanks, O Lord of hosts,
for you have gathered us into your presence
and made our hearts and souls rejoice in your dwelling place!
You created a place for even the lowliest creature,
and you revealed the beauty of your holiness
in the lightness of birdsong and the thunder of the ocean.

In your faithful love, you made your dwelling in our homes
by taking on human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ.
He declared your name and shared your strength.
He journeyed all along the way,
pouring out blessings on all
and tirelessly doing the work of the kingdom.
For the sake of the One who died, rose again, and ascended on high,
we sing our praises to you:

Holy, holy, holy…

Holy are you, Lord God of hosts,
for you hear the prayers of your people.
You pour out your Holy Spirit on your church
and you send forth your care for all who are in need.
Through the gift of this meal,
you gather our spirits into your dwelling place,
and you seat us at your eternal table.
Your grace and your glory are eternal, O Lord,
and we joyfully receive your blessings.
We pray in Jesus’ name, who taught us to pray, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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