a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

POP: faithful acts

It is good to give you thanks, O Lord,
and to sing praises to your name, O Most High.
We celebrate your loving-kindness to us every day
and your faithfulness night by night.
With every good gift you have given, we worship you.

You have made your people glad with your faithful acts, O Lord,
and we shout for joy at your righteous works.
Teach us to use your gifts rightly,
to do good to all people and build them up,
and to allow your beauty to flourish in this world.

We pray for the healing of those who are ill,
for the guidance of those who are strong,
for the reconciliation of those who are enemies,
and for the comfort of those who are grieving.
Let your kingdom flourish among us,
O Lord, our Rock.
We pray in Jesus’ name, saying together:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

CTW: a new world

Jesus said the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed; it starts out as a small thing, but it grows and grows until it gives a home to the birds of the air.

Can we believe a new day is coming? As surely as the sun rises over the horizon God is creating a new world. 

Jesus said the Kingdom of God is like that someone who casts seed on the ground, and then sleeps and wakes, day after day, while the earth produces the fruit from the seed that was cast.

We do not know how God works out the fullness of redemption. But we know we are partners in that work. 

Praise the name of the Lord who still cares for the world!

Praise the name of the Lord who leads with power and grace. 

 

Submitted by Rev. Lisa Lopez, Christ Presbyterian Church, Hanover Park IL

confession: seeds

Beloved God, it is often hard for us to see anything special in something so small as a seed. We look at others we encounter in our lives, and think, “How could they be worthy of love?” But you call us, again and again, to shower love upon the world – on the impressive flowers and on the tiny seeds. Help us to see each other as you see us – needing your grace poured out, and through your grace, being worthy of your love. Help us to grow into sheltering plants, able not only to rise toward your outpouring of grace and love, but to point others to your life-giving light. Amen.

~Rev. Lucus Levy Keppel, Ancho + Corona Presbyterian Churches, New Mexico

CTW: inward heart

One:  God calls old and young, tall and short, insider and outsider.

All:  God calls beautiful and plain, beginner and expert, silly and serious.

One:  God calls rich and poor, left right and center, faithful and doubting.

All:  God calls into the heart, not based on appearance or circumstance.

One:  God calls…listen, can you hear?

 

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

confession and pardon: walk by faith and not by sight

Prayer of Confession
God who knows each heart, you call us to walk by faith and not by sight, giving us new vision that goes deeper than outward appearance; yet how often we remain blind, returning to a human point of view, relying instead on our society’s signs of right or wrong, success or failure.  We miss your warning signals of internal corruption or moral deficiency in those in whom we put our trust.
Forgive us, O God.  Become our Vision as we keep learning to walk by faith. Teach us to observe ourselves and others as you do, with prudence and wisdom as well as compassion and love, so that your deeper way of seeing might grow within us and among us, in Christ’s name, Amen.
Silent Prayer   
Assurance of Grace
Just as Paul reminded the Corinthians of their new way of seeing, he told them that anyone in Christ is a new creation, that everything old is passed away, and all is made new!
In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.Thanks be to God. 

Sunday’s Coming: working toward June 17

We’re into that strange part of the year, at least in the congregation I serve. Ordinary Time is in full swing, and even though it is nice to have a break from all the festivals, it can be hard to get engaged in what is new and next. On top of that, summer isn’t fully here yet – at least not according to the seasonal calendar! – but things are really starting to slow down already in many ways. Plus, it is another civic holy day: Father’s Day. There is much going on, but it can be hard to celebrate any or all of these in worship.

So, how are you responding to all these things? Are you looking to the Lectionary, with its week-long reign of Saul that began last week already giving way to the anointing of David? Are you considering the possibilities of looking past a human point of view and into God’s new creation? Or are you beginning the inevitable descent into the parables that a summer in Mark holds?

Share your ideas for this week’s liturgy and sermons in the comments, and join the conversation!

CTW: it is good

Leader: It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High.
People: We declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night.
Leader: As flowers unfold in the light of the sun, our creation comes to fullness in the presence of our God.
People: Christ brought a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
Adapted from Psalm 92 and 2 Corinthians 5 by Kathleen Sheets, Pastoral Assistant, First Congregational Church of Williamstown, MA