a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

approach and confession: storyteller

God, you are a storyteller, and you made us in your image. You spoke, and you still speak, through unexpected people, through silence, through your word written and proclaimed through the centuries. We come to hear your story once again, to find our place among your people and within your vision for all creation. We hear You call us to share your story in our words and in our actions, but we confess that more often our lips are sealed. We are afraid to tell your story. We think we don’t know enough, and we are afraid of offending. We prefer to keep you to ourselves.
Yet still Your word, O Lord, is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.
Forgive us for letting the book gather dust on the shelf, and the story gather dust in our hearts.
Speak to us, and through us, Lord.
Help us to know you so well that we cannot help but love you, and to love you so much we
cannot help but serve you, sharing your good news in every place, for it is in doing your
will that we find perfect freedom.
We pray in the name of the one who is your Living Word, Jesus the Christ.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, St. John’s Church of Scotland, Gourock, Scotland

confession: love, promise, call

God we thank you that you love, you promise, you call—in that order. We confess that we often see you in reverse, believing we must earn your regard. When we see you only as a rule-enforcer, forgetting that obedience to your way is true freedom, forgive us. When we see you as doling out rewards we think we have earned, forgive us. When we are so consumed with the letter of your law that we miss your Spirit, forgive us. Guide us again into your path and lead us in your truth—the truth of unending love. Amen. ~silence~

 

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

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

confession: what story?

Call to Confession

Scripture reminds us not to think of ourselves more highly than we should, for we fool only ourselves and obscure the image of God. When we confess our sin, God’s truth and life shines in us. Before God, with the people of God, let us confess to our brokenness. Let us pray.

Prayer of Confession

God, you are a storyteller, and you made us in your image. You call us to share your story in our words and in our actions.
But more often our lips are sealed. We are afraid to tell your story. We think we don’t know enough, and we are afraid of offending. We prefer to keep you to ourselves.

~silence~

Your word, O Lord, is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.
Forgive us for letting the book gather dust on the shelf, and the story gather dust in our hearts.
Speak to us, and through us, Lord.
Help us to know you so well that we cannot help but love you, and to love you so much we cannot help but serve you, sharing your good news in every place, for it is in doing your will that we find perfect freedom. Amen.

Declaration of Forgiveness

The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting—God’s story began before time and continues through and beyond us. As people forgiven and free, let us believe and live this good news: In Jesus Christ, we are loved and can love. Thanks be to God! Amen.

 

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

confession: in it together

Written by a confirmation class reflecting on the combination of Deuteronomy 6 and 1 Corinthians 12.
Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church

One: God, for running from you and your love,
All: forgive us.
One: For being too cautious,
or not cautious enough, in your presence,
All: forgive us.
One: For failing to listen to you when you call out to be heard,
All: forgive us.
One: For taking your love for granted,
and for not showing enough appreciation to you, O Lord,
All: forgive us.
One: For fearing those different from ourselves,
All: forgive us.
One: for when we feel we can accomplish things on our own,
and forget your or others’ help,
All: forgive us.