a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

communion: on Psalm 91

O God Most High, we give you thanks
today and every day for your unfailing goodness and love.
You are always coming to the rescue of your faithful ones,
and you promise to guard us in all our ways.
We praise you for the gift of this sacrament,
which is a sign of your promise to watch over us forever.
As we come to this table, we lift up before you
those who need your special protection today.
Grant your healing, your protection, your peace, and your hope
to all who are in need.
Give your special care and guidance to this nation,
and grant peace to all the earth,
in the name of the Prince of Peace,
who prays with us as we say together:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

Dedication: we wait upon you

Almighty God our refuge,
you provide all things for those who wait upon you.
We present these offerings to you as signs of our trust,
knowing that your angels guard all our ways.
Show us your salvation, today and forever,
we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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

confession: we have forgotten

One:    Your story stretches from age to age, O God, and you call us to be a part of it.

All:     But we have forgotten your story, left the book to gather dust on the shelf, hoping the bits we remember here and there will be enough.

One:    And still you speak, bringing life and love into being.

All:     But so often we want to write our own story, taking center stage as star of our own play.

One:    Forgive us, O God, for we have not sought your word as a light to our path.

All:     Forgive us, O God, for we have assumed your word was captive on an ancient page.

One:    Forgive us, O God, for we have relied on our own strength, rather than on your living wisdom.

All:     Forgive us, O God, and guide us as we return to you. 

All sung: Kyrie Eleison

silence

 

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

Sunday’s Coming: Working toward February 17

Well friends, here we are: Lent.

Do you have big plans for Lent this year? A season-long theme or series? A visual aid you are working with? A particular song you plan to sing all season long? A metaphor guiding your reflections on the lectionary?

I know several of us are taking the spiritual-practices approach this year…what practices will you be introducing/teaching/focusing on? How will you do that in worship? What does that mean for your liturgical practice?

For those of us working from the RCL, this week offers us a challenge to remember our story–to be plugged in to God’s narrative in such a way that it becomes a part of us, ready to shore us up in times of temptation, to be our shelter in times of trouble, to learn how to pray and to listen.

Of corse, none of those stories advocate for simple literalistic memorization and parroting–each interprets and reinterprets God’s story for its context. How will you be reinterpreting this story of Lent, told so many times, for your context?

In many ways, this is what we do with liturgy–we hold the story up to the light and see what light might shine in a word or phrase or image, and we play with that until we have something that allows the people of God to access the word from another angle. How will you be working with liturgy this week?