a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Confession: other powers

O God, our protector, we take refuge in you;
you alone are the source of all our good.
We seek to be counted among the godly and upright,
but we confess that we have run after other powers,
and we have brought trouble upon ourselves and others.

O Lord, our portion and our cup,
you sustain us and lead us in good and pleasant ways.
We confess that we have trusted in false wisdom
and set our hearts on short-sighted desires.

Forgive us, God our life.
Help us set you always before us,
and sustain us in your righteousness.
Let our hearts be glad, our spirits rejoice,
and our bodies rest in hope,
for you do not abandon us to our sin
or let your chosen ones dwell in the pit.
In Christ you show us the path of life;
you welcome us into the joy of your presence;
you feed us with pleasures forevermore. Amen.

 

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

Prayers of the People: eternally victorious

We give you praise, O God,
because you are eternally victorious over death.
In faithfulness you have raised up Christ for us,
and your mercy knows no end.

God of life, we pray for those who are bowed down
under the weight of hunger, injustice, uncertainty, or despair.
You who provide every good thing,
uphold your people.
Open your hands wide
and satisfy the needs of every living thing.

God of hope, we trust in your righteousness
and depend on your love.
Be near to those on whose behalf we call upon you;
to those who face sorrow, illness, injury, or death.
Fulfill our longings for wholeness, healing, and new life;
hear and answer all who cry out to you.

Steadfast God, preserve us in your love,
that we might speak your praise
and bless you forever
in the name of the holy one, the Risen Christ,
who teaches us to pray as we say:
The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

POP: creative grace

O Lord, you are our shepherd;

we shall not be in want.

Your creative grace is visible in lush green pastures

and revealed in still, clear waters.

Your restoring resurrecting Spirit revives our souls and our communities,

and you guide us in ways of righteousness for the sake of your earth.

We pray for the earth you create and love:

for people, families, nations, and species that dwell in the valley of the shadow of death;

for all who fear the evils of pollution, violence, depredation, and illness;

for those whose suffering is on our hearts this morning, and for those whom we will never meet.

Shepherding God, be with your people;

with your rod and your staff, restore us and lead us.

Spread your table of abundance before those who hunger and thirst;

set us free from enmity and division.

Anoint us with your calling to reconciliation,

and let the cup of our life overflow

with justice and life for all your creation.

Let your goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our life,

and make this earth your home forever,

in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

Affirmation of Faith for Holy Humor Sunday

We believe in God who was before all things, maker of all things, source of all life. We were made in God’s image for vital work in this world – to do justice, to speak truth, to live in love. But we recognize that God’s image also blossoms in our lighter side when we are curious, playful, laughing. God has given us the gift of humor to laugh at ourselves, to unmask the weaknesses of sin, and to turn back to the arms of love. In Christ Jesus, God came and walked among us, teaching us to embrace the weightier matters with a light touch. Though we sinned and rejected him, he still chose to die for us. The forces of evil grasped to contain him, but he arose, laughing, breaking all the bounds of sin and death. As we follow him, we laugh with him, following the true light that cannot be conquered. We believe in the Holy Spirit who teaches us to smile, to bear with difficulty, and to endure from now until the joyful resolution of all creation. We look forward to the coming kingdom of heaven where laughter and love resound in every home and every heart. Amen.

 

Rev. Elana Keppel Levy, Trinity Presbyterian Church, Bixby, OK

POP: shines forth

We rejoice in you, O God,
all the earth rejoices and sings glory to your name;
we sing praise and glory to you, O God.
As Christ’s beauty shines forth,
we praise your great salvation
and celebrate the merciful love that reconciles us to you.

As the new year dawns around us,
we pray for the welfare of the earth:
for the healing of the climate;
for the preservation of the beauty and balance of nature;
for the lives of the creatures whose very being sings your praises.

As Christ calls us into renewed discipleship,
we pray for the needs of your people everywhere:
for the forgiveness and redemption of the sins that bind and wound us;
for the deliverance of those who face chaos, despair, and sorry;
for the comfort and courage of all who mourn or face death.
We pray for the lives of the nations:
keep watch, Sovereign,
and teach us to work for justice and lasting peace.

We bless you, O God,
and we join all peoples in praising you,
in the name of Jesus our Savior, our Lord. Amen.

 

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

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.

POP: arise, O God

Arise, O God, and scatter the shadows of enmity and hatred!
In Christ’s resurrection, you drive away sin and death
like smoke before the wind;
in Christ’s ascension, you give glory to the one whose suffering saves us;
therefore we rejoice and sing for joy before you.
Teach us to honor your name above all things
and keep us from being content with anything but your will.

You, O God, defend widows and set orphans in families,
you who dwell on high!
You give a home to the lonely and freedom to the prisoners;
you lead your people through the wilderness
into communities of wholeness and abundance.
Show us your presence once again, Holy One;
shake us from our complacency,
and refresh us in all our thirst.
Make a home for all people,
provide generously for the poor,
and use your church to heal your world.
Make room especially for those we have lifted up by name,
and for those whose names are far from our lips
or deep within our hearts.

We sing to you, O God,
praising you for your glorious creation,
trusting in your mighty power,
and celebrating the wonders of your promise.
Blessed are you, O God,
in Jesus Christ,
who teaches us to pray as we say:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

CTW: search and grasp

Praise our God everyone; give the Lord a raucous greeting!
God is our Advocate, our Helper, the one who gives life.
We search and grasp, even though God is as close as our breath.
Glory to the One who suffered in order to bring us to God!

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

CTW: not far

Leader: Praise God who made the world
People: …and everything in it
Leader: Worship God who gives all life
People: …their breath and nourishment.
Leader: Come search and Find God
People: ..for God is not far from each one of us.

Submitted by Christy Ramsey

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.