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

confession: we give grudgingly

God whose giving knows no ending, all that is in heaven and earth is yours. We confess that we often forget that all things come from you, believing we have earned or created what we have, and that we never have enough. We confess that we often give grudgingly rather than freely. We give the time and money and energy we have left after we have satisfied ourselves, even as you call us to imitate your self-giving love…and we limit your generosity so we feel okay about limiting our own. 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

Dedication: we wait upon you

Almighty God our refuge,
you provide all things for those who wait upon you.
We present these offerings to you as signs of our trust,
knowing that your angels guard all our ways.
Show us your salvation, today and forever,
we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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

stewardship commitment

Charge to All Stewards

PASTOR: Today is a day of celebration in the life of (church name) because today we remember that each and every one of us — young and old — is called by God to be stewards of justice, stewards of creation, stewards of peace, stewards of this family of faith. Stewards give from all aspects of their lives. As we accept this call to be stewards, we each become a living example of Christ’s gospel, proclaiming faith through all that we do and all that we give. As it is written in I Peter, “Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.” (I Peter 4:10) And so, people of God, I ask you now, do you promise to enter into this covenant together to be God’s stewards with all your mind and heart? If so, please answer, “I do.”

Litany of Commitment

(Invite the congregation to stand.)

PASTOR: Gracious God, you have made a world for us and given us incomparable gifts: air and water, family and friends, your steadfast love and forgiveness, and your son Jesus the Christ. For all the gifts and wonders you have bestowed on us.

PEOPLE: We thank you and worship you with renewed gratitude.

PASTOR: O God, you created us to love one another as Christ has loved us. We are concerned about all your children, those who live near us, and those who live far away. We are eager to participate in the work of the whole church and to further the ministry and service of this congregation.

PEOPLE: We are called to be your stewards. We thoughtfully shoulder our personal share of responsibility, and we pledge to witness to the good news of Christ with our hearts and hands and voices.

PASTOR: We are confident in your love and care for us.

PEOPLE: We gladly give back to our Gracious God our whole lives, our time, our talents, and our financial resources.

The Commission

O God, throughout the ages you have challenged your people to step out in faith and follow you. You have put purpose and direction in the lives of your people. We have before us a new direction and a new purpose. We have set our feet on the pathway. Be our guide. Whisper in our ears when we need to make decisions. Hold us up if we start to stumble. May your Holy Spirit lead us in joyful song and fill us with eager anticipation. You are our vision, O God; lead us on our journey. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Elsa Peters, The United Churches of Olympia, WA.

brainstorming: Reformation and All Saints

Pretty soon we come up on a set of Sundays that some of us celebrate while others of us go on with the usual ending-days-of-the-lectionary.

Some of us will be celebrating Reformation Sunday on October 28–commemorating the 95 theses and other catalysts of reformation in our church’s history. How might you be both remembering/celebrating and looking at how we are Reformed and always being reformed?

Some of us will be observing All Saints Sunday the following week. In some churches that involves reading out the names of those who’ve died in the past year, or other pieces here and there. How will you help us remember our place in the Communion of Saints, as well as the place of those who have gone on ahead?

And in the midst of all of this, many of us will also be contemplating Stewardship Commitment sunday(s). How are you inviting people to commitment? How will you dedicate their pledges, offerings, and commitment to sharing? Does stewardship commitment go beyond a monetary pledge, or is the fall season only for thinking about money? In either case, how will you invite, encourage, dedicate?

Leave your ideas in the comments, because together our efforts produce so much more than any of us alone!

Sunday’s Coming!

Some of us are using the Revised Common Lectionary–and that’s how we’ve organized our LiturgyLink life so far. Some of us are using the Narrative Lectionary–and we’d love to include your liturgical resources too! When you write liturgy, send it in, and we’ll find ways to tag it so others can find it! Some of us work way ahead, others of us put the bulletin together on Saturday. Some of us preach sermon series or straight through a book rather than using a lectionary.

And some of us are about to enter stewardship-campaign season.

Whatever your liturgical needs this week, we’re here to create together. But that means we need you! Put your ideas, your seeds of ideas, your bare sparks, your vague notions…whatever you’ve got!…into the comments. And if you write something, whether it’s a prayer or a call to worship or a communion liturgy or an invitation to offering or a call to discipleship or a new benediction–send it in so your friends near and far can enjoy this treasure trove of resources!

dedication: first fruits

a perfect prayer of dedication for tax time or stewardship season…

 

Holy God, we give you thanks for the many blessings you bestow upon us.  We ask that you might bless the small portion that we return to you—the first fruits of that which we receive.  We ask that you might use your heavenly power to multiply our gifts, so that we may see good work done both in this church and in the world, on your behalf.  Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Sarah Rentzel Jones, pastor of St. Peter’s (Lischey’s) UCC in Spring Grove, PA

Brainstorming: stewardship

It’s that time of year again: Stewardship Season! There are a multitude of approaches to encouraging financial support of the church budget and plenty of other places with better resources than we can develop. BUT – we want to know what you are doing in worship as part of your Stewardship Season! How do you receive pledges? Do you have a litany or special prayer that you can share? Any ideas for what you would like to try differently? Put your ideas in the comments!

Special thanks to @MightyMere for suggesting this topic!