a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Invitation: we are not alone

In the broken and messy world in which we live in there are many things to worry about: debilitating illness, hate inspired violence, or the uncertainty of our future well being. It is easy to close ourselves off emotionally, physically, and spiritually to seal ourselves and our hearts away behind doors forged from fear. Yet despite our efforts, Jesus enters in unhindered and says, “Peace be with you.” He encourages us to engage the worries, doubts, and fears we face filled by the Holy Spirit, our advocate…we are not alone.

At this table, we remember the life, death, and resurrection of our savior who bids us to go out sharing Good News and practice acts of forgiveness with ourselves, our neighbors, and our enemies. This table is for those who feel certain and those who feel frightened. This table is for those who feel filled by the Spirit and those who are seeking to be filled. This table does not belong to the Presbyterian Church, it belongs to Jesus Christ—and it is he who invites all to share in the bread and cup of peace, love, and life everlasting.

Submitted by Rev. Andrew Black, Unity Presbyterian Church, Terre Haute, IN

Confession and Assurance: Chaotic Mess of Voices

Holy and Beloved God, though the world calls us in a chaotic mess of voices, your voice stands apart. Yours is the soft, still voice that speaks to our very heart of hearts. If we would pay attention to your voice, we would hear your love and concern for us – and for those whose voice is getting lost in the chaos. Help us to hear you, and through you, to hear the voices of the oppressed, the lost, the seething, and the frightened. May your voice bring justice and mercy to us and to all the world.

 

My friends, God hears your voice – whether you shout from the top of your lungs or whisper softly below your breath. God has already forgiven you for not listening – and is calling you to live this Good News through the Holy Spirit.

Praise God, who sends the Spirit of Truth and Love to the world. Amen!

 

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

A day of holy celebration

Children of God, let us rejoice in the day of Pentecost! We give thanks to God for the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.

Today is a day of holy celebration.

Siblings in Christ, we are inheritors of the work of the church- work done by apostles and preachers, disciples and teachers, lay leaders and children, followers of the Way of Jesus and their loving neighbors.

Today is a day of holy celebration.

We come to this place- perhaps not recently from Mesopotamia or Cappadocia or Phrygia and Pamphylia- but from other states, cities, and townships. We come from states of doubt, rejoicing, and curiosity, drawn here together by the Holy Spirit.

Today is a day of holy celebration.

Peter assured those who heard the many languages of the apostles that they were not drunk, but overwhelmed by the power of the Spirit.

Today is a day of holy dedication.

Those who were gathered to celebrate the giving of the law, the Torah, were awed by the fire of the Spirit, pouring forth in line with the teaching of Jesus- burning away divisions and clearing a path for unity.

Today is a day of holy dedication.

The work of the Holy Spirit always brings order out of chaos- as it did in the beginning over the face of the darkness, on the day of Pentecost, and in the church across creation today.

Today is a day of holy dedication.

The Holy Spirit has been poured out and move, unrestricted, over young and old, without regard to race, gender expression, physical or mental ability, or sexual orientation.

Today is a day of holy inspiration.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control- are not mix and match, but are planted and nourished in the words and deeds of those who have been found by grace in the Way of Jesus.

Today is a day of holy inspiration.

We give thanks, with our whole hearts, bodies, and minds, for the power and pervasive love of the Holy Spirit, which guides our prayers, preserves our faith, and leads us into path of righteousness for God’s own sake. We are awed and appreciative.

Today is a day of holy inspiration.

Thanks be to God! Amen!

Submitted by Rev Julia Seymour, Lutheran Church of Hope, Anchorage, AK

CTW: Companion, Comfort, Counselor

As we gather together, we remember that we are not alone in our faith:

God is our Companion.

Though the Way is not easy, and we may suffer in righteousness,

God is our Comfort.

When anger fills our hearts, and grief crushes our spirits,

God is our Counselor.

And through it all, we are together:

For we are all children of God, our Companion, our Comfort, and our Counselor. Amen.

 

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

communion: blow through this place

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 praise you, O Lord, and all the earth with us,
for your Holy Spirit calls all things into being.
The entire created order serves you joyfully,
and your gracious presence is the song of every heart.

We bear witness that you alone are God,
and we give thanks that you have claimed us as your people.
By water and the Word, you make us your own;
by fire and the Spirit, you call us into the world.
Wherever we go, the risen and ascended Christ is our good shepherd.

Therefore we join our voices with all your people
in every time, every place, and every language,
singing praises to your holy name:

Holy, holy, holy…

Holy One, we enter your gates with thanksgiving;
Blessed Christ, we rejoice in your holy presence.
By your gracious invitation,
we gather at this holy meal
where we give thanks and call upon your great name.

Send forth your Holy Spirit once again.
Blow through this place;
reveal yourself in this bread and this cup;
make your dwelling within this congregation.
Join us to one another
and transform us by your presence,
that we may be the sign of your life in this world
for all who are hurting, hungering, and searching.

Reveal your goodness through us, O Lord,
for your mercy is everlasting;
we pray with your faithful ones in every age,
joining our voices in the prayer you taught us, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

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

Charge & Benediction: the spirit of God

The Spirit of God inspires…
listen!
The Spirit of God transforms…
grow!
The Spirit of God empowers…
go…and be…and do!

And may you…
those you encounter…
and those who are touched beyond that encounter…
discover and know the grace, love, and peace of God
each and every day.

Amen.

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)

POP: on the wings of your Spirit

God of our awakening…

we have named our fears;
we have named those things
that hold us back
and keep us from moving beyond
where we are.

You have taken our fears…
our inhibitions…
and our complacencies…
and you have invited us
uninhibited…courageously…
passionately and COMpassionately
to fly on the wings of your Spirit.

We look to the sky…
we look on the streets…
we look in the alleyways…
we look in our homes…
we look to the mountains and the rivers…
the valleys and the seas…
we look into the eyes of one another…
those we know,
and those we are meeting for the first time…
we look at individuals,
we look into communities…
we look throughout your whole creation…
and we see potential.

Where there is despair…we see the potential for hope.
Where there is hunger…we see the potential for satisfaction.
Where there is war…we see the potential for peace.
Where there is prejudice…we see the potential for fellowship.
Where there is oppression…we see the potential for justice.

This list could go on…
but when we dare to look at the world through your eyes…
when we make enough room for your Spirit to enter in…
when we have the audacity
to trust your perfect vision for creation…
all there is to see is potential.

So inspire us…
in the midst of hatred and destruction,
abuse and neglect,
natural disasters and human-generated disasters…
inspire us with the stories of loving and building up,
respecting and caring,
helping and sharing and repairing…
so we may cling to your Spirit
as she leads us beyond where we are
into a way of life that reflects your goodness…

just as Jesus prayed…

OUR FATHER…

 

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)

litany of affirmation: we have an Advocate

We are not alone, sliding through a mystery with no guidance.
We have an Advocate who guides us with power and truth.

We do not pray alone, worried about “getting it right” or being heard.
We have an Advocate who prays with us, in deep, wordless sighs.

We do not work alone for the healing of the world.
We have an Advocate who directs our paths and reveals Christ to us.

We are born of water and fire, adopted into the family of God.
We have an Advocate who strengthens our relationship with the Holy.

We are a people of bountiful gifts and many connections.
We have an Advocate who blesses and encourages us.

We are yet coming to know more fully the height and depth and breadth of the love of God.
We have an Advocate who does not rest in revealing that truth to all creation.

 

Submitted by Rev. Julia Seymour, Lutheran Church of Hope, Anchorage AK

CTW: Come Holy Spirit!

A word about how this call to worship might work. This will require a bit of planning and knowing your congregation. I picture the congregation facing forward and the gifts of the Holy Spirit coming from behind the congregation toward the front of the sanctuary. I’d like to have the visuals stay where they are visible for the whole service. They may even be utilized while talking with the children or preaching the sermon. Be creative and have fun! I would suggest having multiple readers but not having the congregation read responsively. This will allow the visuals time to move around the sanctuary before the next line is read.

 

Come, Holy Spirit, Come!
Live and move among us like a dove of peace!
(Enter the dove-possibly a fake dove on a stick that can “fly”, possibly a banner with a dove on it that floats through the congregation, maybe even a real dove?!)
Swoop down. Surprise and delight us like a red kite.
 (Enter someone flying a red kite through the sanctuary!)
Flash and flicker as our light of inspiration.
   (Enter someone with flashlights or glow sticks or lanterns!)
Warm our hearts so we may be fire-filled followers.
 (Enter someone carrying a lit candle!)
Come, Holy Spirit, Come!

Submitted by Rev. Susannah DeBenedetto, Salisbury, Maryland