a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Confession: other things

Call to Confession
Friends, let us confess the ways that we have failed to live up to God’s bountiful invitation.

Confession
God of Mercy and Steadfast Love,
You gave us our tongues that we may speaks words of love, wisdom, and grace.
But often our tongues are the vehicles of other things:
instead of love, hatred,
instead of wisdom, foolishness,
instead of grace, rage.
Like a small fire that sets a forrest ablaze,
too often a word can set forth a flood of fear and anger.
Help us use our tongues to start other things:
kindness, compassion, and courage.
In the name of your son, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon
We love the Lord because God has heard our voice and our supplication.
In the name of Jesus Christ, I announce to you this day: our sins are forgiven!
Alleluia! Amen.

 

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

Prayer: voices of creation

God of Creation,
all of the world proclaims your praise,
from the highest heavens to the deepest recesses of the sea.
Make our voices true and faithful
as we join the voices of all of creation to sing your praise. Amen.

 

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

Illumination: lead us to treasure

Your word, O Lord, is sweeter than honey
and more precious than gold.
Inspire this reading by your Holy Spirit
and lead us to the treasure of your will,
in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines, IA

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

POP: hearers and doers

Let us pray to God, saying:
Gospel God, help us be hearers and doers of your Word.

We are reminded that the great ends of the Church are: (PCUSA Book of Order F-1.0304)
the proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind,
the shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God,
the maintenance of divine worship,
the preservation of the truth,
the promotion of social righteousness,
and the exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world.
We acknowledge that these things don’t happen by themselves
but only by the faithful work that you call us to do.
Help us embrace that work and do it joyfully and faithfully.
Gospel God, help us be hearers and doers of your Word.

God of All Nations,
we lament the times when people have suffered
because of the Church’s silence, complicity, and apathy.
We pray for those who have sought protection but not found it.
We pray for those who have begged for food and water and have left empty handed.
We pray for those who have asked for love and received instead judgment.
Help us remember that how we treat the least of these is how we treat you.
Gospel God, help us be hearers and doers of your Word.

God of All Wisdom,
we pray that we might be a people that live the Christian life
more than one hour a week.
We are reminded that the work of the Gospel is not a part-time job
that we can pick up and put down at our convenience.
Help us heed James’ imperative to be a people of action and truth,
bound by our duty to serve you in all that we are and in all that we do.
Gospel God, help us be hearers and doers of your Word.

Gracious God,
hear us now as we pray silently for those upon our hearts this day…
Gospel God, help us be hearers and doers of your Word.

Heavenly Parent,
hear us now as we pray the prayer you taught us to pray, saying: Our Father…

 

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

Communion: a word

The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

With our whole heart and our very being
we praise you for you are a wise and wonderful God.
With nothing more than a word,
you created the whirling planets
and breathed life into all of creation.
You made us in your image,
that we might be stewards of this good earth.

Together, with all of creation, we sing your majesty:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

You blessed us with the promise of abundance and grace
if only we lived within the bounds of your mercy.
But we pushed those boundaries and neglected your earth,
mistreating one another and failing to care for creation.
So you sent your Son, Jesus Christ,
to redeem us for we were unable to redeem ourselves.
In the flesh he came among us and preached the Gospel
not only in word but in deed.

We give you thanks that the Lord Jesus,
on the night before he died, took bread,
and after giving thanks to you, he broke it,
and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take, eat. This is my body, broken for you.

In the same way Jesus took the cup, saying:
This cup is the new covenant sealed in my blood,
shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.
Whenever you drink it, do this in remembrance of me.

We gather this day, God of all majesty and power,
to lift up your holy name and proclaim the mystery of faith:

Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Giver of Every Mercy,
send us the presence of your Spirit
that she might bless us in this holy meal,
sending us forth into the world
to be both hearers and doers of your Word.
Unite us this day with our sisters and brothers around the world
as we preach the Gospel and grow in our understanding of discipleship.

Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ,
all glory and honor are yours, Holy God,
both now and forever more. Amen.

 

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

Illumination: plant your word

Holy Spirit,
bless this our reading of your word
that we might neither add to it or take anything away from it. (Deut. 4:2)
Help us to keep your commandments and plant them within our hearts. Amen.

 

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