a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

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. 

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)

confession: you know us

All: God, you know us inside out, when we lie down and when we rise. Your knowledge is so complete and wonderful, we can never comprehend it. But that doesn’t stop us from believing we have it all figured out. Forgive our arrogance and misplaced pride. You are everywhere present. Whether we find ourselves in the depths of despair or the heights of heaven, you are there. But that doesn’t stop us from trying to confine you to one day of the week, one place in the future, one holy book, or one favorite pew. Forgive us when we ignore your call, and when we try to hide from your gaze. Forgive us when we act as if you cannot see, when we restrict your love to our understanding, and when we claim that your presence is just for some.

~silence~

One: God, you look on us with love, no matter who we are or where we have been.
All: We count blessings like grains of sand, and when we come to the end, still we will be with you. Silence in us any voice but your own, and guide us as we walk your way. Amen.

Confession – Blessings we cannot grasp

God, from whom all blessings flow, forgive us when we forget we are blessed
To be alive, present in the world;
To inhale and to exhale;
To feel sun on our faces and earth beneath our feet;
To taste cool water on our parched tongues;
To share a moment or a space with another person;
To know that You are with us and will never leave;
To love and be loved by you.
Remind us that such blessings cannot be counted, but enjoyed, shared, and multiplied. When we confuse a self-centered want with blessing, when we think a blessing something we have achieved rather than received, gently turn our heads and hearts.
Bring us back to the wonders of life in your world, so close that they can never be grasped or taken or hoarded. In the name of Christ, who came that all may know your blessing, Amen.

Assurance of Grace
Beloved of God, hear the good news; let it live in you. We are heirs of God’s promise, that God is with us, that we are each loved by God as if we were the only one, that God’s blessings are always a clue to God’s love. Know that you are blessed, and live in peace.

Submitted by Rev. Laura Cunningham, Nauraushaun Presbyterian Church, Pearl River, NY

confession: impatient, inconvenient, disinterested

One: You, Lord, call us to faithfully follow where you lead.

All: We confess that we are impatient with your way. Forgive us when we take matters into our own hands, unwilling to wait for your time.

One: You, Lord, call us to open our eyes to your presence.

All: We confess that we often see you only where and when we want to see. Forgive us for ignoring you when it is convenient for us, missing your image reflected in every face, passing by your word in our midst.

One: You, Lord, call us to be carriers of your blessing for the world.

All: We confess that most often, we are interested only in blessing ourselves. Forgive us when we hoard your blessing,  and when we think we can define and limit your blessing.

~silence~

One:     Gracious God,

All:       empty us of our selfish and divisive ways, and make us again into your body, loving and serving and caring for the world. Create us anew as your image-bearers, so all may see your glory and know your good news.
We pray in the name of Jesus the Christ, who offered himself as a witness to your faithful love. Amen.

 

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

CTW: the gate of heaven

One: O Lord, our God, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

All: And not just your name, but your presence fills the whole earth with glory.

One: We see your works in earth, sea, and sky,

All: we see your image in people young and old.

One: Make this place, today, the gate of heaven,

All: that we may hear your blessing and be your people. Amen.

 

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

CTW: the gate of heaven

 

Jacob was on the run, and slept outdoors. He dreamed of a stairway to heaven, and angels were going up and down on it. And God spoke to him in the dream.
And so God tells us, “I’ll stay with you. I’ll protect you wherever you go. I’ll stick with you.”
Jacob woke up and said:
“God is in this place—truly. And I didn’t even know it!”
And he was afraid, and said,
“Incredible. Wonderful. Holy. This is God’s house. This is the gate of heaven.”
This is God’s house, the gate of heaven this morning. Surely God is in this place. Let us worship God.

 

A Call to Worship for Ordinary 16A, based on The Message version of Genesis 28.10-19a, submitted by Rev. Dan Hayward, United Church of Canada, Ingleside and Newington United Churches, South Stormont, Ontario.

prayer of confession: sowing and harvesting

submitted by Rev. Andy JamesFirst Presbyterian Church, Whitestone, New York
based on Matthew 13:24-30

Gracious God, you sow good seeds in the field to make the world blossom and grow, but we lay waste to your crop. We toss other seeds into the field that only choke the life you share. We pull up the weeds when the time is not right and destroy the good wheat in our world. And sometimes we would rather even destroy the whole field than claim the good crops that you have given us. Forgive us for tending your field with such carelessness and bad judgment. Show us your intentions for us and our world once again, and so open us to the good harvest that you share with us and all creation.