a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Confession: Vulnerable Love

Holy and Beloved God, you are the one worthy of praise, who fills our hearts with extraordinary joy, and who weeps with us when we lash out and hurt each other. In your infinite love, you care for us, and teach us to love each other as you do. Instead, we too often use our feelings as a shortcut for manipulation, trying to get others to do what we want instead of listening for your guidance. Help us to change, to listen to each other, trusting in you and each other to love again in vulnerability, knowing that all shall be well. Amen.

 

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

CTW: Scent of Bread

The scent of the Bread of Heaven has called us together

For when we pray, a window to heaven is opened

Let the joy of the feast to come fill you in this place

For whenever we gather at this table, we are filled to overflowing with God’s love

The Holy Bread we share with each other, for God’s gifts are for sharing

In sharing with one another, we see the face of Christ. Let us worship God!

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

Prayer for Illumination: Freshly Baked Bread

Holy Spirit, lift these words from the pages of scripture like the aroma of freshly baked bread. Help us to hunger for these words, to be fed by your grace, and to share what you offer with all of your children on this earth. Amen.

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

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

Confession: we don’t know what to confess

Call to Confession
Sometimes we must let go of our nets in order to follow Jesus.
Let us confess our reluctance to follow,
and examine what we must let go of in order to follow Jesus.

Prayer of Confession
We confess that we do not often know what to confess, O Lord. We are so consumed by our own projects that we don’t always hear your voice. We know that you speak through the suffering of others, the curiosity of one who needs to know they are not alone, and the opportunity to demonstrate love and forgiveness. Help us, Lord, to know our faults and turn from them. Hear us now, even as we confess our own unwillingness to hear you.
(silent prayer)
Thank you, Lord, for hearing our prayers.
Guide us in the true way of life as we follow you today. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Zach Sasser, First Presbyterian Church, Lafayette, Louisiana

POP: flows abundantly

We praise you, O Lord, for your greatness and splendor;
we rejoice in you for the beauty and delight of your presence.
Your goodness flows abundantly in the life of the world,
and you provide enough
not only to sustain life
but to make living a delight.
We pray for all that lives,
and especially today for those creatures
whose lives are filled with suffering or uncertainty
because they cannot find enough
food, shelter, security, love, or hope.
Guide us as we seek to use the gifts you have given us,
and open us to see what wonders you can work in the world through us.
We pray for those who hunger for signs of your love
and who thirst for the gladness of your good news.
Make us vessels of your mercy
and servants at your welcome table,
so we might make room for everyone to find a home in you.
We pray as disciples of Jesus Christ, our Lord,
who teaches us to pray, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

Benediction: see greater things

Beloved, we have heard and trusted in
the good news of Jesus Christ.
Go now into the world to do and see still greater things,
to open heaven upon earth
and bear witness to eternal life today;
in the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

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

Confession: Thoughts & Prayers

God of peace…we give thanks
that you are our firm foundation
when the waves of chaos thrash around us,
causing the world to feel out of control. 

We give thanks
that you have empowered us
to speak peace into chaos,
and to take action against injustice. 

But too often, we lack motivation,
we are too afraid to challenge injustice,
or it simply is not in our own interest to act. 

So we stand with the oppressor
instead of kneeling with the oppressed…
we carry torches of anger and hatred
instead of bearing the bright light of your love…
and we offer our “thoughts and prayers”
but render them empty and vain
by our silence and inaction.

Yet, we know you desire so much more from us. 

So draw us away from our apathy…
away from our complicity…
and closer to your hope for the world… 

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

POP: wailing into dancing

We exalt you, O Lord,
because you have raised us from the grave
and have given us the victory over our enemy Death.
When we called out to you, you raised us up and restored us to life.
We sing praises to you and give you thanks
when we remember the marvelous things you have done.
We pray for your favor, O God,
on those who suffer
and endure the wrath of illness, brokenness, change, or loss.
We pray for those who weep,
that your joy would break forth like the dawn.
We pray for those who are uncertain and insecure,
that you would show your favor, protect your people,
and strengthen those in need.
We pray for those who seek your face,
who have not yet found what they long for,
that you would reveal yourself again.
We pray for those who face death or despair,
that your faithfulness would be known even in the dust.
Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on us.
In Christ’s resurrection
you have turned our wailing into dancing;
you have taken off our mourning clothes and dressed us with joy.
Therefore we trust, and our hearts sing unceasingly,
O Lord our God, in the name of the risen Christ,
who taught us to pray as we say:

The Lord’s Prayer

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