a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

confession: hard to pin down

All:       O God, you are hard to pin down. We want to be able to name you and speak of you with certainty, but you are always bigger than our words and faster than our thoughts. Forgive our attempts to control you, and our desire to speak our words on your behalf. Forgive our halfhearted ‘yes’ and our excuses for saying ‘no’ to your call. Help us to truly listen to your living word, so that we may fully love as you love and humbly serve as you serve. Amen. ~silence~


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

confession: we’d rather keep the door closed

One:    You, Lord, are Alpha and Omega—beginning and end.
But in between sometimes it feels like we are on our own,
and then the illusion of control is so seductive.

All:     Forgive us when we try to control you, insisting that your will must match ours.
For we confess that we do not like the unknown,
so we fill that void with shoulds and musts we expect both you and others to obey.
We’d rather keep the door closed with certainty than risk opening to changed life.
We’d rather be bound up in our own beliefs than risk being set free by love, for love.


One:    Open wide the door of life, O God,
All:     and give us courage to walk through.


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

confession: seduced by control

Call to Confession

God longs for relationship, and through relationship to transform the world into the kingdom. When we confess our sin, we find our relationship with God renewed and our life turned again to God’s way. Let us pray together.

Prayer of Confession

God, we think we know what you want, and we try our best to follow the rules. So often, though, we are seduced by our own desire for answers, for black-and-white lists of do’s and don’ts. We like to believe we can earn, or even buy, our way into your kingdom. We confess our need to control, and pray for your forgiveness when we impose our rules on you and on others. We confess that we like things the way we are, and pray for your forgiveness when the status quo keeps some away from you, even as it benefits us. Turn over the tables in our hearts, minds, and churches, and make room for your grace to dwell.


We pray in the name of the One who disrupts the world with love, Jesus the Christ.


Assurance of Forgiveness

Friends, hear this good news: only Christ is in a position to judge, and his very nature is mercy. If anyone is in Christ, the whole creation is made new, filled with hope and grace, infused with forgiveness. Thanks be to God. Amen.


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

confession: we call ourselves…

We label ourselves liberal conservative democrat republican young and old. We say that we are welcoming to all but we condemn those with whom we disagree. We hold our line with military precision and the strength of a toddler who refuses to give up their toy. God grant us the space to let go. Grant us the peace to relinquish control. Grant us the strength to stand up and speak your peace in the ears of our neighborhood, our nation, our world.

Time for silent reflection. 


Submitted by Rev. Greg Bolt, First Presbyterian Church, Nebraska City NE.