a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

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)

confession: pursuing individualism

Loving God, you created all things to work together in your kingdom, and you call us to live as one Body. We confess we often prefer to go our own way, and our unwillingness to love when we don’t understand put us at odds with your creation. We pursue our own individual success and we miss the chance to celebrate your gift of community. Forgive us. Open our ears to hear you speaking, and our hearts to embrace your purpose. Amen.    ~silence~

 

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

Confession: storm and stillness

Prayer of Confession:
God of storm and stillness, who hears and helps his children, we build forts of fear, blocking us from walking with others in your path of loving service. Forgive us. Calm us. May faith bring out the love and affection You have for us so that we may share your love with others in the same boat.

Assurance of Pardon:
Open wide your hearts! Now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. We are forgiven and redeemed.

 

Submitted by Christy Ramsey

CTW: stormy

Leader: There are storms surrounding us,

People: Furious waves and biting wind

Leader: We fear that God does not care

People: which frightens us more than the storms

Leader : Be Quiet. Be Still. God is with us.

People: Come into the calm, there is no fear here.

All: Let us live in faith!

Submitted by Christy Ramsey.

confession: You, O Lord…

You, O Lord, are our strong tower, our refuge and help in every trouble. Forgive us when we hide away from the challenges of following your call, using your word to build walls that insulate us from your world.

You, O Lord, are everywhere present. Forgive us when we want you to walk alongside us, when we ought to ask for the grace to walk alongside you wherever you are going.

You, O Lord, are the one who hears and answers our cries. Forgive us when our prayer is only self-serving, asking your stamp of approval or your help for our desires, and not for your glory.

You, O Lord, are our counselor and comforter. Forgive us when we seek only comfort, ignoring what we have done wrong and refusing to be confronted or challenged.

You, O Lord, are the one who calls us to come and follow. Forgive our blindness to your people in need, our deafness to your creation groaning for relief, our hearts hardened against the new thing you are doing. Teach us to pray, teach us to listen, teach us to serve, teach us to follow you wherever you are going.

~silence~

One:  Help us, O God,

All:  to know you so well that we cannot help but love you, and to love you so much we cannot help but serve you, sharing your good news in every place, for it is in doing your will that we find perfect freedom. Amen.

 

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

CTW: the day, and the church, the Lord has made

One:      This is the day the Lord has made,

let us rejoice and be glad in it!

All:      We come with awe and praise, hearts lifted high!

      Some of us come with doubt and fear, hearts troubled.

One:      This is the church the Lord has made,

the people God created for this place and this time.

All:      We come, all of us, to hear God’s word,

      know Christ’s presence,

      and follow the Spirit wherever she may lead.

One:      Come, let us worship the Living God,

who calls us together.

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church, Crystal Lake IL.

confession: one-way conversations

God, you call to us, but often we do not listen.

We are so busy speaking, we forget that conversations go two ways.

We are so busy looking for what we want, we forget to look for what you want.

Quiet our fear, our greed, and even our uncertainty,

that we may seek you, and hear you, and know you.

Forgive us our one-way conversations, our short-sighted solutions, our narrow fields of vision.

When we look only for answers, sit beside us as a friend in the questions.

When we look only for our desires, walk with us through your beautiful yet broken world.

When we look only for our own ways, open our eyes to your way,

and bring us to true life with you, today and every day.

We pray in the name of the One who lives and breathes among and within us. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church, Crystal Lake IL.

Sunday’s Coming: working toward June 24

Have you ever noticed that even when you’re out of town, Sunday still comes? Or that even in summer there are still only 168 hours in a week? Yeah…

So, in the few remaining hours before Sunday, what are you contemplating?

Are you looking at that David and Goliath story and wondering if you can pull off a reader’s theater complete with audience participation, as we did last week at the Montreat Youth Conference? (half the auditorium were Philistines, the other half Israelites…we taunted each other in between various sections of the reading…)

Are you wondering if you can preach about the comfort of your own pillow in the midst of the storm?

Perhaps you’re pondering yet another of Paul’s lists and exhortations.

Are you doing a summer series? What’s the theme? (Ours is “people’s choice”–we asked for suggestions, so this week I’ll be preaching on the who-what-where-when-why-how of prayer…)

Drop in and share your ideas, your seeds of ideas, your germs of seeds…who knows, the conversation may spark something new and fabulous that we can all use!