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: the body of Christ

1 – Most gracious God, you sent forth your faithful and true witness out into the world who beckoned us to follow and believe. And now we are bold to pray as Christ’s body out into the world. We thank you for every service that proclaims your love,
2 – When we see the work of mission beginning inside the walls of this church,
3 – When we serve with people committed to making a difference in this community and beyond, 1 – When we grow, and love and serve and pray, we stand out and faith and remember…
All – We are the body of Christ.
2 – When we witness the work of those gifted with talents of teaching and healing
3 – When we gratefully rally for people in power who are committed to your love and service
1 – When we can translate and interpret scripture for the sake of those longing to hear the good news 2 – When we use the gifts you have granted us with grateful hearts, we remember…
All – We are the body of Christ.
3 – Mighty God, as your body commissioned to serve out in the world, we also ache for the people you love who are suffering.
1 – When violence and unrest rips through nations,
2 – When children are fitted for war and starving on street sides,
3 – When abuse and neglect cause chaos in your good creation.
1 – When we are bombarded with news of lives lost, corrupt systems, and feelings of hopelessness, we remember our cause to cry out with the people suffering because we know….
All – We are the body of Christ.
2 – When racism and classism continues to influence our decisions,
3 – When the dull ache of loss continues long after loved ones have passed,
1 – When sickness wears at the best of our energies to fight
2 – When we are overwhelmed by the pain that seeps into your creation, we cling to one another as we boldly demand your kindom come. We pray in the confidence that you hear our prayers because…
All – We are the body of Christ.
3 – So as your people, fashioned for your good work in the world, we pray boldly that your Holy Spirit move through us
1 – As we work peacefully for justice
2 – As we worship and pray and praise
3 – As we beckon for your ear and lift up our prayers to you in the name of Christ, for… All – We are the body of Christ.
1 – And we are bold to pray as he taught us:
Our Father, who art in Heaven…

 

Submitted by Rev. Lindsay Conrad, First Presbyterian Church, Ann Arbor, MI.

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

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.

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.

CTW/Affirmation: Body of Christ

One: We belong to the body of Christ.
All: We belong to something greater,
One: where everyone is included.
All: We belong to something greater,
One: where all small tasks to help are significant.
All: We belong to something greater,
One: where everyone is needed.
All: We belong to something greater,
One: where each of us has our own gifts with which to serve.
All: We belong to something greater,
One: greater than you, or I, or us together.
All: We belong to the body of Christ.

 

Written by young people reflecting on 1 Corinthians 12.
Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL.

CTW: God has called

One:  God has called us together to worship and work
All:  young and old, men and women, newcomer and charter member.
One:   God has called us together to love and to serve
All:  introverts and extroverts, leaders and followers.
One:  God has called us together to teach and to learn
All:  faithful and doubting, hopeful and despairing, wise and foolish.
One:  God has called us together to praise and to pray
All:  singer and speaker and hearer, healer and in need of healing.
One:  God has called us together to be the church
All:  and we are filled with gifts to be God’s people!

 

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

confession: in it together

Written by a confirmation class reflecting on the combination of Deuteronomy 6 and 1 Corinthians 12.
Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church

One: God, for running from you and your love,
All: forgive us.
One: For being too cautious,
or not cautious enough, in your presence,
All: forgive us.
One: For failing to listen to you when you call out to be heard,
All: forgive us.
One: For taking your love for granted,
and for not showing enough appreciation to you, O Lord,
All: forgive us.
One: For fearing those different from ourselves,
All: forgive us.
One: for when we feel we can accomplish things on our own,
and forget your or others’ help,
All: forgive us.