a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

confession: at the edge

Lord, you are before and behind us, around us and within. We give you thanks for your constant presence, even as we admit that we don’t always see or hear you with us. So often we find ourselves standing at the edge…of uncertainty, of fear, of society, of faith, of life. We pray for your path to be clear, to show us your way, but we confess that sometimes we see it and we are afraid and turn our eyes back instead. We long for comfort, stability, familiarity. We admit to you that we prefer the easier way of what we have always done, even if it is not where you currently call. Forgive us, O God. Forgive us for our selective memory, our tendency to nostalgia, our hearts set on self-preservation. Turn our eyes forward, to where you are leading. Remind us that you are our God, and will never leave us. Give us faith to see your way, and courage to walk it. Focus our minds, hearts, and strength on your love, that we may know you fully…for to know you is to love you, and to love you is to serve you, whom to serve is perfect freedom.
It is with faith and hope that we ask these things in the name of your Son, Jesus the Christ, whose love casts out all fear and leads us into new life with you. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, St. John’s Church of Scotland, Gourock.

Confession: swallowed up

Call to Confession
God saves us despite us being unworthy of that salvation.
In response to that grace, let us confess the ways we have fallen short.

Confession (Responsive)
God of Endless Mercy,
we have often been swallowed up by our our greed and selfishness,
desiring that which we do not have, filling our lives with things that do not save us.
We have often been swept away by the floods of our own making,
polluting your creation, neglecting to be faithful stewards of the earth.
We have often attacked one another and led lives of violence,
sending missiles instead of accepting refugees, ignoring your commandments.
Lord have mercy, for we have sinned and fallen short of your glory.
Christ have mercy, for we are broken and need your salvation.
Lord have mercy upon us and hear us as we pray in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon
Friends, our help is in the name of the Lord
who has heard our plea and answered our confession with absolution.
In Christ’s name, I announce to you that our sins are forgiven!
Alleluia! Amen.

 

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

confession: not very good listeners

Loving God, you are always speaking, giving us instructions, directing our attention, and telling us your love. We confess that sometimes we are not very good listeners. We aren’t sure what is your voice, and what is ours, and what is just noise. We are easily distracted. We like our own ways. But even when we are too busy, you still call. We admit that we find you difficult to hear, and we ask for your help. Open our minds and hearts. Tune our ears to your voice. Help us to listen to what you have to say, and then help us to follow wherever you lead.
(Silence)
Thank you, God, for hearing us, and for speaking to us. Remind us of your love and forgiveness, and give us strength to be faithful to you. We pray in the name of Jesus, who taught us to pray together:

 

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, St. John’s Church of Scotland, Gourock

Confession: not enough

Call to Confession
With humility and honesty, let us confess our sins to our God
who is slow to anger and quick to forgive.

Confession
Abundant God, so much of our harmful behavior is rooted in our envy.
You have given us our manna – our daily bread – but we want more.
We have allowed ourselves to be seduced by commercialism,
telling ourselves that we are not complete until we have the nicest things.
Forgive us when our actions convey that you are not enough for us.
Help us to live our lives simply and faithfully,
trusting in your steadfast love to provide all that we need. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon
Friends, our salvation is not something that can be purchased with money or fame.
Our salvation comes from Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone.
I announce to you this day, our sins are forgiven.
Alleluia! Amen.

 

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

Confession: other things

Call to Confession
Friends, let us confess the ways that we have failed to live up to God’s bountiful invitation.

Confession
God of Mercy and Steadfast Love,
You gave us our tongues that we may speaks words of love, wisdom, and grace.
But often our tongues are the vehicles of other things:
instead of love, hatred,
instead of wisdom, foolishness,
instead of grace, rage.
Like a small fire that sets a forrest ablaze,
too often a word can set forth a flood of fear and anger.
Help us use our tongues to start other things:
kindness, compassion, and courage.
In the name of your son, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon
We love the Lord because God has heard our voice and our supplication.
In the name of Jesus Christ, I announce to you this day: our sins are forgiven!
Alleluia! Amen.

 

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

Confession: when our faith is empty

Call to Confession
Let us gather to lament what is broken in our lives and ask God to forgive us.

Confession
Your word reminds us that we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves.
But we make far too many distinctions,
treating one person with more dignity and respect than another.
We gladly welcome those who look and act like us,
but give a much less enthusiastic welcome to the stranger.
Forgive us for the moments when our faith has been empty,
for the times that our works have not matched our words.
Help us lean ever more towards your goodness
and help our lives reflect that goodness in concrete ways. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon
The Psalmist reminds us:
Happy are those whose help is in God, whose hope is in the Lord.
Friends, God has heard our cry and has forgiven us our sins.
Alleluia! Amen.

 

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

Confession: instead of…

Call to Confession
In all honesty and humility,
let us confess our sins before God
and be freed of the burdens that weigh us down for the journey ahead.

Confession
Merciful God,
you call us to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.
But often we ignore that wisdom.
Instead of listening, we talk past one another.
Instead of exercising patience, we become hotheaded and irritable.
Instead of practicing kindness, we hand out judgment and malice.
Help us rid ourselves of wickedness and embrace steadfast love in its place.
Forgive us of our sins so that, when we look in the mirror,
we see the disciples you are calling us to be. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon
Friends, our hearts overflow with a goodly theme: instea
a theme of God’s forgiveness.
In the name of Jesus Christ,
I announce to you that our sins are forgiven.
Alleluia! Amen.

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

Confession: immature

Call to Confession
Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
in order to speak the truth in love,
we are called to speak the hard truth of our sins.
Let us together confess our sins.

Confession
Merciful God,
you call us to lay aside immaturity and walk in the ways of wisdom.
(Proverbs 9:6)
But too often we revert to our silly and selfish ways;
focusing on ourselves instead of others,
fighting over issues that belong in the past,
and fretting over the future with no sense of trust or imagination.
Holy God, save us from ourselves
and free us to embrace the promise you offer us. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon
Beloved sisters and brothers in Christ,
God has heard our plea for forgiveness
and offers us mercy in abundant supply.
Our sins have been forgiven!
Alleluia! Amen.

 

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

Confession: looking for mercy

O Lord our Shepherd, maker of heaven and earth,
we lift up our eyes to the hills,
looking for your mercy and forgiveness.
You watch over us night and day,
and yet our feet go astray;
we slip, stumble, and fall into sin.

We confess that we do not watch for your guidance,
trust in your protection,
or offer your comfort to others.
Forgive us.
We need you to save us from the evil we bring on ourselves.
We need you to guide us as we go out into the world
and come back into your presence.

Restore us, we pray in Jesus’ name,
for he promises your mercy from this time forth and forevermore. Amen.

 

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

Confession: Vulnerable Love

Holy and Beloved God, you are the one worthy of praise, who fills our hearts with extraordinary joy, and who weeps with us when we lash out and hurt each other. In your infinite love, you care for us, and teach us to love each other as you do. Instead, we too often use our feelings as a shortcut for manipulation, trying to get others to do what we want instead of listening for your guidance. Help us to change, to listen to each other, trusting in you and each other to love again in vulnerability, knowing that all shall be well. Amen.

 

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