a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

approach and confession: storyteller

God, you are a storyteller, and you made us in your image. You spoke, and you still speak, through unexpected people, through silence, through your word written and proclaimed through the centuries. We come to hear your story once again, to find our place among your people and within your vision for all creation. We hear You call us to share your story in our words and in our actions, but we confess that more often our lips are sealed. We are afraid to tell your story. We think we don’t know enough, and we are afraid of offending. We prefer to keep you to ourselves.
Yet still Your word, O Lord, is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.
Forgive us for letting the book gather dust on the shelf, and the story gather dust in our hearts.
Speak to us, and through us, Lord.
Help us 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.
We pray in the name of the one who is your Living Word, Jesus the Christ.


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, St. John’s Church of Scotland, Gourock, Scotland

confession: love, promise, call

God we thank you that you love, you promise, you call—in that order. We confess that we often see you in reverse, believing we must earn your regard. When we see you only as a rule-enforcer, forgetting that obedience to your way is true freedom, forgive us. When we see you as doling out rewards we think we have earned, forgive us. When we are so consumed with the letter of your law that we miss your Spirit, forgive us. Guide us again into your path and lead us in your truth—the truth of unending love. Amen. ~silence~


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

POP–we pray for…

Living and Holy God, we give you thanks for your word of life

and the gift of your invitation to know and serve you in Jesus Christ.

Hear our prayers, in the name of Christ, the holy and blameless one.


We pray for those who seek you,

who work to keep your blessed way.

Teach them in the quiet and gentle voice of the heart.


We pray for those who teach and those who learn,

that their work together would reveal the love you have for all your people.


We pray for all whose way falters, due to sin, weakness, or despair.

Strengthen your people, restore the broken, and rescue the lost.


We pray for those who are excluded or put to shame,

that they would be strengthened by the gift of your word

and the presence of your church.


We pray for all who are sick, struggling, grieving, or worried,

that they might know your healing

and delight to praise you with upright hearts.


We pray for your will to be done,

and we offer ourselves to your service,

in Jesus’ name, saying together:

The Lord’s Prayer


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


confession: and we…

One:      God, you call us to love you with all our heart,
All:      and we are happy to confine love to our hearts,
      though we reserve the right to define “all,”
      loving only when we “feel” it.
One:      You call us to love you with all our soul,
All:      and that sounds easier,
      because souls we only have to deal with at church.
One:      You call us to love you with all our mind,
All:      and we definitely know how to think about love!
One:      You call us to love you with all our strength,
All:      and we have used these words to justify
      using our strength against others in your name.
One:      You call us to love our neighbor, and our enemy,
as we love ourselves,
All:      and we confess that now You are getting too personal.
      How can we love those to whom we do not speak?
      How can we love those with whom we disagree?
      How can we love…how can You love…those people?
One:      Forgive us, Lord, for drawing the circle too tightly,
for presuming to know your mind,
for being quick to judge and quick to anger.
All:      Open our hearts, our souls, our minds, our strength
                        to love you, and our neighbor, with our whole being.
                        We pray in the name of the One who loved us first.

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

hurricane or no hurricane, Sunday’s Coming: working toward November 4

Many prayers for all our faithful contributors and readers who are in the path of the storm–may you be dry, warm, and safe!

What happened in worship yesterday? What worked, or didn’t work? Was there a moment when the liturgy truly became the “work of the people”?

And looking toward this Sunday…are you going for All Saints, or Ordinary 31, Stewardship Commitment, or some other season/theme/series?

If you’re working on All Saints, then yesterday’s Prayers of the People post might be of use to you as you ponder and prepare. If you write something, or have just a phrase you want to work with but aren’t sure what to do with it yet, put it all in the comments and we’ll all join in the creating–a virtual cloud of witnesses to celebrate the more literal one.

If you’re working on Ordinary 31, perhaps you’ll be pondering the relationships of 3 women in Ruth, or the High Priestly nature of Jesus, or Praising the Lord!!!! with the Psalm, or answering the eternal question about the most important commandment.

If you have stewardship commitment this Sunday…is it also a communion Sunday for you? How do you combine those two things in the service without giving the impression that one pays for the privilege of coming to the table?

Lots to think about this week–let’s create together!