a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

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: no other helper

Alleluia! We praise you, O Lord,
with every fiber of our being.
With all our heart, soul, mind, and strength we will sing praises to you.

We earnestly put our trust in you alone,
knowing that there is no other helper but you, the Almighty.

Therefore we call out to you on behalf of all who are hungry or oppressed,
asking you to keep your faithfulness to your beloved creation.

Liberator, set the prisoners free;
Light of the world, open the eyes of those who cannot see;
Strength of the broken, lift up those who long to be healed.
O Lord, hear our prayers for those we lift up before you.

Preserve the righteous by your justice;
care for the stranger in your compassion;
sustain the orphan and the widow in your community of faith;
and save all your world from the hand of the wicked.

You, O Lord, shall reign forever,
and so we join all generations in the prayer your Son taught us, saying:

The Lord’s prayer



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

great prayer: song and dance

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.

It is truly right and our greatest joy to give you thanks and praise, O God.

We praise you, O God,
who raised your voice and sang your Spirit over the chaos of creation
to make all that is beautiful and good and precious in your sight.

We rejoice in you, O God,
who gave songs to the prophets,
melodies to the people who you saved from flood and fire and famine.

We celebrate you, O God,
who David delighted in dance and poetry,
who Miriam gave glory with cymbal and drum.

We worship you, O God,
with all saints and angels from every time and place,
gathering our hearts and voices to sing to the glory of your name.

Holy Holy…

From the melodies in our hearts and the songs in our souls,
we give thanks and praise to our savior Jesus the Christ.

Cooing into silent nights, Jesus entered the world amongst the lowly.
Chanting songs of freedom, Jesus proclaimed good news to the captive.
Calling forth from the tombs, Jesus granted new life to people claimed by death.
Wailing and weeping, Jesus understood the stress and sorrow of a broken world.
Frolicking around wells and streams, Jesus opened hearts to Living Water.
Dancing through death, Jesus invites us to proclaim life in death’s bitter sting.

So we come to this table with deep joy and humble gratitude, for we know that:

Breaking bread, Jesus feeds us with a hunger for justice.
Pouring cup, Jesus invites us to join into the song of salvation.

Come, Holy Spirit, and stir in our hearts,
for the one who called us to the table calls us to sing and dance.
Teach us the music, guide us in the footsteps,
empower us to join in the celebration and invite all we see to do the same.

Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ,
through the power of the Holy Spirit,
may all glory and honor be yours, O Lord of the Dance,
who taught us to pray by saying,

Our Father…

referencing Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
submitted by Rev. Lindsay Conrad, Resident Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Ann Arbor, Michigan



confession: on our worst days

On our best days, O God, we know what we should be about.  We have heard your call, and we know what you want from us – justice, kindness, humility, peace, love.  We know all this, yet we sin.  We do precisely the things you have commanded us not to do.  We are guilty of being mean-spirited and unfair, arrogant and rude, chaotic and even violent.  We fail to love our neighbors and you, forgetting that this is your primary command.  We do not understand why we do the wrong things, but we come confessing because we know we are guilty.  So, God, on our very worst days, from the depths of our sinful brokenness, we cry to you for help and rescue.  Have mercy, O God, according to your unfailing love.  Amen.


Submitted by Rev. Betsy Turner, Luther Hays Presbyterian Church, Georgia

CTW: in the midst of life

One:  God calls in the midst of our busy lives,

All:  with a soft whisper, a clear voice, a gentle nudge, a striking view.

One:  God calls in the midst of our busy lives,

All:  asking us to come and follow, to lay down our nets and pick up the cross.

One:  God calls in the midst of our busy lives,

All:  giving everything and asking for everything.

One:  God calls in the midst of our busy lives,

All:  and so we come. 


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

call to confession / declaration of forgiveness: mind over matter

submitted by Rev. Scott Cervas, Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church, based on the epistle reading, Romans 7:15-25a.

We know what is good,
but we often do what is not.
So please join me in the prayer of confession…

(insert prayer of confession here)

Listen to the good news!
Though we know what is good,
and often do what is not,
God frees us from our guilt
so that we might be renewed
to accept our potential as part of God’s very good creation.
So let’s sing and give thanks to God!

confession: passing blame

submitted by Rev. Scott Cervas, Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church, based on the epistle reading, Romans 7:15-25a.

God…sometimes, there is nothing more freeing than to utter those six innocent words…The Devil Made Me Do It! Life is so much easier when we can avoid the blame for our own mistakes. The sooner we can turn everyone’s attention away from our weaknesses, the better. That’s what we think, anyway. We don’t like to be accused. We don’t like to be wrong. And we certainly don’t like to be guilty. So we pass the blame, and fail to get to the heart of the issue. Help us to claim our mistakes, to learn from them, to grow out of them, and to be transformed by your vision for our lives…

CTW: an open invitation…

Submitted by Rev. Scott Cervas, Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church, this Call to Worship for Independence Day weekend was inspired by “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus, the sonnet which hangs inside the Statue of Liberty.

Let’s be gathered…here…together…
those of us who are tired and want to be renewed;
those of us who are impoverished and seek nourishment;
those of us who are suffocating and yearn to breathe free;
those of us who are ignored and long for a sense of purpose;
those of us who are tossed about and long for a place to belong;
Let’s be gathered…here…together…all of us…and worship God!

call to worship: thus says the Lord

submitted by Rev. Sarah Wiles, Bethany Presbyterian Church, Tacoma, Washington
a call to worship adapted from Jeremiah 6:16, and echoing the rest Jesus promises in Matthew 11:28.

Thus says the Lord, stand at the crossroads, and look.
Ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies;
Walk in it, and find rest for your souls.

We come, O Lord,
seeking the ancient paths, the good way.
We come, O Lord,
seeking rest for our souls.
We come, O Lord,
longing to worship you.

Brainstorming: 4th of July weekend

Some of us studiously avoid the civic-holidays and patriotism in worship. Some of us don’t have that luxury. Others of us are working on how to celebrate communion on a civic holiday, or dreaming up creative worship ideas that are easier to test out in the summer. And some of us are already tired of ordinary time, only 3 weeks in. Whether you fall into any of these categories or you just want to brainstorm how to approach “come to me, all you that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest” yet again (but not in a funeral this time!), come share–what ideas do you have for this 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time?