a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Dedication–bread of redemption

God of abundant mercy, you have fed us with the bread of redemption and set us free to share our lives with the world for Jesus’ sake. Therefore we dedicate the offering we have presented, and the gifts we share, for the sake of your service. Through our lives, may we make your promises real and offer your hope to all, to the glory of your name. Amen.

 

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

 

confession: who we serve

Holy and merciful God,

in your presence we confess

our failure to be what you created us to be.

You call us to be your people,

but we have allowed ourselves to serve other powers.

We have ignored your call to stand for justice,

choosing instead the path of least resistance

or greatest return on investment.

We find ourselves stuck in patterns and relationships

that we no longer know how to change.

Turn to us again, liberating God!

Forgive us our sins and free us from our bondage.

Restore us to the life you created us to live,

through the power of Jesus Christ.

 

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

confession: So far…

So far, O God – we are so far from what you have called us to be.  We are eaten up with judgment and self-righteousness.  We are buried in selfishness, ego, and pride.  We have let your world be full of war and violence.  We allow some to go without while we and others have plenty.  We have been silent instead of speaking, or spoken harshly instead of your word of peace.  We are so very far from what you intended when you made us and breathed your life into us.

We have not been faithful to your call and steadfast in pursuing your way.  At least not so far.

Help us, save us, forgive us, make us new.  Amen.

 

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

CTW: citizens of a kingdom

We come before the God of resident and alien, native and sojourner –
As Adam and Eve fled the Garden,
As Noah drifted rudderless,
As Abraham and Sarah fled famine, followed God, and journeyed everywhere but home

The God whose call knows no borders –
As Israel and Joseph were reunited and reconciled as refugees in Egypt
As Moses, a refugee was saved from death
As the Hebrews fled Egypt without time even to bake bread

The God of refuge, who chooses the poor –
Whose Law a dozen times demands justice for native and alien alike,
Who calls us to leave the gleanings for the poor and refugee,
For whom Cities of Refuge were built to house all those fleeing persecution

We come before this very God, citizens in a Kingdom that is alien to the world –
Called to love strangers as God does,
To follow Jesus the refugee who fled persecution
And to offer hospitality to all; to welcome as we have been welcomed.

 
Submitted by Rev. Doug Hagler, First Presbyterian Church, Phoenixville, PA

CTW: who do you say?

      Jesus asks us, “Who do you say that I am?”

            O Lord, we say you are the Son of God,

            but sometimes you just seem so plain human.

      Jesus asks us, “Who do you say that I am?”

            Lord Christ, we say you are the Messiah, the anointed One,

            but we’d expected a warrior or a king or a high priest.

      Jesus asks us, “Who do you say that I am?”

            We say that you are Lord; we say that you are Savior.

            But the words on our lips are not always in our hearts.

      I ask you, who do you say Jesus is?

            Our lives tell the story of who we believe Jesus to be.

            May we demonstrate through our worship

            our faith in the Living Word of God.          

submitted by Rev. Rebecca Page Lesley, Green Acres Presbyterian Church, Portsmouth, VA

confession: withheld

We have withheld from you, O God, our deepest selves, choosing only to offer that which we see as marketable or usable, when we know you desire the fullness of our beings. We fail to honor you and the unique gifts you have given us by insisting that one is better than the other. Grant us grace, that we may accept one another and give freely of ourselves to the glory of your kingdom. Renew our minds, and change our ways, they they become your ways in the fullness of your wisdom. Help us to see ourselves and each other as we truly are, as you see us, rather than the puffed up vision we resort to often. Amen.
Submitted by Rev. Elaine Murray Dreeben, Canyon Lake Presbyterian Church, Canyon Lake TX