a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Benediction–Claimed by the Spirit

Benediction – based on 2 Cor. 5:20 

You are claimed by the Holy Spirit 

to be an outpost of heaven on earth. 

Go therefore to bear the life of Christ to all people, 

forgiving and reconciling in Jesus’ name. 

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, 

the love of God, 

and the communion of the Holy Spirit 

be with you all. Alleluia! Amen.


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

confession: holding on

God of the old and the new,
we want to embrace your new way,
but we like the old just fine.
We repeat tired ideas and resist new possibilities.
We hold on to old grudges
and resist your word of reconciliation and new life.
We are too afraid of the unknown to step out into something new.
Forgive us, loving Lord.
Help us to see the way of your new creation in our lives and our world,
that we might be reconciled to you and one another in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Submitted by Rev. Andy James, First Presbyterian Church, Whitestone, New York

confession and pardon: walk by faith and not by sight

Prayer of Confession
God who knows each heart, you call us to walk by faith and not by sight, giving us new vision that goes deeper than outward appearance; yet how often we remain blind, returning to a human point of view, relying instead on our society’s signs of right or wrong, success or failure.  We miss your warning signals of internal corruption or moral deficiency in those in whom we put our trust.
Forgive us, O God.  Become our Vision as we keep learning to walk by faith. Teach us to observe ourselves and others as you do, with prudence and wisdom as well as compassion and love, so that your deeper way of seeing might grow within us and among us, in Christ’s name, Amen.
Silent Prayer   
Assurance of Grace
Just as Paul reminded the Corinthians of their new way of seeing, he told them that anyone in Christ is a new creation, that everything old is passed away, and all is made new!
In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.Thanks be to God. 

Sunday’s Coming: working toward June 17

We’re into that strange part of the year, at least in the congregation I serve. Ordinary Time is in full swing, and even though it is nice to have a break from all the festivals, it can be hard to get engaged in what is new and next. On top of that, summer isn’t fully here yet – at least not according to the seasonal calendar! – but things are really starting to slow down already in many ways. Plus, it is another civic holy day: Father’s Day. There is much going on, but it can be hard to celebrate any or all of these in worship.

So, how are you responding to all these things? Are you looking to the Lectionary, with its week-long reign of Saul that began last week already giving way to the anointing of David? Are you considering the possibilities of looking past a human point of view and into God’s new creation? Or are you beginning the inevitable descent into the parables that a summer in Mark holds?

Share your ideas for this week’s liturgy and sermons in the comments, and join the conversation!

CTW: it is good

Leader: It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High.
People: We declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night.
Leader: As flowers unfold in the light of the sun, our creation comes to fullness in the presence of our God.
People: Christ brought a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
Adapted from Psalm 92 and 2 Corinthians 5 by Kathleen Sheets, Pastoral Assistant, First Congregational Church of Williamstown, MA

confession: new?

A prayer of confession written to reflect on 2 Corinthians 5, in light of the Prodigal story.
Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church

One: God, we confess
All: that we sometimes like ourselves just the way we are.
We don’t always want to be made new,
and letting go of past hurt, past wrong, past pride
seems like more than we can handle.
One: God, we confess
All: that we cannot do it alone,
and that the work is too important
to be left undone any longer.
One: God, we confess
All: that we need you to come again into our lives,
to bring us close to you, to show us your love,
to remind us what it means to be your ambassadors.