a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Confession: other powers

O God, our protector, we take refuge in you;
you alone are the source of all our good.
We seek to be counted among the godly and upright,
but we confess that we have run after other powers,
and we have brought trouble upon ourselves and others.

O Lord, our portion and our cup,
you sustain us and lead us in good and pleasant ways.
We confess that we have trusted in false wisdom
and set our hearts on short-sighted desires.

Forgive us, God our life.
Help us set you always before us,
and sustain us in your righteousness.
Let our hearts be glad, our spirits rejoice,
and our bodies rest in hope,
for you do not abandon us to our sin
or let your chosen ones dwell in the pit.
In Christ you show us the path of life;
you welcome us into the joy of your presence;
you feed us with pleasures forevermore. Amen.

 

Rev. Nathan Williams, Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines, IA

approach and confession: storyteller

God, you are a storyteller, and you made us in your image. You spoke, and you still speak, through unexpected people, through silence, through your word written and proclaimed through the centuries. We come to hear your story once again, to find our place among your people and within your vision for all creation. We hear You call us to share your story in our words and in our actions, but we confess that more often our lips are sealed. We are afraid to tell your story. We think we don’t know enough, and we are afraid of offending. We prefer to keep you to ourselves.
Yet still Your word, O Lord, is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.
Forgive us for letting the book gather dust on the shelf, and the story gather dust in our hearts.
Speak to us, and through us, Lord.
Help us 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.
We pray in the name of the one who is your Living Word, Jesus the Christ.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, St. John’s Church of Scotland, Gourock, Scotland

Illumination: dance in your love

Divine Spirit,
surround us with the wisdom of your word
that we might dance in your love
and be messengers of your truth in this world. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

Confession: swallowed up

Call to Confession
God saves us despite us being unworthy of that salvation.
In response to that grace, let us confess the ways we have fallen short.

Confession (Responsive)
God of Endless Mercy,
we have often been swallowed up by our our greed and selfishness,
desiring that which we do not have, filling our lives with things that do not save us.
We have often been swept away by the floods of our own making,
polluting your creation, neglecting to be faithful stewards of the earth.
We have often attacked one another and led lives of violence,
sending missiles instead of accepting refugees, ignoring your commandments.
Lord have mercy, for we have sinned and fallen short of your glory.
Christ have mercy, for we are broken and need your salvation.
Lord have mercy upon us and hear us as we pray in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon
Friends, our help is in the name of the Lord
who has heard our plea and answered our confession with absolution.
In Christ’s name, I announce to you that our sins are forgiven!
Alleluia! Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

Prayer: stick with us

Saving God,
you are a God who has made it a habit to stick with us through thick and thin.
Thank you for calling us your own
even in moments when we haven’t been the best investment.
Help us, in our worship of you this day,
to be turned in a direction that pleases you. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

CTW: blessed

If it had not been the Lord who was on our side – let us say together:
If it had not been the Lord who was on our side,
we would have been swallowed up alive. But such is not the case!
Blessed be the Lord, who is our rock and our redeemer!
Blessed be the Lord, in whose name is our help!
Blessed be the Lord, who made heaven and earth!
Come, let us worship God!

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

POP: god of wisdom

Let us pray to God saying:
God of Wisdom, draw near to us

Ever-present God,
we look around the world and we see places where people cry out to you:
in places torn by the ravages of war,
in countries demolished by natural disasters,
in areas of rural Kentucky where there are no jobs,
in families across our state who have been devastated by opioid addiction.
Help us bear your light into the places in the world that need illumination and healing.
God of Wisdom, draw near to us.

Gracious God,
give us a gentleness born of wisdom
that we might go out into the world and serve as your ambassadors.
In order to do that, bless us with the wisdom needed to do so –
a wisdom that is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield,
full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy.
God of Wisdom, draw near to us.

God of all mercy and grace,
give us the courage to seek you out,
to search our hearts for your truth,
and to be guided by the stories of scripture.
Since our hearts do not rest until they rest in you,
lead us to the pastures of your protection,
that we might be faithful members of your flock.
God of Wisdom, draw near to us.

Healing God,
we pray for those among us this day who need your love:
for those who struggle with depression’s grip,
for those who journey with physical disabilities,
for those who are lonely,
for those who are hopeless,
for those who are addicted,
for those who are angry and bitter,
for those who are broken and battered,
and for those we lift up to you in silence this day…
God of Wisdom, draw near to us.

Giver of Hope and Truth,
hear us today as we pray the prayer you taught us to pray, saying: Our Father…

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

illumination: curiosity and wonder

As children welcomed to your presence,
instill within us a sense of curiosity and wonder
as we gather to listen to your Word. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

Confession: not enough

Call to Confession
With humility and honesty, let us confess our sins to our God
who is slow to anger and quick to forgive.

Confession
Abundant God, so much of our harmful behavior is rooted in our envy.
You have given us our manna – our daily bread – but we want more.
We have allowed ourselves to be seduced by commercialism,
telling ourselves that we are not complete until we have the nicest things.
Forgive us when our actions convey that you are not enough for us.
Help us to live our lives simply and faithfully,
trusting in your steadfast love to provide all that we need. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon
Friends, our salvation is not something that can be purchased with money or fame.
Our salvation comes from Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone.
I announce to you this day, our sins are forgiven.
Alleluia! Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

POP: theological education sunday

Let us pray to God saying:
Holy and Merciful God, hear our prayer.

Today is a Sunday that many Presbyterian Churches
celebrate and support places of theological education.
We give thanks for the 10 seminaries of our denomination including:
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary,
Columbia Theological Seminary,
University of Dubuque Theological Seminary,
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary,
McCormick Theological Seminary,
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary,
Princeton Theological Seminary,
San Francisco Theological Seminary,
Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary,
and Union Theological Seminary.
We give thanks for the two other seminaries
in covenant relationship with our denomination:
Auburn Theological Seminary and Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico.
We also pray for our local seminaries, including:
Lexington Theological Seminary and Asbury Theological Seminary
May these places continue to teach faithfully the future leaders
of our faith families here and abroad.
Holy and Merciful God, hear our prayer.

Gracious God,
today’s scripture reminds us that words matter
and that the way we choose our words
holds within it the capacity to either harm or heal, to wound or welcome.
In this time when words are tossed around so casually,
may our words be used to build up the Body of Christ
and share love and compassion in a broken and battered world.
Holy and Merciful God, hear our prayer.

Healing God,
we pray for those who have been hurt by words of late:
for refugees and immigrants with or without documentation,
for women and girls who have endured words of sexism,
for people of color who hear words of racism,
for people with disabilities who are told they are “less than,”
for elderly people who are told they are useless,
for young adults who are told they are entitled, selfish, and irresponsible.
God of the Living Word, help us speak the truth in love
and to care for one another with the words we choose to speak.
Holy and Merciful God, hear our prayer.

God of Healing and Wholeness,
we lift up to you our words of prayer
for the people near and dear to our hearts
as we lift them up silently before you…
Holy and Merciful God, hear our prayer.

Triune God,
we love you for you hear our voice and our supplications.
We lift these prayers to your ears
along with the prayer you taught us to pray, saying: Our Father…

 

Submitted by Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY