a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

CTW: we want to see Jesus

One: From near and far, long-serving and first-timers, we enter this house together:
All: We want to see Jesus!
One: Share the good news, all are welcome in this place.
All: We come, drawn by grace and challenge, ready to follow in faith.


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

Confession: come with us

Lord of the Way, you said that where you are, your servants will be. We confess that we would prefer you to come with us, rather than for us to go with you. Too often you are found in places we would rather avoid, with people we are afraid of, doing things we wish you wouldn’t. Forgive our inward vision, and call us to your side once again. Give us courage to follow where you lead, to bring others along on the journey, and to live as people filled with your grace, your hope, your truth, your life. We pray in the name of the One who was obedient even to the cross, and beyond to the empty tomb, Jesus the Christ. Amen.


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

Confession: we want to see you, but

We want to see you, Jesus…but sometimes we are too afraid to ask for help.
We want to see you…but we aren’t sure if those people should be allowed to come too.
We want to see you…but we don’t love the way you talk about sacrifice and death, or about outcasts and sinners.
We want to see you…but we also want to know how it’ll go first.
Forgive us.
Fill us
with courage to step forward and seek,
with openness to those around us,
with vision to see your big picture,
with trust to follow you.
In Christ’s name, and for his sake. Amen.


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

Dedication: signs of glory

You, Lord, are our God, and we are your people. As you have placed your generosity in our hearts, we pray now for the blessing of pouring it out for others. May the gifts we bring be of use in your kingdom, bringing hope to the despairing, light in the valley of shadows, peace in the midst of chaos. Make these tokens of our gratitude into a sign that shows your glory, until all come to see your gracious love. Amen.


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

CTW: covenant-making God

One: Hear and believe the good news: God has called us “my people”!
All: God has set up a covenant, over and over again,
choosing us even before we can choose,
faithful even when we are faltering.

One: In the flood, in the wilderness, in exile;
in certainty and doubt, abundance and scarcity;
God’s promise is true to the thousandth generation.
All: We see the rainbow, we hear our names, we learn the commandments,
we look up for our help, we know in our hearts:
we love because God first loved us,
we follow because God first came to us,
we can be faithful because God is faithful.

One: Come, let us worship God together.


(On Palm/Passion Sunday, this may be used as an Assurance of Forgiveness with a few minor alterations noted here….and during the assurance, the blocks placed after the confessions throughout Lent can be constructed into a cross as described here.)


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson.

confession: hardened hearts

Covenant-making God, you use every possible means to reach us,
breathing your Spirit in us, calling us by name,
showing us symbols of your promise, offering us a new way of life.
We confess that our hearts are hardened.
We choose certainty over faith, anxiety over courage, independence over compassion.
We turn our eyes from our neighbours in need,
and from stories of despair, and from pleas for peace,
and from anything that might bring tears to our eyes,
for we prefer our own comfort.
We get caught up in our own needs and desires,
and forget you have made us to be your people, together.
Engrave your word on our hard hearts again, O God.
Then break them open for what breaks yours,
that your word might sink in and become a part of us,
so we might truly live as if you are our God and we are your people.
We pray in the name of the One whose love breaks all bounds, Jesus the Christ. Amen.

(A block with a heart may be placed near the other blocks.)


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

Other liturgy following the Old Testament readings for Lent B may be found here.

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.

call/confession/assurance: we cannot see Jesus

Call to Reconciliation
We close our heart’s eye, and wonder why we cannot see Jesus. We wander down the same old paths, and are amazed that Jesus is not ahead of us. We speak and live in ways which keep us from being God’s children. Ler us come to the One who offers us grace and mercy, as we pray together, saying,

Unison Prayer of Confession
Love that knows no boundaries: we crowd our lives with so much activity, that it is hard to find time for you. We become so focused on ourselves, we can overlook those around us who are searching for hope. We fill our spiritual emptiness with junk, rather than feasting on your Word.

Abundant Mercy, forgive us. Open our eyes, that we may see your new covenant written in plain sight on our hearts. Open our hearts, that we may join you in serving the broken of the world.  Open our love, so we may pour it out as abundantly and graciously as your love is given to us in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Silence is observed

Assurance of Pardon
Like a parent tenderly washing her child, God bathes us in the warm waters of forgiveness, cleansing us, and restoring us to new life.
Through Christ, we are made whole;
through Christ, we are loved;
through Christ, we become new people.
Thanks be to God. Amen.

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

confession: if we’re honest…

You call us to love you with all our heart, all our mind, all our strength.
But, if we’re honest, we don’t give you all we have.
We hold back—because we aren’t worthy, because we are afraid, because we are selfish.
We aren’t always sure what love really is.
We forget to look to you, and even when we look, our vision is clouded.
Clear the chaos within us, O God,
that we may focus on you.
We will seek you with our whole hearts.


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