a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

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

Illumination: hearts burn

Risen Christ,
you opened the scriptures to your disciples
and made their hearts burn within them.
Open our eyes, our ears, and our hearts,
so we might recognize you once again
in these words of scripture,
by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

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

POP: hear us

Hear us, O God, when we call upon you!
Your love sets us free from the power of death;
your mercy frees us from doubt and fear;
your promise frees us to serve you alone.
You do wonders for your people, O Lord:
hear our prayers as we call out to you.
Guard those who face anger, fear, or trouble;
keep your people from sin, and reconcile our hearts.
Protect all who seek and serve you,
and bless those who give their lives to your mission.
Turn your face toward those who long for better times,
who long to see your light once again.
For all who suffer and sorrow, let there be gladness overflowing.
We put our trust in you, O Lord,
for your promises alone are sure.
We pray in the name of the risen Christ, saying together:
The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

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

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

ctw: let’s celebrate chipmunks

The earth…
and everything on it, around it, in it, and beyond it…
belongs to God!
According to the creation hymn of Genesis, chapter 1,
we have the distinct pleasure of being responsible for the earth’s care.
So let’s celebrate creation…
let’s celebrate bees and trees and manatees…
let’s celebrate mangos, chipmunks, mountain peaks, and each other…
and let’s worship God together!

 

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)

illumination: beyond your words

As we read the words of scripture,
we are pointed to your living Word who walked among us;
and we are surrounded by your Spirit,
who whispers words within our hearts and minds.
Inspire us in our hearing and reflecting,
that we may move beyond your words
into life-changing acts of grace, love, hope, and peace.
Amen.

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)

confession: beyond our words

Holy God,
as of the year two thousand ten,
according to Google,
one hundred twenty-nine million,
eight hundred sixty-four thousand,
eight hundred and eighty books
have been published in modern history.

We like words.
We enjoy good speeches.
And, too often, because of that,
we spend more time saying things,
and less time doing things.

But you remind us,
and…to tell you the truth…we know,
that what really matters are our actions.

So inspire us with our words,
but also inspire us beyond our words,
so we may be a constant, visible reminder
of your love in the world…

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)