a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

CTW: in the presence of mystery

Pulpit side: Come, people of God—make a joyful noise!

Lectern side: Come, beloved of Christ—lift up your offering of praise!

Travellers: We gather in the presence of mystery,
grace known and unknown,
promises fulfilled and still awaited.

“Locals”: We have received beyond measure,
building our hope on a foundation of love.

Morning ppl: The Spirit of truth fills this place,
empowering us to lead lives
worthy of Christ’s calling.

Night owls: The Spirit of truth fills this place,
revealing the Way:
to love as we have been loved.

Light eyes: In the triune God we live and move
and have our being,
and so we come to worship, one by one,

Dark eyes: to be remade as the Body of Christ,
together and whole,

Outdoorsy: making God’s justice and peace visible

Indoorsy: even in our days.

Over 45: Come, Body of Christ—see what God has done

Under 45: and see what God will do!

Submitted by Rev Teri Peterson–originally written for a liturgy class at Montreat Conference Center’s Arts Recreation and Worship Conference, as examples of options other than “one – all” or “women – men” responsive liturgy.

confession: pursuing individualism

Loving God, you created all things to work together in your kingdom, and you call us to live as one Body. We confess we often prefer to go our own way, and our unwillingness to love when we don’t understand put us at odds with your creation. We pursue our own individual success and we miss the chance to celebrate your gift of community. 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: beyond our words

Holy God,
as of the year two thousand ten,
according to Google,
one hundred twenty-nine million,
eight hundred sixty-four thousand,
eight hundred and eighty books
have been published in modern history.

We like words.
We enjoy good speeches.
And, too often, because of that,
we spend more time saying things,
and less time doing things.

But you remind us,
and…to tell you the truth…we know,
that what really matters are our actions.

So inspire us with our words,
but also inspire us beyond our words,
so we may be a constant, visible reminder
of your love in the world…

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)

morning prayer: respite from our task-filled days

God of this new morning…

As the sounds of sunrise stir us from our slumber…
As the birds chirp their songs outside our windows…
As the squirrels scamper from tree to tree…

we celebrate the gift of rest…
the gift of sabbath…
the gift that reminds us to take care of ourselves…
so that the moments when we’re overwhelmed
by the burdens and challenges of life
might find balance with the much needed moments
of relaxation and self-indulgence.

We have all gathered here,
if only for a few days,
to find respite from our task-filled days.

We have all gathered here,
if only for a few days,
to be inspired with new ideas
and new visions of what it means to be “church”.

We have all gathered here,
if only for a few days,
to eat,
to drink,
to sing,
to dance,
and to play…

to create,
and to be RE-created…

to hear,
to smell,
to feel,
to taste
and to see your goodness!

We give thanks for the community we share at UNCO…
even this morning…
whether we struggle to stay alert
in our pre-caffeinated trances;
we struggle to stay focused
with each soothing, intra-caffeinated sip;
or we struggle to stay still
in our post-caffeinated restlessness.

In the aftermath of many spoken words
and many ingested thoughts…
give legs to those things that should not lose momentum…
so that vision, energy, and creativity
are not stifled by skepticism, traditionalism,
or any other “-ism” that seeks to sabotage
the potential that you see…
the potential that you CREATED…
within each of us.

Draw us closer to you…
and draw us closer to one another…

so that when we travel in all directions
back to our homes…
back to the churches we serve…
back to the ministries in which we participate…
back to our task-filled days…
we might be drawn closer to the world around us
that is longing to hear and SEE real good news

that has no conditions…
no punchlists…
no barriers…
and no secret handshakes.

This IS our prayer…even now…
as we sing the familiar words of Jesus’ prayer together…

(We closed with a sung version of “The Lord’s Prayer”)

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY), this prayer was used in a morning prayer service at Unconference East at Stony Point Conference center (Stony Point, NY) on May 23, 2012.

morning prayer: the table we surround

God of imagination and creativity…
we gather from many different places…
we gather from many different contexts and situations…
we gather with many different questions,
and many different hopes…
but we’re all here for the same reason…
to discover the joy of a
safe, barrier-free, intentional community.

This table we surround
has reminded us this week
that life is not always as you intend it to be.

We often encounter these same signs.
No Trespassing!
Keep Out!
Private Property!
Under Surveillance!

And when we’re not encountering them ourselves,
we’re nailing them to our own fences.

This table we surround
has reminded us this week
that life is not always as you intend it to be.

And yet,
it also paints for us
your perfect vision for creation.

A vision that does not exclude.

A vision that celebrates the good-ness of your creation.

A vision that does not reach full satisfaction
until everyone has sat…
until everyone has eaten…
until everyone has drank…
and until everyone has loved and been loved.

So help us all…this day…
to fully discover your image within us…
to draw our own pictures…
to paint it with our fingers…
to color outside the lines with our jumbo boxes of crayons…
and to make it all into one, big, messy…
yet absolutely perfect…
collage of creation
that dares to challenge our deep-rooted prejudices
and quiets the cacophony of pre-conceived notions
that plague our minds.

Give us the courage
to embrace the energy and enthusiasm
that flows deep within us…
so that our discussions today
might inspire us…
transform us…
and move us forward.

We look for this inspiration…
even now…
as we gaze upon the Christ…
whose words and actions
challenge us to a life
that moves each of us far beyond ourselves
toward every OTHER that surrounds us…
even now…
as we sing that familiar prayer of Jesus together…

(We closed with a sung version of “The Lord’s Prayer”)

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY), this prayer was used in a morning prayer service at Unconference East at Stony Point Conference center (Stony Point, NY) on May 22, 2012.