a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

POP: grace and compassion

We praise you, O Lord, with all our hearts!
As your people gathered in faith, we call upon you.
We celebrate what you have done for us,
and we love to tell the stories of your grace.

For the sake of your unending righteousness,
we call upon your grace and compassion for your people.
We pray for those who are hungry,
and we seek to use our gifts so they might be fed.
We pray for those who suffer oppression
from enemies within or beyond their homelands,
and we look for justice and peace for all people.
We pray for those who seek to draw closer to you,
that you would open the eyes of every heart
and reveal yourself to all who seek you.

We give you thanks, Holy One,
for you are always faithful to your people;
your promises are always sure.
We pray with the wisdom, and in the name,
of Jesus Christ our Lord, who taught us to pray, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

confession: the word of the lord is rare?

Speaking God, it often seems as if the word of the Lord is rare in our days. We confess that we, your servants, may not be listening. We prefer to do what we want, labeling our desires with your name and calling them blessed. We disregard your voice when it comes from unpleasant quarters or through people with whom we disagree. We insist that there is no other way. We shut out and shut down, rather than waiting to hear your word. We confess our minds and hearts are often closed, our ears ringing with our own voices. Silence in us every voice but your own, and make yourself heard in this place again.

 ~silence~

Forgive us, O God.
Speak again into our confusion, our brokenness, our darkness, and lead us in your way of grace and truth. Amen.

 

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

illumination: and yet new

We give you thanks, O God, for your word, spoken long ago and yet new every day. Give us again the gift of hearing your voice through these words—may they be a conduit for your Spirit to enter our lives and take root, growing and giving glory to you. Amen.

 

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

The unprinted parts

Many of us probably have the bulletin done already…but there are always those things that don’t need to go in the bulletin that we wait to do until later. What words will we use to introduce the scripture reading? What words will we use to call people to confession? How will we introduce the offering? What prayer of dedication will we come up with this week? What children’s sermon ideas are floating around out there? Will the charge before the benediction be different this week?

I confess that the prayer of dedication I almost always use is this: “God, you have been so generous to us. You have filled us to overflowing with every good gift. We return these gifts to you and ask for your blessing–use these gifts, and use us, to do your work in this place and around the world. We pray in the name of Christ. Amen.”

Yeah, I could use a new one. What’re you thinking this week for those unprinted parts?

commissioning and benediction – back out into the world

Our time of worship concludes, we go back out into the world.

Here we have met the God who chooses to make us clean.
And, having been healed, what is our response?
We share the love of God with all we meet, for they too have been made clean.
As you go to live and serve, go with the sure knowledge that the God who washes and heals us all will go with you.
Always and all ways.
May God bless and keep you this day and forevermore.
Amen.

 

submitted by Gord Waldie, St. Paul’s United Church, Grande Prairie, Alberta

confession: walls of all about me

Holy God, we sing “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”, but we act out “A Mighty Fortress Is Our Life.” We make traps around us for others to fall into. We build walls so that we cannot be touched. We put so much in our days that we can only focus on what is next, and never on who is around us. And then we meet Jesus, who chooses to be open and vulnerable to the needs of the world. Forgive us, for our walls, our busy-ness and our fears. Help us, O Lord, to be instruments of the one who calls us out into new life, who makes space for the Other, Jesus our Lord and Savior Amen.

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

confession: no sense of direction

Healing God,
sometimes we have no sense of direction.
You point us one way…we stumble the other way;
You tell us to do one thing…we alter your plans;
You give us a clear vision…it often doesn’t suit our notions.
We create our own rules…our own criteria…
and our lives become complicated…
the church becomes smug and exclusive…
and the needs of the world are not served,
because we’re too busy serving ourselves.
So draw us from the limitations of our own minds,
and help us to see the landscape of possibility through your eyes…
so that we might be a healed and healing presence in the world…
even now…as we offer our silent confessions…

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

confession: we settle

“Beloved, as those who are in need of true and lasting healing, let us, as the family of God, approach the One who heals, saves and redeems us. Let us pray…”
Gracious, tender God, we bring to you our wounded souls, our selfish impulses, our arrogance. You offer us the kindom of heaven, yet we settle for earthly pursuits. Your ways are sometimes so simple, as you tell us “wash and be made clean”, but we insist on complicating grace. Forgive us, loving God. Replace our self-centeredness with your vision for the whole world. Restore us once again with your healing mercy, we pray in the name of the Christ, Amen.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON:
“Brothers and sisters, children of the living God, it matters not who you are, how you got here, or what you brought with you. Christ chooses this day to make you clean. We are all forgiven. Thanks be to God!”

 

Submitted by the Rev. Julie Craig, who writes, prays, preaches and wears cute shoes as a minister member of Milwaukee Presbytery. She blogs at winsomelearnsome.wordpress.com.

CTW: you are…

CALL TO WORSHIP (based on Psalm 30)
Leader: We will praise you, O God, for when we are surrounded by enemies,
People: You are on our side.
Leader: Sick and hurting, we cry out to you for healing,
People: And you are faithful.
Leader: When life feels like the deepest pit,
People: You lift us up.
Leader: In the midst of our sadness and grief,
People: You bring us joy.
Leader: In the midst of such blessing, how can we possibly keep it a secret?
All: Praise the Lord!

 

Submitted by the Rev. Julie Craig who writes, prays, preaches and wears cute shoes as a minister member of Milwaukee Presbytery.  She blogs at winsomelearnsome.wordpress.com

CTW: lift up

One: God is our helper, our healer, our hope.
Many: We lift our voices in thanksgiving and praise!
One: God lifts us up and protects us.
Many: We lift our voices in thanksgiving and praise.
One: God restores our joy after times of mourning.
Many: We lift our voices in thanksgiving and praise.
We cannot be silent! We give thanks to you forever!

 

Submitted by the Rev. Sarah F. Erickson, director of Lifelong Learning at Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur GA.