a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

POP: awaken our faith

Let us pray to God saying:
Beloved God, awaken our faith and guide our hearts.

Gracious God, we come before your word this day
and are reminded of the strong commands of the author of James.
We are humbled to be reminded that there have been times
when we’ve given preferential treatment to those for whom it is easier to do so.
As your people, we have long struggled to give the same love to a stranger
as to the person who we’ve known for so long.
Help us, as a congregation, speak and act
as ones for whom hospitality is the priority.
Beloved God, awaken our faith and guide our hearts.

Loving God,
we give you thanks for the gift of faith
that is found through Jesus Christ, your son.
Help us bring that gift to life through our living,
that we may be missional servants of your Kingdom.
Beloved God, awaken our faith and guide our hearts.

Where there are those who are naked, may we clothe them.
Where there are those without homes, may we house them.
Where there are those without acceptance, may we welcome them.
Where there are those without family, may we make them our own.
In all things, help us to fulfill your commandment to love one another.
Beloved God, awaken our faith and guide our hearts.

We pray this day for congregations such as ours
who are discerning how to be faithful to your calling
in these tumultuous times.
We trust that you do not abandon us when the going gets rough.
Rather, you walk alongside us as a friend
and hold our hand as a loving parent
to guide us in the path of faithfulness.
Thank you, Gracious God, for your steadfast love.
Beloved God, awaken our faith and guide our hearts.

Be with those whom we love and those who love them,
for those who are undergoing health problems…
for those who are struggling with mental health…
for those who lack health care…
for those who have suffered from the plague of gun violence in this country…
for those who have looked to the Church for comfort and found a closed door…
for those who live from paycheck to paycheck despite being fully employed.
Beloved God, awaken our faith and guide our hearts.

Hear us, Loving God,
as we pray the prayer you taught us to pray, saying: Our Father…

 

Submitted by Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

Confession: when our faith is empty

Call to Confession
Let us gather to lament what is broken in our lives and ask God to forgive us.

Confession
Your word reminds us that we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves.
But we make far too many distinctions,
treating one person with more dignity and respect than another.
We gladly welcome those who look and act like us,
but give a much less enthusiastic welcome to the stranger.
Forgive us for the moments when our faith has been empty,
for the times that our works have not matched our words.
Help us lean ever more towards your goodness
and help our lives reflect that goodness in concrete ways. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon
The Psalmist reminds us:
Happy are those whose help is in God, whose hope is in the Lord.
Friends, God has heard our cry and has forgiven us our sins.
Alleluia! Amen.

 

Submitted by Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

Prayer: personal, not private

God of Good News,
we are reminded this day
that our faith is always personal but never private.
Bless our worship this day that we might leave this place
to live out our faith in tangible ways that change lives.
In all that we do, may we do it for your Gospel. Amen.

 

Submitted by Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

CTW: water breaks forth

Friends, be strong and do not fear, for we are in the presence of God.
Waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert.
The burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water.
God brings forth abundance where before there was scarcity.
There is nothing that is impossible with God.
We are gathered to share God’s blessings with one another.
Come, let us worship God.

 

Submitted by Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

confession: trapped in our intellect

God, you call us not only to believe with our minds, but to love with all our being. We confess that we do not serve you fully. We go our own way, serving our desires before heeding your voice. We look away from your people in need, and we create requirements for our help and our love. Forgive our hardened hearts and closed minds. Forgive us when we trap you in our intellect, forgetting to live as your people of good news outside the church building. Guide us to be doers of your word, not only hearers. 

 

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

invocation: pick the locks that hold our hearts shut

Triune God,
you are three and yet one,
the image we are born to resemble.
We gather as the body of Christ
many and yet one
through the mysterious power of your Spirit.
In this time of worship
pick the locks which hold our hearts shut
that we may love you
that we may love each other
with the same totality of love which you love us.
Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Dan Mayes, First Christian Church of Spencer, IA.

CTW: even me?

Come together, everyone, and celebrate the worship feast!

Even me?

Come together, EVERYONE, and celebrate the worship feast!

Even him?  Even her?

Come together ALL as ONE, and celebrate the worship feast!

Let us sing praise to God

        who invites us here

        and unites us here.

 

Submitted by Rev. Dan Mayes, First Christian Church of Spencer, IA.

Sunday’s Coming: working toward September 9

we’re back!!! summer was nice and all, but it’s time to get back on the creative-liturgy-train. Are you back? Perhaps you’d like to flex your creative muscles–write a call to worship and send it to us! When your creative juices are flowing, send in a great invitation to offering or a prayer of dedication (stewardship season is nearly upon us, after all, we’re looking for those!). During election season we probably have plenty to confess–share a prayer of confession!

Send your submissions to liturgylink at gmail dot com. You don’t have to be a professional liturgy writer, or have something perfect, or even have the piece completed! Send it in and let the collaborative process work. One of the things we hope for in this space is the back-and-forth, the conversation where ideas flow and sparks fly and we get new ideas out of someone else’s half-formed sentence. So stop in to the comments and make conversation, send in your liturgy or ideas, and let the collaboration begin!

This week many of us are headed back to the lectionary after a summer series. Some of us are Rally-Day-ing, while others have already rallied. Some are working on the narrative lectionary this year rather than the RCL–we’d love to have your NL-related liturgy and ideas here too! Please share!

For those of us working on the RCL this week, we find the sassy Syrophonoecian woman calling out from the pages of Mark. How might she, or the response of Jesus, be a sighting of a “new year” or a call to be the church we can be?

We also find some advice for the beginning of the school year (and the Sunday School Year) in Proverbs. We have the classic call to action in James. And a prayer of trust in varying circumstances in the psalm.

We could perhaps find a theme in these readings, of faithful work within a power (or economic) differential. Or of action speaking louder than words. Or…many themes! What do you think?

Where are you headed this week? Put your ideas, thoughts, words or phrases, song suggestions, or anything else that might spark creativity in the rest of us into the comments! And send your liturgy in so we can create together!