a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Confession: rather than

God of love, you come to us in the person of Jesus Christ,
who embodied humility for our sake.
We confess that we have chosen pride rather than humility.
We have tried to take advantage of our position and abilities,
rather than offering them up for the sake of others.
We have not listened to your Word made flesh.
Forgive us.
Teach us to give glory to you alone,
to humbly serve each other,
and to follow as disciples of Jesus Christ,
our risen Lord. Amen.

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

POP: lifetime after lifetime

We exalt you, O God our Sovereign,
and we bless your name forever and ever.
Every day proclaims your blessing,
and lifetime after lifetime sings praise to your name.
To you, whose greatness never ends,
we lift these prayers for your beloved people.

We pray for children and generations yet to come,
that they may know and praise your works with joy.
We pray for elders who ponder your glorious splendor,
that they may rejoice in your marvelous works.
We pray for those who have little to depend on except your might,
that all your people may have everything they need.
We pray for those who are sick, suffering, or grieving,
that their lives might bear the mark of your great goodness
and that, healed and whole, they may sing of your righteous deeds.

We pray to you, for you are gracious and full of compassion,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
We pray to you, in the name of the risen Christ,
in whom we pray together:
The Lord’s Prayer

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

POP: creative grace

O Lord, you are our shepherd;

we shall not be in want.

Your creative grace is visible in lush green pastures

and revealed in still, clear waters.

Your restoring resurrecting Spirit revives our souls and our communities,

and you guide us in ways of righteousness for the sake of your earth.

We pray for the earth you create and love:

for people, families, nations, and species that dwell in the valley of the shadow of death;

for all who fear the evils of pollution, violence, depredation, and illness;

for those whose suffering is on our hearts this morning, and for those whom we will never meet.

Shepherding God, be with your people;

with your rod and your staff, restore us and lead us.

Spread your table of abundance before those who hunger and thirst;

set us free from enmity and division.

Anoint us with your calling to reconciliation,

and let the cup of our life overflow

with justice and life for all your creation.

Let your goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our life,

and make this earth your home forever,

in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

Illumination: Lamps of our hearts

Fire of the Holy Spirit, light the lamps of our hearts. Shine with the light of your Truth, that as we read your scriptures, we see your love flowing through everyone we meet. Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Lucus Levy Keppel, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bixby, Okla.

Approach and confession: idols

God of love and justice, you are alpha and omega, beginning and end…and in between you are the breath of life, the rock on which we stand and the hand that holds us fast. We come into this place, gathered as your people, listening for the voice of your Spirit, still speaking in the wilderness of our hearts. We know your commandments, we can say all the right words…and yet we confess to you that our lives are not always a demonstration of your love. We have looked for loopholes, or created reasons to follow our own way. We admit that we have trusted in other gods—gods of money, security, family, or power. We are on a first name basis with the gods of greed and jealousy, and we are loathe to turn away from the god of privilege. Our everyday actions often proclaim any number of idols, and we come now to ask your forgiveness and help. We cannot leave them behind without your strong hand to guide us in the right way. Give us once again the joy of your grace, and set us on the sure foundation of your word. It is in you, lord, that we live and move and have our being. As you forgive so freely, fill us again with the blessing of creator, redeemer, and sustainer, that we may show your glory in every word, thought, and deed. We pray in the name of Christ, whose faithfulness is our hope and our light, and who taught us to pray together…

 

Submitted by Rev Teri Peterson, Marchmont St Giles parish, Edinburgh Scotland

confession: guiding light

Lord, you are our guiding light.  But when your world grows dim, when tragedy strikes, we confess that we tend to retreat from faith.  We may lose our way, our vision clouded by anger or gloom.  We fall back to our former ways because we may not know any other way to respond.  Help us in our confusion.  By your Holy Spirit, gird us with your holy strength to hold fast to what you have always taught us.  So that, as the world may seem to fall apart around us, we stand strong, one Church, Your People, faithfully facing the darkness together, lit from within by your wisdom and hope.  ~silence~  Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Amy Pospichal, First Presbyterian Tucumcari, New Mexico

Confession: Shiphrah and Puah

Scripture offers us stories of
Heroes who have been
Immoveable in their efforts to inspire
People to stand against evil in the world.
Hatred and violence are too often a
Real problem…and we must wonder:
Are we…actively or inactively…silently or loudly…
Helping to preserve the problem?

Against our deep desire to trust your vision, we often
Neglect our responsibility for one another, failing to
Do justice, live kindness, and be humble.

Prepare us for your work…
Unite us in your purpose…
And
Heal us from our indifference… 

 

Submitted by Rev. Scott V. Cervas (Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY)

affirmation: in every place

We believe in God: omnipresent, in every time, and in every place, generating and sustaining all life, nurturing relationship with Creation.

We believe in Jesus, the Christ, who lived and loved, taught and died; the One who conquered death and who surprises us with grace, when we least expect or deserve it.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, who journeys with us and makes our faith possible, in every situation and every circumstance.

We believe that every place we pause to recognize the mystery of our Triune God, is a sacred place, from sanctuaries on North Sixth Street to sunrises over the Atlantic Ocean. Surely, God is with us in every time and in every place, and we are grateful.

 

Submitted by Jerie Lukefahr, Commissioned Ruling Elder (PCUSA)

*Loosely based on Gen 28:10-19 – can be adapted to reflect local elements. 

Confession: some other place

Creating and transforming God,
you call us to spread the joy of your kingdom
and live as agents of your renewal in the world.
We confess that we are content to locate your kingdom
in some other place, some other time, some other reality.
We have been unwilling to welcome your ever-present Spirit,
to strive for your justice in this world,
or to recognize the risen Christ in the face of others.
Forgive us.
Open our hearts, our minds, and our lives
to see the truth right in front of us.
Free us from our foolishness,
and teach us to live by your wisdom,
in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

CTW and Assurance: God is in this place

Call to Worship:
Leader:          Surely, God is in this place,
People:          and calls us to worship in spirit and in truth.
Leader:          Surely, the Lord is in this place
People:          receiving our songs and praise.
All:                 Surely, God is in this place! Let us praise the Lord!

 

Assurance of grace:
Leader:          Surely, God is here, reconciling us through the gift of grace.
People:          Surely, Christ is here, bringing the Good News of our salvation.
Leader:          Surely, the Spirit is here, leading us to share this gift with others.
All:                 Thanks be to God, God is always with us.

 

Submitted by Jerie Lukefahr, Commissioned Ruling Elder (PCUSA)