a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

POP: Be Faithful

Hear, O Lord, the prayers of your people;
incline your ears to the words of our mouth.
We call out to you on account of your faithfulness,
for you are the Ancient of Days, and your word never fails.
Keep faith with those in need today,
as you have forever before,
so we might sing your praises for generations to come.
Be faithful to the young, who are just learning the ways of the world.
Be faithful to those who are older,
and especially to those who struggle with disease of body or mind.
Be faithful to those who are poor, injured, grieving, or under threat;
that your wholeness, your peace, and your joy may be restored.
We put our trust in you,
remembering your gracious works
made real for us in Jesus Christ, in whom we pray:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

dedication/stewardship commitment: Choose This Day

Choose this day, whom you will serve
We serve the Lord with gladness!
God is good, all the time. God’s generosity extends far beyond our wildest imaginings.
We thank you God, with renewed gratitude.
With hands and feet, hearts and voices…
We serve the Lord with gladness!
We remember, O Lord, how you brought slaves out of Egypt, how you humbled yourself into human form, and how you bring this collection of people in to be your heavenly body on earth.
We pledge to live in witness to your legacy of freedom and in service to your holy name. 
Following the vision you have given us: of humble service and self-sacrifice, we boldly step out in faith.
We commit to you, O God, using our time, talents, and treasure, to serve with gladness. 
Amen.
 
Submitted by Rev. Elaine Murray Dreeben, Canyon Lake Presbyterian Church, Canyon Lake, TX

confession: short-sighted

Faithful God, we confess our own short-sightedness. Instead of placing all our trust in you and going forward in faith, we have given ourselves to other gods: proven results, quick fixes, and easy outs. Welcome us again into your loving arms. Be quick to forgive us and restore us to faith. Set our hope in you and remind us again of your mighty power and goodness. Help us to rededicate ourselves in your holy name. Amen. 

 

Submitted by Rev. Elaine Murray Dreeben, Canyon Lake Presbyterian Church, Canyon Lake TX

Confession: too often we say…

Gracious God, too often we say we choose you and yet we do not live in your light. Forgive us for the many times when our heart, our words, and our actions don’t show we have chosen to follow you. Hear the honest pleas of our hearts for forgiveness as we ask for another chance to love you with all we are and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Christ, in your mercy hear our prayers. Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Susannah DeBenedetto.

poem: choose this day

Choose This Day

Choosing and choice are hard.
I first thought this as I looked at row upon row
of conditioner and shampoo
after living where I had a choice of
having one or none-
Forty to fifty choices!
What if I choose the wrong one?

“Choose!”, commands Joshua.
Choose between your liberator,
or one who has done nothing.
Choose between false promises of prosperity, rain and good crops
And freedom.

And I imagine, being an Israelite, being myself,
seeing gods lined up on the shelf
like shampoo and conditioners,
IRAs, pension plans, the “right School” the “right Major”, the right candidate for office, the job, the little gods of everyday life that pull and push me
and I turn and walk outside
buying nothing,
choosing to live as though God has already grabbed me up.
How can I choose?
I’ve already been claimed.

Submitted by Rev. Jason Carle, Overland Park Presbyterian Church, Overland Park KS

confession: other gods

You, Lord, have been our dwelling place in all generations. You free us, you provide for us, you have even given your self to us. Yet so often we forget that this is your story, and try to take the lead. We confess that we have turned from your way and gone our own ways. We have served other gods. We have loved you with our words but not with our actions. Forgive us, and turn us yet again to your path. Give us courage to follow you, and to proclaim in our lives that we worship and serve only you.

 

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

CTW: God calls us to worship…

One:    God calls us to worship, lifting our voices and our hearts in praise.

All:     God calls us to worship, lifting our hands and our resources to serve.

One:    God calls us to worship, when we are together and when we are alone.

All:     God calls us to worship, in the sanctuary and on the street corner.

One:    God calls us to worship, with our everyday choices and our Sunday best.

All:     God calls us to worship, in song and prayer and in doing justice and loving kindness.

One:    God calls us to worship.

 

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

confession: do not match

God, you are creating a world where everyone can live an abundant life. We confess that we often work against your creative spirit, instead creating systems that privilege a few and leave behind the rest. We confess that we benefit from injustice, and we often do not want to give up our spot at the top. We confess that sometimes the words we say and sing in the sanctuary do not match our actions in other parts of the building, let alone other spaces in our lives. We confess that we prefer to offer you what is easy and hope that is good enough to get us through the week. Forgive our inconsistent faith, our hypocrisy, our hard-heartedness. Open us to your way, and give us courage to walk your path of healing, reconciliation, justice, and peace.

~silence~
All (sung): Come and fill our hearts with your peace (Taize)

 

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

Sunday’s Coming: working toward November 6

Maybe you’re saving All Saints for this Sunday, because yesterday was Reformation Sunday.

Maybe you’re having stewardship commitment/dedication Sunday.

Maybe you’re in the middle of the stewardship campaign.

Maybe it’s a communion Sunday.

Maybe it’s just another Sunday in the endless Year A journey through Matthew.

Whatever you’re doing this Sunday, we want to create together for worship! Join in the comments below as we write together, bounce ideas around, contemplate themes or hymns or creative expression. How are the people of God encountering the living Word this Sunday?

If you follow the lectionary, you might be pondering telling our history and figuring out how to make a choice to serve the Lord. What does it mean to serve the Lord with your congregation’s particular story? How might that relate to All Saints or Communion or Stewardship? Or you might be wondering what’s up with those lazy bridesmaids who didn’t make sure they had enough oil. Aside from singing Keep Your Lamps, what are some ways we can use the liturgy to help our congregations be prepared to encounter God? If you’re pondering the connection between yet another missed rapture date and All Saints, perhaps Thessalonians is your guide. What liturgical language do you need to illuminate this strange and oft-misunderstood idea?

As we contemplate the plot twists, the lives of our communities, and the movement of the Spirit–what language are you leaning toward for this week? What ideas do you hope to convey? What musical ideas do you have?

Let’s create together!