a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

confession: we believe ourselves wise

Creator God, you knit all things together with your infinite wisdom. We confess that we are often foolish, yet believe ourselves wise. We ravage your creation, taking what we want without concern, searching for freedom and happiness, forgetting that our true purpose and joy is found only in you. We seek first our own good, heedless of our place as one strand in the carefully woven fabric of your world. 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

POP: on psalm 19

O God, the heavens declare your glory,
and all creation reveals your surpassing wisdom.
We give thanks to you for those who reveal your riches to us
and teach us in the way we should go.
We pray for all who are searching,
that you would shine your light ahead of them
and help all people rejoice in you.
We pray for those who struggle and suffer,
especially those we have lifted up by name today.
Revive all our souls and refresh our spirits.
Guide us in your service,
because your will is the desire of our hearts.
Let all that we say or do be acceptable in your sight,
we pray in Jesus’ name, saying together:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

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

confession: turn impatience into action

Faithful God,

Just like our ancestors in the faith, we are impatient. They did not want to wander in the wilderness. We do not want to wait in traffic. Help us to turn our impatience into action. Focus our frustrations on the things that need to be changed. God, we do not want to wait any longer for an end to war. We do not want to wait any longer for an end to homelessness and hunger. We do not want to wait any longer for everyone to have enough. Kindle our righteous anger, O God, and move us toward acts of justice, so all may experience the saving love of your Son, our Savior. Amen.
submitted by Rev. Susannah DeBenedetto, Salisbury, Maryland

CTW: we come to ourselves

One: We come to what is familiar. Time, place, people.

All: Watching God, help us to see them in new ways.

One: We come to what is called your house. The place of God.

All: Drive out from among us all that stands in the way of seeing you, being loved by you, and being transformed.

One: We come to ourselves, our bodies called your temples.

All: Make your home in us and our home in you. May your grace make us new and send us out.

 

Submitted by L. Elaine Hall, Bethelview/Valle Crucis United Methodist Churches, Boone, NC

confession: seduced by control

Call to Confession

God longs for relationship, and through relationship to transform the world into the kingdom. When we confess our sin, we find our relationship with God renewed and our life turned again to God’s way. Let us pray together.

Prayer of Confession

God, we think we know what you want, and we try our best to follow the rules. So often, though, we are seduced by our own desire for answers, for black-and-white lists of do’s and don’ts. We like to believe we can earn, or even buy, our way into your kingdom. We confess our need to control, and pray for your forgiveness when we impose our rules on you and on others. We confess that we like things the way we are, and pray for your forgiveness when the status quo keeps some away from you, even as it benefits us. Turn over the tables in our hearts, minds, and churches, and make room for your grace to dwell.

~silence~

We pray in the name of the One who disrupts the world with love, Jesus the Christ.

Amen.

Assurance of Forgiveness

Friends, hear this good news: only Christ is in a position to judge, and his very nature is mercy. If anyone is in Christ, the whole creation is made new, filled with hope and grace, infused with forgiveness. Thanks be to God. Amen.

 

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

CTW: come into the house of God

One: Come into the house of God, singing praise!

All: We come to this house of prayer for all nations, leaving behind division to seek after grace.

One: Come, whether your heart is pure and ready, or sometimes full of wrong things.

All: We come, craving a glimpse of the Holy One, who is abounding in steadfast love.

One: Come, for in God’s presence all are welcome.

All: We come to worship and be transformed.

 

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

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.

prayers of the people–lent 5

God, your faithful love surrounds us,
and we give you thanks
for the gift of life, and the gift of new life,
and for the many ways you sustain and nurture us.

We come before you this day,
some of us tired and hungry,
looking for your word to sustain us,
your spirit to comfort us.
some of us come bruised and sore,
looking for healing,
longing for wholeness.
some of us come despairing,
wondering what has happened
and where the joy of life has gone.
some of us come with heavy hearts,
praying for young people harmed by those who should protect,
praying for those who look different and so are suspect,
praying for a world on edge, tense with fear and hate and violence.
We come, looking for good news in the midst of the world’s bad news.
We come, seeking forgiveness for our wrongs,
seeking to know your presence when we feel so alone,
seeking to know your heart and will for a world with so much need.
In the silence, we offer you our prayers, and we listen for yours.

Let your grace rain down on us, O God.
May we be surrounded by your love, your peace, your hope.
Open our eyes and our hearts to see you in unexpected places,
guide our hands to show your love.
You are a God of surprises,
a God of peace, a God of hope,
a God of love.
Fill us with your spirit, that we may widen the circle until all the world knows your grace.

We pray these and all things in the name of Christ, who taught us to pray together…

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church, Crystal Lake IL.

great prayer of thanksgiving: maker of covenants

L:    May the Lord of Lent be with you.
P:    May the Lord of Lent also be with you.
L:    God’s people: lift up your hearts.
P:    We lift our hearts to the One who has
       engraved them with love.
L:    God’s people:  offer thanks to the One
who creates new life in you.
P:    With our lips, and with our lives, we
       will praise the God who sustains our spirits.

Hearts overflow with joy,
Maker of covenants,
as we lift our songs to you.
In the midst of that creation
filled with bright stars and blue skies,
you shaped us in your divine image.
Cradling our hearts in compassion,
you planted those seeds of hope and joy
which could bring us the life you envisioned.
But we hardened our hearts,
preventing them from blossoming,
and we chose to live in the shadows of sin,
rather than dance in the light of your grace.
Yet even our arrogance and anger
could not keep you from loving us,
as you called to us through prophets’ voices,
inviting us to come back to your side.
And when we continued to love our way more,
your steadfast love became even more abundant
as you sent Jesus to restore our brokenness.

Therefore, we will join with all those
of every age and every place,
our mouths singing your praise:

P:    Holy, holy, holy!  God of compassion and grace!
      Heaven and earth overflow with your goodness.
      Hosanna in the highest.

      Blessed is the One who comes with a willing spirit.
      Hosanna in the highest.

Only you are holy, Engraver of our hearts,
and blessed is the Lord of Life, Jesus Christ.
Your Beloved, he was baptized
and chosen by you to share our life.
He came, to melt our frozen hearts
with the warmth of your mercy.
He came, to be broken
that we might be mended.
He came, to suffer death for our sake,
that seed of new life planted
deep in death’s cold tomb,
so he could be raised to newness,
your glory and hope made known
to all who come seeking him.

Here, at this Table of forgiveness and life,
we remember his life of humility and service,
even as we proclaim that mystery we call faith:

P:    The Word that spoke creation into being
       has become the Voice which shattered death,
       and will call us home at the end of time.

Here at the Table of peace,
we find the gifts you provide,
the bread and the cup drenched
with the Spirit of hope and life.
As we are fed by the bread
created from creation’s goodness,
may the seed of your compassion
which has been planted deep in us,
bloom forth in service to your children.
As we drink from the Cup
which is filled with your righteousness,
may our spirits overflow with justice,
as we bring your good news
and generous presence to all
who are oppressed in our world.

And when, at last, all people are free,
when creation has been restored once more,
when we gather around your Table in glory
with our sisters and brothers from all time,
we will join in singing your praise forever and ever,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

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