a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Communion: reality was thirsty

Our souls long to give you thanks and praise, O God,
just as the deer longs to quench its thirst in springs of water.
When reality itself was thirsty for you, Living God,
you poured out the living water of your presence;
through day and night, you called creation into being.
We join our souls, hearts, and minds
with the multitude of your creation
singing praise and thanksgiving for your good works.
We put our trust in you,
and we give thanks to you, our help and our God.

From the depth of your compassion to the depth of our sin,
you sent your Beloved, Jesus the Christ,
to show your faithfulness every day,
to sing your song of joy every night,
to teach us your ways, O God of our life.
When it appeared that your strength forgot him
and our enemy Death claimed the victory,
you were yet present
and made the grave itself a spring of living water.
We put our trust in you,
and we give thanks to you, our help and our God.

In your righteousness, O God,
pour out your strength upon us again.
As we gather around this meal of bread and cup,
draw us near to you
and lift us up with the lightness of your Breath in us.
Send forth your Spirit of light and truth to lead us,
and bring us to the place you dwell in all people and places.
Then let us worship in joy and gladness,
in spirit and truth,
in song and service,
with all your people in every time and place.
We put our trust in you,
and we give thanks to you, our help and our God.

We pray through Christ, with Christ, in Christ,
who prays with us as we say together:
The Lord’s Prayer


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

confession: if you had been here…

One: Loving Lord, how often we face tragic news we cannot understand. Our hearts may echo Martha and Mary at Lazarus’s tomb, who said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

All: Lord, if you had been here, our hearts would not be heavy.

One: Lord, if you had been here, these people would not be hungry.

All: Lord, if you had been here, our climate would not be on the brink.

One: We each bring our own situation in silence, when we say, “Lord if you had been here…” (moment of silence) Lord, have mercy on us.

All: Forgive us when we forget your presence and deny love’s work.

One: In prayer, show us you are with us in the deepest sense, and that you weep with all who mourn.

All: Remind us how tragedy and injustice break your heart, and help us see you nearby, wherever people go hungry or your creation is threatened.

One: Grant us faith to trust you are truly here, with us, bringing new life we can now only imagine.

All: Give us hope, that looking towards your resurrection, we might discover and share glimpses of that new life already coming among us, in your name, Amen. (silent prayer)


Assurance of Grace

One: Friends, hear the good news: Seen or unseen, God is with us. Bidden or unbidden, Christ is present.

All: May we live assured of what we cannot see, trusting in the power who makes all things new. Thanks be to God!

Sung response: What a Friend We Have In Jesus, verse 1


Submitted by Laura Cunningham, Western Presbyterian Church, Washington, DC

CTW Psalm 130

God we cry out to you from the valleys of our lives.
Hear our pleas, listen to our cries, hear our voice, O God.
Lord, we wait, and we wait, and we wait.
Divine one, our soul waits for you, for our hope is in your word.
Hope in the Lord, you people of God,
For God’s love for us is unbreakable!


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

confession: just enough to be dangerous

Creator God, you made us to live together with you. We confess that we are sorely tempted by the opportunity to be our own gods. We admit to you that we have tried shortcuts to wisdom—we think we know what is best, when really we know just enough to do harm to your creation and your beloved people. Forgive us for acting so arrogantly out of our limited human perspective. Forgive our disobedience, and give us ears to hear your word, and hearts ready to obey your will. Amen.


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

CTW: in the beginning

One: In the beginning, when God created, God looked at the world and called it good.
All: Not only way back when, but even now, God is creating, calling us to join the work
of making the world good.
One: Earth and water and air, plants and animals and people, made from dirt and word and love.
All: God gifts us all this and more, so that we can glorify and enjoy God forever.
One: Come, let us worship God together.


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


Invitation to Tell the Truth About Ourselves
One: God is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and God’s mercy endures to all generations. When we confess our brokenness, God’s grace offers us a glimpse of healing. Trusting in the gracious mercy of God, let us confess with open and honest hearts our failure to live up to God’s call. Let us pray.

Prayer of Confession (we tell the truth)
All: God our creator, you asked man and woman to tend this garden of your creating, to care for the creatures of your making, to speak and so join you in creating your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. We confess that we have sinned: we have used your creation rather than cherished it, we have lived greedily rather than gratefully, we have spoken words of destruction rather than love. We acknowledge the damage our heavy footprints, our hard hearts, and our rash tongues have done, and we pray for your forgiveness. Take the dust of our lives and re-form us into your image, and then breathe into us the grace to live for you. Amen. ~silence~

Assurance of Forgiveness
One: In the beginning, God breathed life into being, and every morning God’s mercies are new. Know that you, child of God, made in God’s image, are forgiven, loved and free. Believe and live the good news:
All: God’s goodness is planted more deeply than all that is wrong. Thanks be to God!


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

confession: life springs

Prayer of Confession:

Parent Who Seeks, Christ who Speaks, Spirit that Springs, the correct and right seems so urgent yet you seek people of spirit and truth. We offer public politeness yet you give us sacred truth. We desperately fill reservoirs of cravings forgetting that life springs from You. Find us. Forgive us. Fill us. May we know for ourselves and not by others that you are the Savior of the world.


Assurance of Pardon:

​Hear the good news! Christ gushing up to eternal life!​ Know Christ is truly the savior of the World and of you.


Submitted by Christy Ramsey.

CTW: god is speaking


One: ​Come those who ​thirst for living water.

​Many​: God is speaking to us.
One: Come to worship in spirit and truth
​Many​: God is speaking to us.
One: Come and know what you have heard from others
​Many​: God is speaking to us.
Submitted by Christy Ramsey.

confession: your path, your way

God of all creation, following your path is not easy. It seems to us that you never take the easy way – indeed, your Way is always surprising. Forgive us our blind stumbling, and guide us back to your path. Call out to us, as you have to our ancestors in the faith. When we see you, do not run up ahead, but enfold us in your arms, even if just for a moment. O Dearest God – even when we are turned away from you, we yearn for your love and peace. 

A time of silence for reflection and prayer


When we read in the scriptures that heaven opened, and God spoke to Jesus, “You are my beloved child, with whom I am well pleased,” it is good for us to hear these words as though God were speaking them to us, too. Because we are God’s beloved children – and God has sent Christ into the world that we might experience eternal life, eternal love, and eternal peace. Let us follow the Way ever more closely, knowing that God loves us dearly with every step we take.

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

confession: we’d rather keep the door closed

One:    You, Lord, are Alpha and Omega—beginning and end.
But in between sometimes it feels like we are on our own,
and then the illusion of control is so seductive.

All:     Forgive us when we try to control you, insisting that your will must match ours.
For we confess that we do not like the unknown,
so we fill that void with shoulds and musts we expect both you and others to obey.
We’d rather keep the door closed with certainty than risk opening to changed life.
We’d rather be bound up in our own beliefs than risk being set free by love, for love.


One:    Open wide the door of life, O God,
All:     and give us courage to walk through.


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