a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

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.

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.

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: so full

Call to Confession

It is tempting to think we have it all figured out, but then we fool only ourselves even as we crowd out the Spirit. When we admit our faults and our failings, we make room for the still small voice of God to speak, to us and through us. Before God, with the people of God, let us confess the ways we wound our lives, and the life of the world. Let us pray.

Living God, our lives are so full, and we keep filling them. Activities, knowledge, resume-builders, work, fun, stuff—more, more, more seems to be our mantra. There is no space for us to live or move or to just be. We confess that you are often unknown to us, for we cannot see how to fit you in. We confess that we like to feel important, and with you there is no power or status to be earned. We confess that we have more than our share of most things, yet still we want. Forgive our gluttony and arrogance of mind, body, and spirit, and turn us again to see your face. Silence in us every voice but your own, and make yourself known to us again this day. Amen.



Friends, hear this good news: God is not far from each one of us. In every breath, the Spirit makes us new, alive with Christ!

We are forgiven, loved, and free. Thanks be to God! Amen.


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

CTW: God finds us

Come and hear the good news—Christ is alive! Alleluia!

We search, and God finds us.

Above and beyond, within and among, breath of life and wind of change,

the Lord of heaven and earth is as close as our own hands and feet.

Come and be the good news—Christ is alive!



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

prayer of confession: compassionate and gentle God

submitted by Rev. Shannan Vance-Ocampo, Watchung Avenue Presbyterian Church, North Plainfield, NJ

Compassionate and Gentle God,
you have created us in Love to be your people.
As we gather for worship,
we are reminded that we have lost sight of this Gift
and forgotten how to really love you.
We have worshipped other gods,
put our faith in the riches of this world,
and impressed ourselves with misguided power.
We have looked for help in the wrong places
and ignored the extravagances you lay before us.
Send your Spirit to come and breathe its life-sustaining and life-altering presence into us
in these moments of worship.
Send your Spirit of renewal and transformation.
Send your Spirit that up-ends our lives and sets us on a new path.
Send your Spirit, O Lord.
Hear our prayers
and remake us in Your image once again.
We pray these things in the name of the One who rose from the grave.

call to worship: applause for God!

submitted by Rev. Shannan Vance-Ocampo, Watchung Avenue Presbyterian Church, North Plainfield, NJ

adapted from Psalm 66:1-8 in The Message

One: All together now—applause for God! Sing songs to the tune of God’s glory and set songs and rhythms to praise the Lord!
All:  Say of God, “We’ve never seen anything like this!” When your enemies see you in action, they slink off like scolded dogs. The whole earth falls to its knees—it worships you, sings to you, can’t stop enjoying your name and fame.
One: All together now—Take a good look at God’s wonders— they’ll take your breath away!  Seas converted to dry land; travelers crossed the river on foot. Now isn’t that cause for a song?
All: Bless our God, O peoples! Give God a thunderous welcome!   Come, let us worship God together in this place, on this great day!