a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

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

easter season communion

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
L:  May the Lord of Easter be with you!
P:  And also with you!
L:  Open your hearts to God, beloved of the Lord.
P:  We lift them to the One who fills our lives
with joy and wonder.
L:  Children of Easter, sing praises to God.
P:  Our voices unite in thanksgiving to the One
who walks with us in this life.

You opened your hands,
pouring creation’s glory
into the emptiness of chaos,
God of beginnings.
The sun, moon, and stars became
the mirrors of the light of your face,
shining down upon all that was crafted.
Shaping us in your divine image,
you stood beside us,
pointing out all the good you offer to us.
But we found comfort in sin’s shadows,
fear and doubt claiming us as friends,
and we turned our backs on you.
Through our ancestors in the faith,
Sarah and Samuel, Hannah and Hosea,
you demonstrated your faithfulness,
your longing to welcome us
into your embracing arms of love.
But we did not recognize them,
and clung to the vain words
spoken to us by temptation.
So, you sent your child to us,
to show us what love truly is,
that we might have this hope
offered to us in Jesus.

So, with little children who delight in your joy,
and with older folks who trust in your promises,
with our sisters and brothers throughout all time,
we join our voices in praising your name:

P:    Holy, holy, holy, God of grace and beauty.
All creation joins in singing your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is the One who comes so we may be like him.
Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed are you, Holy and Righteous God,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, Author of Life.
In the Word become flesh,
you call us to repent and turn to you.
In the Light of the world,
our eyes are opened
so we can see you standing with us.
In scarred hands and feet,
we see the power of sin and death
destroyed by your grace and hope,
so we can reach out and embrace
that life which is ours forever with you.

As we gather around the Table to remember,
as we give thanks for the life which was given for us,
we speak of what we do not always understand – the mystery of faith.

P:    Christ walked to Calvary to die for us.
Christ strode from the tomb to raise us to life.
Christ will come and stand among us, to lead us home.

In this moment, and in this place,
pour out your Spirit upon us,
and on the gifts of the bread and cup
which have been prepared for us.
As we take the bread
from your scarred hands,
may we reach out
to mend the broken of our world.
As we drink from the cup,
open our hearts and eyes,
so we may see those
the world overlooks,
so we may stand with them
in every moment and place.

And when our journey has ended,
when at last all is revealed to us,
we will take our places around
the wedding banquet in heaven,
joining our sisters and brothers
in singing our thanks and joy to you,
God in Community, Holy in One,
now and forevermore.  Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, author of Lectionary Liturgies.

invocation: hard to live new life

Heavenly Parent, you have called us your children.
And you have called us to new life.
Sometimes that makes it hard to live in this world, where other people are so separate from you.
Help us to find the inner resources to stay in touch with you.
Help us to find our source in Christ Jesus, who taught us to pray saying…

 

Submitted by Rev. Martha Spong, First Congregational Church, North Yarmouth Maine.

 

CTW: witnesses

We are witnesses,
to the love God has poured into us.
We are witnesses of God’s love,
sharing it with each person we meet.
We are witnesses to everyone we encounter,
little children like us, sisters and brothers in God’s family.

 

Submitted by Rev Thom Shuman, author of Lectionary Liturgies.

CTW: day and night

One: Christ is risen!
Many: Christ is risen indeed!
One: Now what? What are we supposed to do next?
Many: He showed himself to the disciples.
One: But we sometimes struggle to know him.
Many: What can we do? How can we find him?
One: We can pray. First and last, we can pray.
Many: Day and night, we can pray.
One: It’s a start. Let us worship God together.

Submitted by Rev. Martha Spong, First Congregational Church, North Yarmouth Maine.

confession: running down the street

Call to Reconciliation
We know how easy it is to trick ourselves into believing that every thought is pure, every act is just, every choice is correct. But if we want to be God’s children, to grow in hope, to walk in the Light, we must admit our mistakes, so we may open ourselves to the healing mercy of God’s love.  Join me, please, as we pray together, saying,

Unison Prayer of Confession
Emptier of tombs, we find ourselves running down the street after lies, rather than walking with you. We find it easy to love other people, as long as they don’t annoy or bother us. We hunger for love and search for affirmation, yet find it difficult to let others love us for who we are. Forgive us, Compassionate Heart. You listen to the whispers of our hearts, and then sing of the promises of hope. You grace us with peace, so our hearts can rest in you. You continue to transform us into Easter people, brothers and sisters of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
L:    Not everything has been revealed to us, but this we do know: as God’s children, we are blessed, we are loved, we are forgiven.
P:    Our lives have been transformed by the abundant mercy given to us in Christ Jesus our Lord. Thanks be to God! Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, author of Lectionary Liturgies.

Sunday’s Coming: working toward April 22

We’re getting a bit of a late start this week…whether you’re on a roll already or just waking up from the post-easter-week-vacation/retreat/nap, join in as we create for this Sunday!

Perhaps you’ll be walking on the road to Emmaus this week.

Perhaps you’re pondering our status as children of God.

Maybe all your words this week are different ways to cry out “Answer me, O God!”

Or are you brave enough to tackle Peter’s post-first-healing sermon?

Or perhaps you’re contemplating Earth Day and thinking of ways to explore care of creation in worship. Or are you in an Easter Season Series?

Whatever your direction, drop in to the comments and leave your ideas, whether they be a word or an image or  complete liturgy, hymn ideas or a different text or a phrase you can’t get out of your head. You never know when your small contribution might spark someone else’s creativity, and that is what we’re here for!