a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

CTW: remembering who we are

One: Come from east and west, north and south!
All: From everywhere God has placed us,
with everything God has given us,
as the people God made us—we come.

One: Come, receive again the gift of grace!
All: Not for owning, not for boasting, but for celebrating—we come.
One: Come, discover again the way that leads to life!
All: Remembering who we are, seeking who we are yet to be—we come.

(Suggested opening hymn: We Rejoice To Be God’s Chosen)


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

Confession: we don’t understand grace

Your generous creativity is beyond all our imagining, O God! You breathe the breath of life into us, your Spirit flows free, bringing new life in every place, your grace falls like rain on all creation. And yet we confess that often we would prefer a system of earning our way into your favour. We understand transactions and fairness, we don’t understand grace. We want to be able to say we deserve your love and forgiveness, to be proud of our accomplishments in following your call. But you insist there is nothing to be earned, nothing to be bought, nothing to be proud of. Instead you call us your accomplishment, you create and re-create us in your image, preparing for us a way of life that we are not sure how to follow. Forgive us, generous God, for thinking your ways are like our ways. Open our hearts to know the truth of your grace, and to live in your redeemed creation. Amen.


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

POP–stretched out

Holy God,
your grace is amazing
beyond comprehension
surrounding and filling
all creation.
We give you thanks
for your unbounded love
for glimpses of your kingdom
for faith lived and visible
for hope that will not let go
for joy that has come
in the morning.
Where weeping lingers
where grief overwhelms
where color divides
where fires rage
where hate is on display
where love is unacceptable
where cynicism threatens
Give us courage to reach out a hand.
And where we have tried to pull away—
ignoring our part
whitewashing our history
accepting lies as truth
—stand firm in your call and your promise
and give us courage to live your truth
according to your way
in order that all may have life.
O Christ the master carpenter
use your tools well in the workshop of your world.
Build us into your household and fill the house with your Spirit.
Hold us together and never let us go.
When we are tempted to move on
from Charleston
from Ferguson
from McKinney
from the South Side
give us your heart, and break us open
to tear down dividing walls
to love one another as you love us.
When we are tempted to downplay joy
as a sacrifice to our fear
as a new prison for those now free
give us courage to rejoice with those who rejoice
to celebrate love and commitment
to insist that your covenant is indeed for all
and to love one another,
even beyond the measures of our mind.
You, O God, are the builder of the house
and we your living stones.
Ground us in the word preached
by your apostles and prophets
and build us up into your kingdom
with room for all
and dividing walls for none.
Open our hands as you open our hearts
move us by your Spirit to reach out
beyond our comfort
beyond our understanding
into the work of your hope and promise.
We pray in the name of the One whose empty hands stretch out to all creation, creating one humanity fit for your kingdom, Jesus the Christ, who taught us to pray together…


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