a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

great prayer of thanksgiving: bearing fruit

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

We give you thanks and praise, almighty God,
for the gift of your creation,
the garden that you yourself tend,
the wonderful fruit that you invite us to share.
Even when we wandered from your ways and bore no fruit,
you kept longing and hoping and working to show us a better way,
sharing the law, the prophets, and even your own son
to deepen your love in us and help us bear the fruit you intend.
For these and all your gracious gifts, we are truly thankful.

Loving God, we are most thankful for the gift of your son Jesus, the great gardener,
who taught us how to walk in your ways and bear your fruit.
He lived for us and died for us,
and when you raised him from the dead,
he gave us too the promise of new life.
Even now he intercedes for us and shows us the possibilities of life with you.

So as we gather to share this feast,
show us his presence in these simple gifts of bread and cup.
In this holy meal, lift us up to new life in you and with you,
that we might have grace to bear the fruit you intend in the life of your Spirit—
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—
each and every day as we journey with you.

Along this journey, by the power of your Spirit,
make us one with Christ,
that we may be one with all who share this feast,
united in ministry in every place,
bearing the fruits of your mercy, grace, peace, and love.
Keep us in your ways and guide us in your paths
until you gather up all things in Christ
and we share this feast with you and all your saints
in the joy of your eternal love.
Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor are yours, almighty God,
now and forever. Amen.

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

confession: rationed abundance

One:    God, you provide beyond our imagination

All:     and yet somehow, not quite up to our expectation.

One:    We desire so many things, forgetting your desires.

All:     We long to control what you do, how you act, who you favor.

One:    But you call us to a feast full of guests we would never choose.

All:     Forgive us when we act as if your giving is restricted to our pleasure.

Forgive us when we try to ration your abundance.

Forgive us when we fail to share your generosity.

One:    Fill us again, O God, with your goodness, and nurture our faith,

All:     that we may grow in your love.

sung: Kyrie Eleison

silence

 

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

confession and assurance: not enough

O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

We confess that we are no longer seeking anything because we believe we can longer be surprised.  As those who live in a place of security we do not understand what it means to faint or to thirst.   Have mercy on us.

So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.

We have come into this sanctuary today with not enough reverence, not enough praise, and not enough awe for You.  Have mercy upon us.

Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on your name.

We are afraid to make a spectacle of ourselves when we sing, or pray or praise You.  Our worship is too clean, organized and so stay an arm’s length away from You.  Have mercy on us.

But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the earth; they shall be given over to the power of the sword, they shall be prey for jackals.

We look for revenge, we gloat and we rejoice when some around us stumble or fall.   We have lost sight that we have participated in the destruction of life and are in danger of Your disappointment, wrath or anger.   Have mercy on us.

Silent Confession

Words of Assurance

O Lord, You have been our help.  In the shadow of Your wings we sing for joy.  Our souls cling to you.  Your hands hold onto us.  We are reminded of Your forgiveness and Your mercy.  We are reminded that in You we have new life.  Alleluia.  Amen.

Passing of the Peace

(Can be read responsively with the leader reading the scripture and then the Congregation responding, or by two voices, or by voices sprinkled throughout the Congregation.)

 

Submitted by Rev. Shannan Vance-Ocampo, Watchung Avenue Presbyterian Church, North Plainfield, NJ