a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

confession: gifts

Creator God, with each breath of life you breathe, you give gifts to your creation, calling us to use your gifts to build up your kingdom on earth. We confess that sometimes we do not see your gifts for the treasures they are. We either take credit for them ourselves, or we dismiss them as not important. We privilege some gifts over others, forgetting that you care about tiny things as much as big things. And when we are called upon to use our gifts for your glory, so often we find ourselves distracted by our own desire and uncertain of your direction. Forgive us. Open our ears to hear you speaking, and our hearts to embrace your purpose. Amen.    ~silence~

 

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

POP: on psalm 19

O God, the heavens declare your glory,
and all creation reveals your surpassing wisdom.
We give thanks to you for those who reveal your riches to us
and teach us in the way we should go.
We pray for all who are searching,
that you would shine your light ahead of them
and help all people rejoice in you.
We pray for those who struggle and suffer,
especially those we have lifted up by name today.
Revive all our souls and refresh our spirits.
Guide us in your service,
because your will is the desire of our hearts.
Let all that we say or do be acceptable in your sight,
we pray in Jesus’ name, saying together:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

illumination: shine your light

Lord of light, shine your light on us now.  As you spoke your word of creation in the beginning, speak your creative word to us now.  As you gave us your word through prophets and teachers, give us your word in our worship this day.  As you yourself read the scroll and claimed its promises, read your word into our hearts and claim us with your promises.  As your disciples, we gather around your word, in your name.  Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Betsy Turner, Luther Hays Presbyterian Church, Hayston, Georgia

confession: opposites

Holy God,
you have brought us together as one body with many members,
each of us with gifts given according to your Spirit.
We confess that we struggle to discern what role we are called to do.
We speak when you call us to listen.
We listen when you call us to walk.
We walk when you call us to wait.
We wait when you call us to do.
Through the power of your Holy Spirit,
show this community who you have called us to be.
Guide us through this tension of One and yet many
that we might strive for the greater gift of unity
and play the part of disciples of the one Spirit.  Amen.

Submitted by Stephen Fearing, student at Columbia Theological Seminary

call to confession for the annual meeting worship service

On days like today it is easy for us to celebrate all we have done, while forgetting what God has done. It is easy to look back with rosy glasses and then turn our eyes to the future, unreflective. But God calls us to honesty in both our individual and collective lives, so let’s take this moment to reflect on the ways we have failed ourselves, one another, the church, the world.

(begin in silence, then follow with unison prayer of confession)

 

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

confession: the gift of the Word

God of the ages,
you gift us with your Word,
written in the Bible and lived out in Jesus Christ.
Yet we ignore this gift.
We pretend that it doesn’t make sense in our world.
We read it without trusting you to open it to our understanding.
We act as if your word is always the same,
when it is in fact you who does not change.
Forgive us, O God.
Help us to hear your eternal Word anew in our hearts and our lives,
and show us how to live it out in our world, now and always.

Inspired by a reading of Nehemiah 8:1-10.
Submitted by Rev. Andy James, First Presbyterian Church, Whitestone, New York.

dedication: gifts

God, you have given us each of us gifts to use as members of the body of Christ. Here are our gifts – the work of our hands, our hearts, and our lives. We pray that they may help to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to our world, today and always, here and everywhere. Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Daniel Hayward, Trinity Ingleside and Newington United Churches (The United Church of Canada), South Stormont ON.

illumination: moving

Loving God, we will hear how long ago the people told Ezra to read the Scriptures to them. As we listen to your Word today, may we find it as moving as they did, as we are filled with the light of your love and opened to your call which sends us to live your message. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Daniel Hayward, Trinity Ingleside and Newington United Churches (The United Church of Canada), South Stormont ON.

confession: a broken body

You have knit us together, your body,
and we confess that sometimes we are busy pulling out the stitches,
trying to go our own way, heedless of the needs of other members.
You have made us one through your Spirit,
and we confess that we sometimes value our individualism over your call.
You remind us that if we were all the same, there could be no body,
and we confess that might be easier for us, even if it is not your will.
You call us to work together, suffer together, rejoice together, and to follow your most excellent way.
But the way of love is hard work. Cleanse us of our selfish desires and our arrogance, and fill us with your vision of justice, peace, and harmony, for we, though many, are one body. We ask this in the power of your one Spirit. Amen.

 

God does not call us to wallow in our brokenness—instead, we confess and know God’s healing, then move forward into God’s call. Each of our bodies, as well as Christ’s body, the Church, is a place we can experience God’s grace and power. Friends, believe and live this good news: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven. Thanks be to God! Amen.

 

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

confession: you are perfect and we are not

Your law is perfect, oh LORD, but we are not.  Rather than understanding the ways your will for us would revive us, make us wise and bring us joy, we bristle at the thought of submission.  We pretend that we know better, that our desires and motives are pure.  In our pride, we lose our awe, our fear of your majesty and power.

Give us hearts that know the value of keeping your commandments and minds that desire understanding of your will more than the purest gold or the sweetest honey.  Grant us humility; clear us from our hidden faults.  Help us to be the people you made each of us to be, so that together we might the body you call us to be.

 

Assurance of Pardon

The truth of God’s love is this: before we knew God, before we knew love and before we understood the depth of our sin, the reconciling work of Christ was done.  Through the Holy Spirit, we reach out the one who lived, died and rose again to reveal God’s resurrection power to us and for us.  Hear and believe the good news: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

 

Submitted by Laura Viau.