a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Opening words for Easter 2

Call to Worship

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week,

Jesus came and stood among the disciples and said: Peace be with you!

The Risen Christ is with us now, offering us the gift of peace.

Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

                We too have seen the Lord. Let us rejoice and give thanks!

Let us worship God!


Opening Prayer

Living God,

When our Risen Lord appeared to his disciples,

he greeted them in peace

and breathed the Holy Spirit upon them.

Breathe your Spirit upon us

                as we gather to welcome Christ

                with glad hearts and joyful voices.

Meet us here, we pray;

open our ears to hear you speaking

and our hearts to respond with joy.

Fashion us into an Easter people,

and send us out

to proclaim what we have seen and heard:

Christ is risen. He is risen indeed! Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Sudie Niesen Thompson, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Wilmington, DE

illumination: in perfect rhythm

Composer of life,
may the words of Scripture serenade us
like lyrics begging for a response…
may the catchy melody of creation
ring through these words, inviting us into the dance of new life…
and may the beat of your heart
keeps us in perfect rhythm with your vision for the world.

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

illumination: beyond your words

As we read the words of scripture,
we are pointed to your living Word who walked among us;
and we are surrounded by your Spirit,
who whispers words within our hearts and minds.
Inspire us in our hearing and reflecting,
that we may move beyond your words
into life-changing acts of grace, love, hope, and peace.

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

confession: if only…

The whole congregation complained in the wilderness, saying

“If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of [insert your town here],
where we gathered up our wealth and ate our fill every day;
for you have brought us out into this wilderness
to kill this whole congregation with hunger.”

“Draw near to the Lord, who has heard your complaining.
Look deeper into the wilderness;
God is there, not here.
God will provide enough for each,
and the price is that no one will have too much.”

That is how you will know who your God is,
when you see whether everyone has enough.

Submitted by Rev. Doug Hagler, First Presbyterian Church, Phoenixville PA

prayer: love deep and wide

Note:  Two voices can do the call and response rather than a congregational response.

Leader:            Lord, Your love is deep and wide:  a love that covers us even when we wander into the wilderness becoming hungry and thirsty.

People:            Nothing can tear us from the grip of Your mighty love.

Leader:            Jesus, Your love is fierce and strong:  a love that is the bread of life satisfying our hunger and the living water quenching our thirst.

People:            Nothing can tear us from the grip of Your mighty love.

Leader:            Spirit, Your love is sweet and wild:  a love leads our hearts to repentance as we cry out, “Lord, help!”

People:            Nothing can tear us from the grip of Your mighty love.

Leader:            Lord, You will not accuse nor will You condemn those who turn to You.   May our hearts be humble as we rest in the saving power of Your Name.


Submitted by Michelle Henrichs

prayer: treasure of your heart

Holy God:
with the precious jewel
of holy scripture,
you share with us
the treasure of your heart.
Engrave your covenant –
your hopes, your dreams,
your vision, your peace –
upon our hearts,
that they might beat
as one with yours.


Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, Lectionary Liturgies.

a dramatic reading of the Magnificat, in three parts

All: And Mary said,
One: my soul magnifies the Lord,
Two: and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
Three: for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.
One: Surely, from now on, all generations will call me
Two: blessed (reverently),
Three: blessed (surprised),
One: blessed (excited),
Two: for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
Three: and holy is God’s name.
One: God’s mercy is for those who fear God
Two: from generation to generation.
Three: God has shown strength with God’s arm;
One: God has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
Two: God has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
Three: and lifted up the lowly;
One: God has filled the hungry with good things,
Two: and sent the rich away empty.
Three: God has helped God’s servant Israel,
One: in remembrance of God’s mercy,
Two: according to the promise God made to our ancestors,
Three: to Abraham and his descendants
One: forever,
Two: forever (more intense),
Three: forever (even more intense).

Adapted from Luke 1:47-55.

Submitted by Rev. Daniel Hayward, Trinity Ingleside and Newington United Churches, South Stormont ON Canada. Written by Karen Boivin, Daniel Hayward and Maggie Melanson while MDiv students at Queen’s School of Religion, Kingston ON.

Psalm 138: an interactive scripture

An Interactive Psalm of Thanksgiving
Submitted by Rev. Dr. Sarah Erickson, Director of Lifelong Learning at Columbia Theological Seminary

The leader reads or sings (lines in italics) and invites the congregation to echo the speaking/singing/gestures.

I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart; (echo)
My whole heart. (echo)
before the gods I sing your praise; (echo)
Praise, praise, praise the Lord, praise God’s holy name, Alleluia! (echo)
bow down toward your holy temple  (echo – bow)
I give thanks for your steadfast love and your faithfulness (echo)
Great is Thy faithfulness! (echo)
for you have exalted your name  (echo)
and your word (echo)
above everything. (echo)
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty! (echo)
On the day I called, you answered me, (echo)
you increased my strength of soul. (echo)
All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O LORD, (echo)
Praise ye, praise ye the Lord! (echo)
They have heard the words of your mouth. (echo)
They shall sing of the ways of the LORD, (echo)
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path (echo)
for great is the glory of the LORD. (echo)
GREAT (echo)
Is the glory of the LORD! (echo)
Gloria – (from Angels we have heard on high) (echo)
For though the LORD is high, (echo)
Lord we lift your name on high! (echo)
the LORD regards the lowly; (echo)
but the haughty (echo)
the haughty (echo)
are perceived from far away. (echo)
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, (echo)
I’ve got to walk this lonesome valley (echo)
you preserve me (echo)
against the wrath of my enemies; (echo)
you stretch out your hand, (echo)
YOUR hand (echo)
and your right hand delivers me. (echo)
Great is thy faithfulness! (echo)
The LORD will fulfill God’s purpose for me; (echo)
your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. (echo)
Forever, and ever! (from Hallelujah Chorus) (echo)
Do not forsake the work of your hands. (echo)