a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

CTW: witnesses

One: Come, let us worship God!
All: We come with joy and amazement. We come, startled and frightened. We come as we are.
One: We assemble together, saying “It is true!”
All: Are not our hearts burning within us?
One: Look! Touch and see! It is Jesus!
All: He has appeared! Our Lord is risen indeed!
One: Christ stands among us, saying “peace be with you.”
All: And we are witnesses of all these things!

Submitted by Rev. Betsy Turner, Luther Hays Presbyterian Church, Hayston, GA

POP: Olympics

In the Olympics this week, O God, we have watched many people gather and compete. We been moved by amazing human achievements, touched by individual stories, and inspired by our neighbors from around the world. We stand in awe, O God, of the miraculous gifts of life, and the human spirit, and the human body. We praise you, recognizing with gratitude that all of us are fearfully and wonderfully made by you.

As we watch swimming and diving… we remember that you hovered over the waters of creation and the waters of our baptism. We give thanks for the gift of abundant access to clean water, and the cleansing power of your spirit. We pray for those who thirst for water, those who suffer either flood or drought, and those who thirst for your spirit.

As we watch running events… we remember that you walked in the garden of Eden, seeking your shamed creatures after they sinned, and that you walked among us as a redeeming Savior. We give thanks for the gift of mobility – our ability to walk and run and bend and move. We pray for those who are disabled, or who have trouble walking or running, and all who suffer due to disease, injury, or age.

As we watch gymnastics… we remember that yours is the Spirit of strength and balance that holds the world together. We give thanks for the way you bend and shape and challenge us. We pray for those who are stiff or stuck, including ourselves – make us more flexible and more open to the movement of your Spirit.

As we watch teams sports… we remember that you made us because of love and for love, and that in your wisdom gave us each other and called us to live in community. We give you thanks for our families and friends, and for the fellowship we find in your church. We pray for those who are lonely, who feel alienated or unwelcome, who are isolated in their grief, fear, or pain. And we pray that you would help us reach out to them with your love and kindness.

As we watch people from all over the world competing with each other, we remember that you are the God of every nation. We give thanks for the gift of our own country, and all the freedoms we enjoy here. We pray for our great country, for its leaders and those seeking office, and for all of us in this challenging season. We also pray for the leaders and citizens of every nation, and for the whole world, praying that your peace would flourish among us.

We pray all of this and much more, in the name of your son, our Savior Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray saying…

 

Submitted by Rev. Betsy Turner, Luther Hays Presbyterian Church, Hayston, GA

illumination: shine your light

Lord of light, shine your light on us now.  As you spoke your word of creation in the beginning, speak your creative word to us now.  As you gave us your word through prophets and teachers, give us your word in our worship this day.  As you yourself read the scroll and claimed its promises, read your word into our hearts and claim us with your promises.  As your disciples, we gather around your word, in your name.  Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Betsy Turner, Luther Hays Presbyterian Church, Hayston, Georgia

confession: So far…

So far, O God – we are so far from what you have called us to be.  We are eaten up with judgment and self-righteousness.  We are buried in selfishness, ego, and pride.  We have let your world be full of war and violence.  We allow some to go without while we and others have plenty.  We have been silent instead of speaking, or spoken harshly instead of your word of peace.  We are so very far from what you intended when you made us and breathed your life into us.

We have not been faithful to your call and steadfast in pursuing your way.  At least not so far.

Help us, save us, forgive us, make us new.  Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Betsy Turner, Luther Hays Presbyterian Church, Hayston, Georgia

CTW: in the storm

One:  In the storm, during the fire, despite the strong wind,

All:  the Spirit is steadfastly present.

One:  God brings a word of peace, gentle as a kiss,

All:  therefore we will not fear.

One: Responding to God’s goodness and love,

All: Come, let us step forth to meet Jesus.

 

Submitted by Rev. Betsy TurnerLuther Hays Presbyterian Church, Hayston, Georgia

confession: on our worst days

On our best days, O God, we know what we should be about.  We have heard your call, and we know what you want from us – justice, kindness, humility, peace, love.  We know all this, yet we sin.  We do precisely the things you have commanded us not to do.  We are guilty of being mean-spirited and unfair, arrogant and rude, chaotic and even violent.  We fail to love our neighbors and you, forgetting that this is your primary command.  We do not understand why we do the wrong things, but we come confessing because we know we are guilty.  So, God, on our very worst days, from the depths of our sinful brokenness, we cry to you for help and rescue.  Have mercy, O God, according to your unfailing love.  Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Betsy Turner, Luther Hays Presbyterian Church, Georgia

invocation: bold to worship you

O God, as a hen gathers her brood under her wing, so you have gathered us all here.  As the father runs to welcome the prodigal home, you too have eagerly opened your arms to welcome us into this holy space.  As your assembled people, help us to welcome you into our hearts.  Teach us to open ourselves to receive your word, your call, and your love.  Make us bold to worship and serve you, now and always.  Amen.

submitted by Rev. Betsy Turner, Luther Hays Presbyterian Church, Hayston, GA

invocation: pleasing

Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe.
We praise you for the goodness of your creation,
the power of your love,
and the signs of your presence among us.
We gather here to worship you,
and we call on you to come and speak among us.
May what we do here be as pleasing to you as it is pleasing for us
to be here together in your name.  Amen.

 

submitted by Rev. Betsy Turner, serving Luther Hays Presbyterian Church, Hayston, GA

CTW: we come to praise

Leader:  We come to praise God’s holy name.
People:   We come to offer our hearts to Christ.
Leader:  We come, male and female, young and old,
People:  We come, rich and poor, messy and tidy,
Leader:  We come, cranky and cheerful, burdened and free,
People:  All are welcome here.  We come just as we are.
Leader:  We come to praise God’s holy name!
People: All honor and glory to God forever and ever!

 

submitted by Rev. Betsy Turner, serving Luther Hays Presbyterian Church, Hayston, GA