a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Communion: Turning

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
Then let us sing!

Canticle of the Turning v. 1-3

Mighty God, we rejoice with all who hunger,
for your Son Jesus, whose coming we proclaim,
spreads a table of blessing before us
and feeds us with his very presence.

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us
and upon this meal,
that we might be united with Jesus Christ,
and with all who magnify his name.
Sustain us with your presence
and keep us faithful to the end,
singing with joy and confidence:

Canticle of the Turning v. 4

We pray with the One whose life turns the world
and we say together:
The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

communion: dwelling

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

We give you thanks, O Lord of hosts,
for you have gathered us into your presence
and made our hearts and souls rejoice in your dwelling place!
You created a place for even the lowliest creature,
and you revealed the beauty of your holiness
in the lightness of birdsong and the thunder of the ocean.

In your faithful love, you made your dwelling in our homes
by taking on human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ.
He declared your name and shared your strength.
He journeyed all along the way,
pouring out blessings on all
and tirelessly doing the work of the kingdom.
For the sake of the One who died, rose again, and ascended on high,
we sing our praises to you:

Holy, holy, holy…

Holy are you, Lord God of hosts,
for you hear the prayers of your people.
You pour out your Holy Spirit on your church
and you send forth your care for all who are in need.
Through the gift of this meal,
you gather our spirits into your dwelling place,
and you seat us at your eternal table.
Your grace and your glory are eternal, O Lord,
and we joyfully receive your blessings.
We pray in Jesus’ name, who taught us to pray, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

Invitation: let them come

Just after the scripture reading we focused on today,
Jesus offers an invitation we all need to hear:
“Let the little children come to me…”
Let the humble, the meek, the ignored come.
Let the noisy, the misbehaving, the boisterous come.
Let the ones who ask the hard questions come.
Let the ones who trust in ways we cannot understand come.
Let all come to the table,
“…and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.”
It is to us, my friends, that the kingdom of God belongs.
All are welcome at this table.

 

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

invitation: everyone who asks receives

Jesus promises that everyone who asks will receive.
At this table, we receive the presence of Christ in the gift of bread and cup.
Jesus promises that everyone who seeks will find.
If you seek the presence of Christ, we pray that you will find him at this table.
Jesus promises that for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
On behalf of the church universal, in the name of Jesus Christ, you are welcome to this table!

 

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

communion: do not be afraid

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, ruler of the universe,
for your promise is true, you are with us always, even to the end of the age.
We give you thanks
for in the beginning you created with a word
and the whole world reflects your glory.
We give you thanks,
for with a word you called for yourself a people
gave us your breath, your name, your blessing.
We give you thanks,
for your prophets through the ages
who shared your vision, spoke your truth,
called us to your way even when we turned our backs on you,
our eyes set on our own design.
When we would not listen,
your persistent promise sought us,
your word became flesh
you walked among us and offered your very body, your life and love,
to bring us home in relationship to you.
Even when we acted out of fear,
uncertain what a life based on love could accomplish,
you reached out to save us.
Even when we speak out of fear,
blaming and accusing, shouting without listening,
you whisper your still small voice,
do not be afraid, I am with you.
Gratitude and praise fill our hearts, O God,
and lift us up to your heavenly banquet,
where we join our voices with your people throughout the ages
proclaiming your goodness,
praying for courage to live from your grace.
Open our eyes to see your glory at this table,
and to see that your guest list extends far beyond our own.
Give us courage to enact your kingdom feast at our own tables.
In a world where some thrive on fear,
where profit is often more important than people,
and where violence seems the order of the day,
fill us again with your Spirit of peace.
Let your whisper be heard above the roar
of bombs and bullets
of shouts and jeers
of advertising and posturing.
We carry these burdens to your table, Lord Jesus,
and pray that you would carry the load of your world’s suffering—
hear the cries of those who thirst for clean water and for justice,
of those who speak truth and long for someone to believe them,
of those who look at the week ahead and feel only despair.
Give us hope in the midst of grief, and illness, and political campaigns.
Give us courage to live as if your promise is true.
Give us a sure sense of your abiding presence,
in bread and wine,
in the fellowship of friends and the meeting of strangers,
in the work of your kingdom.
Give us eyes to see and ears to hear your Spirit among us and within us.
Feed us at your table,
fill us with your grace,
and then send us out to be your people,
your body on earth,
overflowing with your hope in the world.
We pray these and all things in the name of Christ, host at this and every table, who taught us to pray together…

 

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

dedication: redeemed

O God of our salvation, you have redeemed us from our sin and welcomed us to the feast of your presence in Jesus Christ. We thank you for what you have done in our lives, and we commit this offering of our resources and our service to your love. Receive what we give, bless what we are, and guide what we will do, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

dedication: fed and committed

O Lord our God, you have fed us at your table and joined us together with all your people in every land. As the source of our life, you rightly claim our complete loyalty, in heart, soul, mind, and strength. So we dedicate to you the gifts we have presented and the lives we commit to your service, that we might bear your love and goodness to all people, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

communion: sing a new song

Invitation to the Table

Friends, this is the joyful feast of the people of God!
They will come from east and west and north and south
and sit at table together in the kingdom of God,
ready to share the great feast of the new creation
and to sing new songs of praise forevermore.

So come to this table of plenty.
Bring your gifts of new life and your new songs of praise and thanksgiving.
Gather here and share this feast,
for Christ himself is our host.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Glorious God,
it is right to give you thanks and praise,
to sing new songs of thanksgiving
for your endless mercy and amazing grace.
From age to age, you have been with us.
You made the heavens and the earth
and rule over all the nations.
You create all things and guide us into your ways.
Even when we go astray, you call us back,
showing us the fullness of life in you
and giving us new songs of praise for each and every day,
most of all in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Born of humble estate,
Jesus lived for us and among us,
healing the sick,
easing the burdens of your people,
and teaching us the new song of your kingdom.
He showed his love for all your children
in his death at the hands of the authorities of the day.
Yet when you raised him to new life,
you sealed the promise of the new creation for all your people.
For this incredible gift of life,
we raise our new songs of joyous praise.

And so we give you thanks for this holy meal
where we remember Jesus’ death
and proclaim his new life.
By this bread and cup, strengthen us for the life of faith,
that we might sing your new song in this place and in this world
and invite others to join in
until we share this feast with you in the kingdom of God.

Eternal God,
as we wait and watch and work for your kingdom to come,
strengthen us to sing your new song.
Guide us from this table
to sing your praise each and every day.
Open the ears and minds and hearts of those who will hear,
that they too might join in this new song of praise now,
even as we trust that all creation will soon gather
to feast and sing in the joy of your eternal kingdom.

Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor are yours, almighty God,
now and forever. Alleluia! Amen.

 

Inspired by Psalm 96. Submitted by Rev. Andy James, First Presbyterian Church, Whitestone, NY.

communion: God our shepherd

Invitation to the Table

Sisters and brothers,
this is the joyful feast of the people of God,
a table prepared for us in the presence of our enemies,
a banquet of love in the face of hatred.

Here God’s love for us overflows,
and here we find the depth of God’s kindness and mercy
as we share this strange and wonderful feast in God’s house.

So let us pray for God’s full presence with us here,
for our great shepherd is our host
and invites us to meet him here.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Loving God,
you are our shepherd,
granting us everything that we need,
showing us comfort and peace and hope,
restoring us when we are weak,
guiding us when we are going astray.
You stay with us through the darkest valley
and show us the fullness of your love to beyond overflowing.

In Jesus you gave us the fullness of all these things.
You prepare a table for us
just as he prepared a table for his disciples the night before he was killed.
He took bread and gave thanks to you,
broke it, and gave it to his disciples and said:
Take, eat. This is my body, given for you.
Then after supper,
he took a cup of wine and gave thanks once again.
He passed it among his disciples and said:
Take this, all of you, and drink from it.
This is the cup of the new covenant
sealed in my blood for the forgiveness of sin.
Do this in remembrance of me.

So take these ordinary gifts of bread and cup
and use them to show us your presence and love.
Gather us with Jesus, the disciples, and the believers of every time and place,
that we might be one in this feast
and sustained for the days ahead by the power of your love.
Follow us from this table with your goodness and mercy and peace and love,
that we might rise to serve you with new life and hope
as we dwell in your house forever.
Lord, come quickly! Amen.

Distribution of the Elements

The bread of heaven.
The cup of salvation.

Friends, these are the gifts of God for us, the people of God.
Come, let us keep the feast.

 

Submitted by Rev. Andy James, First Presbyterian Church, Whitestone, NY

eucharist: the table

Invitation to the Lord’s Table

Joseph no doubt worked his hands
to make a Table for Mary.
With visions of family gathered around,
fresh bread warm in children’s hands,
and simple table wine that brought out the spices of the meat,
Jesus and his siblings and neighbors and those
who weren’t allowed into other people’s homes
or had no table of their own
sat around this Table,
no doubt where Jesus was taught
by his parents who had taken great risks by giving him life
so that he could take risks himself to give us life
simply by
sitting
at
Table.

It was at Table Side that our Christ learned
the power of feeding one another.

It was at Table Side that our Christ witnessed
the telling of truth.

And so Christ invites us to Table Side;
the Table that has been passed down through the generations,
rubbed with oil,
refinished with care
from family to family
to us.
Grace is made visible. [Read more…]