a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

POP: let us see light

Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens,
and your faithfulness soars over us like the clouds.
We call on your righteousness, strong as a mountain,
and your justice, deep as the ocean;
for humans and all that lives on the earth,
we call out for mercy.

Your love is immeasurable,
and we lift up all your people who seek to know you.
Gather us under the shadow of your wings
and unite us with each other by your grace.

We pray for those who count themselves excluded from life’s good things,
that they might feast upon the abundance of your house.
We pray for those who hunger and thirst for righteousness or healing,
that you would give them drink from the river of your delights.
We pray for those whose lives are in danger or at an end,
for with you is the well of life.

In your light let us see light,
and in your loving-kindness let us make you known;
we pray in the name of your Christ, saying together:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

Dedication: delight

Lord, you take delight in us
and fill us with every good thing
so that all who hunger may share in our joy.
Receive what we offer as testimony to your goodness,
and let these gifts lead to rejoicing
in your church and all your world;
in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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

POP: wailing into dancing

We exalt you, O Lord,
because you have raised us from the grave
and have given us the victory over our enemy Death.
When we called out to you, you raised us up and restored us to life.
We sing praises to you and give you thanks
when we remember the marvelous things you have done.
We pray for your favor, O God,
on those who suffer
and endure the wrath of illness, brokenness, change, or loss.
We pray for those who weep,
that your joy would break forth like the dawn.
We pray for those who are uncertain and insecure,
that you would show your favor, protect your people,
and strengthen those in need.
We pray for those who seek your face,
who have not yet found what they long for,
that you would reveal yourself again.
We pray for those who face death or despair,
that your faithfulness would be known even in the dust.
Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on us.
In Christ’s resurrection
you have turned our wailing into dancing;
you have taken off our mourning clothes and dressed us with joy.
Therefore we trust, and our hearts sing unceasingly,
O Lord our God, in the name of the risen Christ,
who taught us to pray as we say:

The Lord’s Prayer

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

POP: O Hear Our Cry

Beloved, we lift up prayers before God,
trusting in the mercy of the One who comes to shepherd all people.
Let us sing our prayers together:

O Hear Our Cry, O Lord v. 1-2

Save your people, O Lord,
and be especially present with those whom we have named before you.

O Hear Our Cry, O Lord v. 3-4

Turn your face toward your people,
and restore us in your mercy.

We pray in the name of the coming Christ,
and we join in the prayer he taught, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

communion: dwelling

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

We give you thanks, O Lord of hosts,
for you have gathered us into your presence
and made our hearts and souls rejoice in your dwelling place!
You created a place for even the lowliest creature,
and you revealed the beauty of your holiness
in the lightness of birdsong and the thunder of the ocean.

In your faithful love, you made your dwelling in our homes
by taking on human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ.
He declared your name and shared your strength.
He journeyed all along the way,
pouring out blessings on all
and tirelessly doing the work of the kingdom.
For the sake of the One who died, rose again, and ascended on high,
we sing our praises to you:

Holy, holy, holy…

Holy are you, Lord God of hosts,
for you hear the prayers of your people.
You pour out your Holy Spirit on your church
and you send forth your care for all who are in need.
Through the gift of this meal,
you gather our spirits into your dwelling place,
and you seat us at your eternal table.
Your grace and your glory are eternal, O Lord,
and we joyfully receive your blessings.
We pray in Jesus’ name, who taught us to pray, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

Invitation: let them come

Just after the scripture reading we focused on today,
Jesus offers an invitation we all need to hear:
“Let the little children come to me…”
Let the humble, the meek, the ignored come.
Let the noisy, the misbehaving, the boisterous come.
Let the ones who ask the hard questions come.
Let the ones who trust in ways we cannot understand come.
Let all come to the table,
“…and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.”
It is to us, my friends, that the kingdom of God belongs.
All are welcome at this table.

 

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

Confession: Bonds and Judgments

Holy and beloved God, though you ask us to love each other, and be bound as your family by that love, we instead like to work to separate those bonds. Whether leaping to conclusions and snap judgments, or out of fear of those who seem different on the surface, we are not comfortable in welcoming the stranger and seeking justice for the oppressed. Change our perception, helping us to know your presence in everyone we encounter. Change our minds, that instead of imposing our way on the world, we first seek your goodness. And change our hearts, filling them to overflowing with your love.

 
Submitted by Rev. Lucus Levy Keppel, Trinity Presbyterian Church, in Bixby, Okla.

POP: grace and compassion

We praise you, O Lord, with all our hearts!
As your people gathered in faith, we call upon you.
We celebrate what you have done for us,
and we love to tell the stories of your grace.

For the sake of your unending righteousness,
we call upon your grace and compassion for your people.
We pray for those who are hungry,
and we seek to use our gifts so they might be fed.
We pray for those who suffer oppression
from enemies within or beyond their homelands,
and we look for justice and peace for all people.
We pray for those who seek to draw closer to you,
that you would open the eyes of every heart
and reveal yourself to all who seek you.

We give you thanks, Holy One,
for you are always faithful to your people;
your promises are always sure.
We pray with the wisdom, and in the name,
of Jesus Christ our Lord, who taught us to pray, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

CTW: Seek Shalom Together

God calls us to gather together to seek the Shalom of our city
We seek God’s Shalom together
Where there is separation, may God forge new connections through us
We seek God’s wholeness together
Where there is violence, may God bring reconciliation through us
We seek God’s peace together
May the wholeness and peace of God be felt in this community
We seek God’s Shalom together. Let us worship God!

 

Submitted by Rev. Lucus Levy Keppel, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bixby, OK

POP: faith grows

Faith is something that grows,
from a nearly invisible beginning,
through the nurture that is prayer.
Whether you feel you believe today or not,
let the faith of this congregation uphold you
as we share our joys and concerns with each other…

Invite joys and concerns

O Lord, we put our trust in you,
for you have provided every good thing for your people.
We are confident despite our own brokenness
and the brokenness of this world,
because we know that you are redeeming all things
and bringing your reign to completion in us.
We confess our sin and welcome your forgiveness now…

silence

We take delight in you, because you have answered our prayers.
We praise you for new beginnings,
for restored health and new life,
and for your steadfast promises every day.
We name our joys and hopes now…

silence

We commit our way to you,
and we trust in you to complete what you have begun in our lives.
Make your church righteous and holy in Jesus’ name,
and let our shared life bear witness
to the light of your love.
We offer ourselves to you now…

silence

O Lord, we have stilled ourselves before you,
and we wait patiently for your work.
We pray for those who suffer from oppression or violence,
especially for those in lands far from our own,
and most of all for those whose suffering benefits us…
We pray for those who are our enemies,
and we declare our intent to forgive and reconcile…
We pray for those who wait upon your healing,
and those who long to know your salvation.
We pray for your people in every kind of need…

silence

We await the fullness of your reign, O God,
and we choose to participate in your will.
We pray in the name of the one who taught us to pray, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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