a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving: all that is, all that was, all that shall be

Great God of all that is,
and was, and yet may be –
by your Word the cosmos became
you called for light, and light was
and it was good, many times over, good.
You are the one in whom we stand,
the rock on which we build,
the wave that levels all.
No life lives apart from you,
and no death comes that is secret from you.
We thank you for being, for making, and for knowing.

Christ Jesus, the Logos of God made flesh,
living all life at once, and for all time,
you offered your words on mountain and plain,
at sea and at table,
on the cross and after.
We treasure your words,
and listen for your knock at the door,
your voice calling us out of the dark.

Holy Spirit, indwelling life,
you intercede for us with sighs
when we have no words of our own.
You are the fire on the tongue,
and the tongues of fire,
the light in the dark,
the wisdom of the foolish,
the strength of the child
and the vigor of the old.
You subdue the violent,
overthrow the dominant,
and breathe new life into the least of us.
You make a way where there is no way,
and are God present with us.

In the name of creator, redeemer and sustainer,
Yahweh, Iesus, Parakletos,
Being, Love and Life,
we are thankful for all that is,
all that was, and all that yet may be.

Amen.

submitted by Rev. Doug Hagler, First Presbyterian Church, Phoenixville, PA

Dedication: We Offer

In thanks for all we have received from God,
we share with one another and with the world.
For those who are vulnerable,
we offer our strength.
For those who seek a witness,
we offer our vulnerability.
For those who are forgotten,
we offer our voice.
For those who have been silenced,
we offer our listening.
For those who live in daily need,
we offer what we have.
For those who have too much,
we offer a path through the eye of the needle.
To the demands of all false gods,
we offer resistance.
To the one who gives us life,
who has ended death’s dominion,
and who sanctifies us in the Spirit,
we offer our lives.
Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Doug Hagler, First Presbyterian Church, Phoenixville PA

confession: if only…

The whole congregation complained in the wilderness, saying

“If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of [insert your town here],
where we gathered up our wealth and ate our fill every day;
for you have brought us out into this wilderness
to kill this whole congregation with hunger.”

“Draw near to the Lord, who has heard your complaining.
Look deeper into the wilderness;
God is there, not here.
God will provide enough for each,
and the price is that no one will have too much.”

That is how you will know who your God is,
when you see whether everyone has enough.

Submitted by Rev. Doug Hagler, First Presbyterian Church, Phoenixville PA

call to worship: welcome

Welcome, you who are weak –
here may you find a sanctuary.

Welcome, you who are certain –
here may you be challenged.

Welcome, you who are unconvinced –
here may your questions be heard.

Welcome, you who honor God by abstaining –
here may you receive God’s good gifts.

Welcome, you who live for yourselves –
here may you find what is worth your whole life.

Welcome, you who live for the Lord –
here may you judge not
but give an account only
to the Lord of the dead and the living.

 

based on Romans 14:1-12
submitted by Rev. Doug Hagler, First Presbyterian Church, Phoenixville, PA

 

CTW: citizens of a kingdom

We come before the God of resident and alien, native and sojourner –
As Adam and Eve fled the Garden,
As Noah drifted rudderless,
As Abraham and Sarah fled famine, followed God, and journeyed everywhere but home

The God whose call knows no borders –
As Israel and Joseph were reunited and reconciled as refugees in Egypt
As Moses, a refugee was saved from death
As the Hebrews fled Egypt without time even to bake bread

The God of refuge, who chooses the poor –
Whose Law a dozen times demands justice for native and alien alike,
Who calls us to leave the gleanings for the poor and refugee,
For whom Cities of Refuge were built to house all those fleeing persecution

We come before this very God, citizens in a Kingdom that is alien to the world –
Called to love strangers as God does,
To follow Jesus the refugee who fled persecution
And to offer hospitality to all; to welcome as we have been welcomed.

 
Submitted by Rev. Doug Hagler, First Presbyterian Church, Phoenixville, PA

confession: clean and unclean

God of the clean and the unclean, we too easily think we can see from your point of view. We exclude, hold grudges and nurse contempt, all the while hiding ourselves for fear we too would be found wanting. We think we are justified because we are made holy by your love, and we assume holiness means more like us. We forget, or never really knew, that all you touch is holy, and that you created all that is. So when we exclude, we exclude you. When we hold grudges, we hate you. When we show contempt, we are contemptuous of those you love. May we be made holy in truth, loving as you love, clean and unclean alike.

Submitted by Rev. Doug Hagler, Calvary Presbyterian Church of Wyncote, PA