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

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: a new and different way

God of justice and peace,
you show us a new and different way to live
in the joyful gift of your Law
and in the gracious life of Jesus Christ,
but when your new way tells us, “No,”
we pull back.
We resist your challenge to give up the old ways.
We prefer that you keep silent
rather than speak up against our misdeeds out of your love and anger.
Forgive us, loving God.
Guide us into your new way.
Keep challenging us to walk in the way
of your justice, peace, and love for all people
each and every day,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Submitted by Rev. Andy James, First Presbyterian Church, Whitestone, New York

Great Prayer: Architect of Creation

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
L:  May the God of mountaintops be with you!
P:  And also with you!
L:  People of God, love the One who would make your hearts a a place of holiness and hope.
P:  We open ourselves to God, who raises us to new life.
L:  God’s beloved children, sing to the One who will not let you stumble on your way to salvation.
P:  We rejoice in God, who is foolish enough to save us from ourselves.

From the very beginning,
Vulnerable God,
all creation has sung your glory:
goodness laughing from the mountaintops,
beauty echoing in every valley.
You shaped us from creation,
your Word calling us by name,
your Spirit breathing life into us.
You set us free to live with you
in that garden of delightful wonders,
but we believed our thoughts
were better than yours.
We shaped idols to look like our desires,
and placed them in such a way
that we would not see you.
There is nothing that stays hidden from you,
so you saw how foolish we were.
Sin muddled our minds
so that we could not listen
to the prophets you sent,
so Jesus came to show us
your love which had never abandoned us.

With those who stood at the foot of Sinai,
with those who were astounded in the temple,
with those who have become foolish by following you,
with all your children of every time and in every place,
we lift our songs to your glory:

P:    Holy, holy, holy are you, Architect of creation.
The heavens, the earth and everything you made
overflow with your gracious joy.
Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who walks on to Jerusalem.
Hosanna in the highest.

Holy are you, God of grace and glory,
and blessed is Jesus, the Christ, our Lord.
When we insisted on worshipping
every petty and pretty idol,
he came to show us exactly
what your love looks like.
When we put our expectations in his way,
hoping that he would stumble over them,
he picked them up and threw them aside,
so he could continue until
he reached the end of your journey.
When we looked for a sign
that God is with us,
he died on the cross,
and was raised to new life.

As we seek the strength to follow your Child,
as we long to be as obedient as he was,
we would speak of that mystery called faith:

P:    Christ became weak,
so death would lose its power;
Christ looked foolish,
so we might become wise enough to believe.
Christ will come again in glory,
to bring us home to God.

Pour out your Spirit
upon the gifts on this Table,
Ever Faithful God.
Here, where creation
yearns for comfort,
speak hope.
Here, where your children
are broken, longing for life,
speak healing.
Here, where the bread
fills us with life and peace,
where the cup refreshes
our weary spirits,
send us forth to offer ourselves
in all those ways of service
the world finds so foolish.

And when our journey has ended,
when we are gathered around that Feast
which awaits us in that place called home,
we will join our words and our hearts,
honoring you with praise and song,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

 

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

confession: boxed up

Even with those simple commandments, Eternal Love, we manage to get it wrong. We misuse your name on an almost daily basis, and dishonor our friends and neighbors by talking behind their backs. We hunger for what others have, and think we can put you in a box, storing you away on a shelf. We find little enough time for our families, for ourselves, you – much less setting aside an entire day for that rest you call Sabbath. Forgive us, Abiding Love. We think we are  so wise with the choices we make, only to end up with all that
keeps us from you. Your Word has come, to fill our speech with grace, with hope, with peace. As we journey to Jerusalem, may we invite others to join us as we seek to follow Jesus Christ, our Lord, our Savior.

Silence is kept

 

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

call/assurance: God waits

Call to Reconciliation
Perhaps we have spoken words which harm another.
It may be we have failed to honor another of God’s
children.  Maybe we have let our fears, our worries,
our desires come between us and God.  Whatever
we might have done, God waits to listen to us,
to offer us grace and healing.  Join me as we pray
together.

Unison Prayer of Confession

silence

Assurance of Pardon
L:    Day to day, God offers us mercy and hope.  Moment
to moment, we are surround by God’s never-ending
love.  Friends, trust this Good News for you!
P:    God takes our brokenhearted prayers and crafts them
into words of grace, of joy, of peace.  Thanks be to
God, we are forgiven.  Amen.

 

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

prayer: speak, come, stay

You speak, life-giving God:
and all creation resounds
with your precious words.
Grace runs through
our neighborhoods,
singing your praises;
hope tells of your
enduring dreams for us,
without uttering a word.

You come, Servant of all:
so we can discover
that all the books
in the world cannot
tell us what we learn
about God from you,
and that all our words
cannot begin to speak
of your compassion for us.

You stay with us, Breath of joy:
your peace gentling
our warring passions;
your wisdom helping us
to learn how to live in
community with all around us;
your quiet presence
residing deep with our hearts
the only sign of hope we need.

God in Community, Holy in One,
may our words find favor with you,
even as we pray as we are taught, saying,
Our Father . . .

 

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