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

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

CTW: refuge and shelter

The Holy One is our refuge and shelter
There is no good apart from the Lord
Our God gives us counsel and instruction
We keep the Lord always before us
Therefore, we are glad, and our souls rejoice
For God did not give us up to death, but shows us the path of life. Amen!

 

Submitted by Rev. Lucus Keppel, Ancho + Corona Presbyterian Churches, New Mexico

confession: huddled inside

God of shalom, do we resemble your disciples? Here we are, huddled inside our sanctuary – a place of safety from all that might harm us. Our fears loom large, putting up walls between us and your gift of peace. We are fearful of being found out, of being shown for who we are. We are ashamed of our mistakes and afraid of making more.  Forgive us for staying inside where we presume it’s safe. Forgive us for being hesitant to proclaim your resurrection. Allow us to breathe deeply from your stores of peace, that we might be brave enough to shout our “Alleluia’s” even outside these doors. Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Emma Nickel, Member of Mid-Kentucky Presbytery

confession: the reality of our doubts

Risen Lord, you come into the reality of our doubts,
breathing peace and forgiveness upon us.
We confess that we have insisted on false certainties,
held each other to unrealistic standards,
and separated ourselves from the community of faith.
Come to us once again in your grace,
that we might see, and touch, and embrace your promise,
so we can claim your forgiveness and extend it to others.
We pray in your holy name.

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

confession: You, O Lord…

You, O Lord, are our strong tower, our refuge and help in every trouble. Forgive us when we hide away from the challenges of following your call, using your word to build walls that insulate us from your world.

You, O Lord, are everywhere present. Forgive us when we want you to walk alongside us, when we ought to ask for the grace to walk alongside you wherever you are going.

You, O Lord, are the one who hears and answers our cries. Forgive us when our prayer is only self-serving, asking your stamp of approval or your help for our desires, and not for your glory.

You, O Lord, are our counselor and comforter. Forgive us when we seek only comfort, ignoring what we have done wrong and refusing to be confronted or challenged.

You, O Lord, are the one who calls us to come and follow. Forgive our blindness to your people in need, our deafness to your creation groaning for relief, our hearts hardened against the new thing you are doing. Teach us to pray, teach us to listen, teach us to serve, teach us to follow you wherever you are going.

~silence~

One:  Help us, O God,

All:  to know you so well that we cannot help but love you, and to love you so much we cannot help but serve you, sharing your good news in every place, for it is in doing your will that we find perfect freedom. Amen.

 

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

Prayer of Confession: It Isn’t Even Funny

submitted by Scott Cervas, Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church, Lexington, Kentucky

a prayer of confession for the Second Sunday of Easter, RCL Year A

God, we are so much like the disciples that it isn’t even funny. We’re afraid…scared to go outside and live resurrected lives; scared to disconnect ourselves from systems that devalue other people; scared to challenge the status quo, because standing up to it will place us on the outside of our own comfortable, privileged, lives. Like Thomas, we want tangible proof, tangible results, and tangible rewards. And until you deliver, we will stay where we are. And where we are is exactly where we don’t belong. So please, forgive our complacency, and draw us to richer, fuller, resurrected lives, even now, as we offer our silent confessions…

Call to Worship: Christ Is Risen?

submitted by Zach Sasser, First Presbyterian Church, Lafayette, Louisiana

a call to worship for the Second Sunday of Easter, RCL Year A

One: The shouting of Hosanna has drifted from our ears.
All: We will shout again, praising the Lord.
One: ‘Christ has risen’ has become a question.
All: And yet we proclaim – He is risen indeed!