a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

dedication: abundance

God of justice,
we have received so much from you,
and we gladly respond with the abundance of our giving.
Receive what we offer as a sign of our commitment
to do justice for all people,
to seek after mercy in all things,
and to walk humbly with you all our days.
We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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

communion: our faithfulness comes from you

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, ruler of the universe,
for you have loved the world into being,
formed it with a word, enlivened it with your breath,
cared for it with your life.
We give you thanks for your faithfulness,
upholding your promise even when we fail.
As you created in love, so you call in love—
again and again, bringing us together, making us your body.
When we lost our way, or turned away,
still you sought us.
Through the voices of your prophets,
you showed us your vision and offered us your hand.
Though we do not often show it well, we are grateful, O God.
We give you thanks for Christ who came to walk among us,
living our life and dying our death,
teaching and eating and healing,
drawing us close to you,
feeding us with your word and your presence,
and showing us the extent of your love.
Though we did not recognize you in our midst,
our hearts full of our own ways and gods of our own making,
you stretched out your arms and gave us your last breath,
and then in the shadows of the morning you broke the last barrier,
bringing life yet again into your world,
proving love always has the last word.
It is still hard to see you, Lord Jesus, in the world today.
Love is elusive, healing seems far off, peace an impossible dream.
We pray that just as you fed the multitudes,
you would once again make your abundance known.
Where your children go hungry, break us open like bread.
Where your people are thirsty, pour us out in streams of clean water.
Where the earth groans, let your dew refresh and your shade protect.
You promised flourishing life, abundant,
and we beg you to continue your promise, O God.
Make your reality seen among us, even now.
May your Holy Spirit open our eyes and ears, hearts and minds,
to know you and your call,
and to serve you with every breath.
Give us courage to be makers of peace and doers of justice,
courage to confess our own shortcomings without highlighting the sins of others,
courage to trust your word of hope in a world of fear.
God of grain and grape,
from our many stalks and vines we pray that you would create one body,
as we share one bread and cup,
broken and poured for the healing of your world.
Lift us into your presence yet again, that we may feast at your heavenly banquet,
and then send us out nourished and prepared to build your kingdom here on earth.
We pray these and all things in the name of Christ, whose healing spirit overflowed into all who even touched his cloak, and who taught us to pray together…

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

confession: we cannot imagine a way out

Loving God, you gift your whole creation with abundant life, plenty for all. So often we see only what we lack, and we cannot imagine a way out of the rules and systems we have set up to portion out your gifts. We confess that we are often more tied to our human regulation than we are to your ever-expanding grace. We confess that there is often no room in our faith for you to speak a new word, especially one that breaks down those boxes we put each other in. Forgive us. Open our ears to hear you speaking, and our hearts to embrace your purpose. Amen.          ~silence~

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, 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

confession: rationed abundance

One:    God, you provide beyond our imagination

All:     and yet somehow, not quite up to our expectation.

One:    We desire so many things, forgetting your desires.

All:     We long to control what you do, how you act, who you favor.

One:    But you call us to a feast full of guests we would never choose.

All:     Forgive us when we act as if your giving is restricted to our pleasure.

Forgive us when we try to ration your abundance.

Forgive us when we fail to share your generosity.

One:    Fill us again, O God, with your goodness, and nurture our faith,

All:     that we may grow in your love.

sung: Kyrie Eleison

silence

 

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

Thanksgiving Blessing

Blessed are you, O God, for you have brought forth the fruit of the earth, you have gathered a people, you have filled our lives with every good thing. We gather around this table to give you thanks today, for things we so often take for granted: family and friends, health and home, clean water and more than enough to eat. Make our gratitude a way of life, not only a few hours one day. And as we are grateful today, we are mindful of those who do not sit at tables of abundance, those who do not have enough to eat, those who grieve. As you satisfy our hunger with your bounty today, bless us next with hunger for justice, with passion and power to ensure that all may partake of your abundance. In your holy name we pray. Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

assurance of grace: Jesus feeds hungry strangers

Assurance of Grace

True abundance does not come because of what we do
but because of the Person we know.
Jesus still feeds hungry strangers – even us –
and calls us to share food with others.
Thanks be to God.
Let us share God’s bounty.

Submitted by Rev. Laura Cunningham, Nauraushaun Presbyterian Church (Pearl River, NY)