a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

communion: feasting on the word

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 both thanks and praise!

all sing verse 1:
Come, thou Fount of every blessing; tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above;
praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, mount of God’s unchanging love!

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, ruler of the universe,
for your grace overflows in your world,
creating and redeeming and sustaining all things.
Your streams of mercy flow from your glory
bringing living water into every place,
nourishing creation, making it bear fruit that will last,
filling our cup until it runs over, spilling out abundant life.
We give you thanks for your generous providing,
and for your call to be your people.
We have wandered in the desert, we have turned our backs,
we have followed the path, we have walked on ahead,
and still your Spirit calls us, tugging us back to your way,
shining your light and singing your grace
so we might follow in faith.

all sing verse 2:
Here I raise my Ebenezer; hither by thy help I’m come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger, interposed his precious blood.

It is with gratitude, praise, and hearts lifted high that we come to your table,
calling to mind your Son who walked among us,
who ate with sinners and tax collectors and women
the same as he ate with Pharisees and disciples and neighbors.
As he reached out to touch the sick, may we reach out with healing hands.
As he went to the bad neighborhoods and visited the homes of the poor,
may we go out to where your people long for good news.
As he spread health and holiness with every step, every word, every breath,
may we live as if grace is contagious,
sharing your love with people near and far,
those we meet and those we would rather avoid.

As we meet at the feast of your family, O God,
we carry with us those who hunger and thirst,
who cannot imagine the abundance of this table,
who feel excluded or forgotten,
who live with fear and violence,
who wait for justice, who long for peace,
who suffer in body, mind, or spirit.
While we celebrate this day, some in your family see no cause for celebration.
While we have feasted on your word,
some still see reading as an impossible luxury.
While we have learned and spoken and prayed together,
some have been silenced and held aside.
When we break bread together, break our hearts too,
and then by your Spirit bind us together with all your people
to seek your purpose and work your will.
Give us a glimpse of your kingdom, where the whole human family eats together,
and strengthen us with the courage to build your kingdom here on earth.

all sing verse 3:
O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!
Let that grace now, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;
here’s my heart; O take and seal it; seal it for thy courts above.

We offer our hearts and lives to you, O God,
praying that you would use grain and grape
to write your covenant of love within us.
until grace overflows.
We pray in the name of Jesus the Christ, host at this and every table, who taught us to pray together… the Lord’s Prayer

 

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

confession: pursuing individualism

Loving God, you created all things to work together in your kingdom, and you call us to live as one Body. We confess we often prefer to go our own way, and our unwillingness to love when we don’t understand put us at odds with your creation. We pursue our own individual success and we miss the chance to celebrate your gift of community. Forgive us. Open our ears to hear you speaking, and our hearts to embrace your purpose. Amen.    ~silence~

 

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

POP: on psalm 19

O God, the heavens declare your glory,
and all creation reveals your surpassing wisdom.
We give thanks to you for those who reveal your riches to us
and teach us in the way we should go.
We pray for all who are searching,
that you would shine your light ahead of them
and help all people rejoice in you.
We pray for those who struggle and suffer,
especially those we have lifted up by name today.
Revive all our souls and refresh our spirits.
Guide us in your service,
because your will is the desire of our hearts.
Let all that we say or do be acceptable in your sight,
we pray in Jesus’ name, saying together:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

CTW: do you want to be healed?

Do you want to be healed?
Yes, but there’s too many problems just seems so hopeless
Do you want to be healed?
Yes, but I don’t want to do the work
Do you want to be healed?
Yes, but someone always seems to be blocking my way
Let us worship the one who makes the path straight, the mountains low, and the valleys high.

Submitted by Rev. Shannon Meacham, Ashland Presbyterian Church, Cockeysville MD

Opening words for Easter 2

Call to Worship

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week,

Jesus came and stood among the disciples and said: Peace be with you!

The Risen Christ is with us now, offering us the gift of peace.

Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

                We too have seen the Lord. Let us rejoice and give thanks!

Let us worship God!

 

Opening Prayer

Living God,

When our Risen Lord appeared to his disciples,

he greeted them in peace

and breathed the Holy Spirit upon them.

Breathe your Spirit upon us

                as we gather to welcome Christ

                with glad hearts and joyful voices.

Meet us here, we pray;

open our ears to hear you speaking

and our hearts to respond with joy.

Fashion us into an Easter people,

and send us out

to proclaim what we have seen and heard:

Christ is risen. He is risen indeed! Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Sudie Niesen Thompson, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Wilmington, DE

POP–your mercy endures forever

Prayers of the People (based on Psalm 118:14-27)

Lord of life, God of empty tombs, we praise you this Easter day.

You, O Lord, are our strength and our song,

for you have become our salvation!

We give thanks to you, and

We pray to you, O Lord, for you are good;

your mercy endures forever.

 

We sing with exultation, for you are victorious over death itself,

and so we entrust to you all who have died,

and we put our hope in Christ’s resurrection.

Hold us in our grief, and claim your people for life.

We pray to you, O Lord, for you are good;

your mercy endures forever.

 

We give you our thanks, O Lord,

for you have opened the gates of righteousness.

You have freed us from all fear and worry,

that we might serve you by serving our neighbor in your name.

Teach us your will and lead us in your ways.

We pray to you, O Lord, for you are good;

your mercy endures forever.

 

We proclaim your salvation,

the gift of wholeness

in our relationships, our bodies, and our souls.

We continue to seek your redemption

for the broken and rejected parts of our lives.

Work your healing for all we have lifted up,

and build us up once more in your marvelous love.

We pray to you, O Lord, for you are good;

your mercy endures forever.

 

We rejoice in the gift of this day,

the day of your triumph,

and we give thanks for all those through the years

who have proclaimed the good news of your salvation.

Unite us with each other,

and with your people in Christ throughout the world,

that we might bear witness to your grace.

We pray to you, O Lord, for you are good;

your mercy endures forever.

 

Your mercy is eternal, O Lord,

and we give you thanks, now and always,

in the name of the risen Christ,

who taught us to pray, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

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

Easter confession

All: We come running, looking for you, Risen Christ,
but you are not where we expect you to be.
As always, you are to be found among the living—
those living at the edge, those living with uncertainty,
those living in ways we cannot imagine and may not approve.
We come running, our hands full of things and our minds full of self-reliance,
only to find that you have been here already,
you have rolled away the stone and called us to trust your word.

One: If this good news is true, it means everything is different now.
We confess that our excitement is a little bit nervous—
it’s hard for us not to be in control.

All: Today as we peer once again into your empty tomb,
remind us of all you have told us, and then guide our feet to follow.
Fill the empty tombs of our hearts with your love that cannot be contained.
Breathe new life into us, into your church, into your world,
and overcome our fear of change so that we too may be found among the living.
Turn our expectations upside down,
and lead us into the new and different world you are creating, even now, even here.
Amen.

 

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

POP–we bless you

Prayers of the People (based on Psalm 66:8-20)

We bless you, O God, 

for you hold our souls in life 

and will not allow us to stumble or fall. 

 

We pray for those whose faith is being tested, 

who are ensnared in the troubles of life, 

or who are burdened with injustice or fear. 

We pray to you, O Lord, for you are good; 

your mercy endures forever. 

 

We pray for all who watch chaos swirl around them: 

refugees, victims of war or natural disaster, and those in poverty. 

We pray to you, O Lord, for you are good; 

your mercy endures forever. 

 

We pray for those who seek spiritual peace, 

who long to hear the promise of your love made real; 

we pray that we might have the courage to speak your word. 

We pray to you, O Lord, for you are good; 

your mercy endures forever. 

 

We pray for those who cry out due to pain, illness, or grief. 

Pour out your healing, so that everyone might tell of your goodness. 

We pray to you, O Lord, for you are good; 

your mercy endures forever. 

 

We pray for those who seek forgiveness, 

and for those who might extend the hand of reconciliation. 

We pray to you, O Lord, for you are good; 

your mercy endures forever. 

 

Blessed be God, for you hear our prayers, 

even as we pray together as Jesus taught, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

 

 

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

confession: limited love

Holy Love, first and last, you offer yourself to us completely and call us to your life. Yet we are afraid, for your Way demands much of us. We confess that we are often quick to judge and slow to forgive. We confess that we choose that which does not satisfy, even as you offer us abundant life. When our fear overrides your call, forgive us. When we act from our own limited love rather than your expansive grace, forgive us. Reach down to us again, lift us up as a mother lifts a child to her cheek. Cast out our fear and fill us with the breath of your Spirit, that we may live the love we see in your Son, Jesus the Christ, in whose perfect name we pray. Amen.

POP–come quickly

My God, my God, come close to your people!

You come to us to rescue us from powers that are too great for us.

Come to the help of all who face trouble or danger today.

O Lord our help,

come quickly to our aid!

 

O Lord, you bind us together as brothers and sisters, beloved in Christ.

Fill our hearts, our lives, and our voices with your praise,

and make us bold to proclaim your name to all people.

O Lord our help,

come quickly to our aid!

 

O Lord, we lift up those who are close to us who face trouble,

especially those who are sick, sorrowing, or confused.

Send forth your healing and restoring love.

O Lord our help,

come quickly to our aid!

 

O Lord, we pray for those who are poor, hungry, or homeless,

who are closer to us than many of us realize.

Open our hands to share what we have,

and open our hearts to share in relationship.

O Lord our help,

come quickly to our aid!

 

O Lord, we pray for all who are entrusted with power

over nations, corporations, and the powers of the world,

that their decisions might honor you and seek the welfare of all people.

O Lord our help,

come quickly to our aid!

 

O Lord, we pray for all the generations:

with thanksgiving for those who have gone before us and enjoy your eternal rest;

and with hope for those who will follow us, to whom we must still proclaim your salvation.

Keep your church faithful in every age.

O Lord our help,

come quickly to our aid!

 

Keep us faithful to you, O Lord,

and teach us to serve you,

as we pray together with Jesus, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

 

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