a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

confession: at the edge

Lord, you are before and behind us, around us and within. We give you thanks for your constant presence, even as we admit that we don’t always see or hear you with us. So often we find ourselves standing at the edge…of uncertainty, of fear, of society, of faith, of life. We pray for your path to be clear, to show us your way, but we confess that sometimes we see it and we are afraid and turn our eyes back instead. We long for comfort, stability, familiarity. We admit to you that we prefer the easier way of what we have always done, even if it is not where you currently call. Forgive us, O God. Forgive us for our selective memory, our tendency to nostalgia, our hearts set on self-preservation. Turn our eyes forward, to where you are leading. Remind us that you are our God, and will never leave us. Give us faith to see your way, and courage to walk it. Focus our minds, hearts, and strength on your love, that we may know you fully…for to know you is to love you, and to love you is to serve you, whom to serve is perfect freedom.
It is with faith and hope that we ask these things in the name of your Son, Jesus the Christ, whose love casts out all fear and leads us into new life with you. Amen.

 

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

POP: where there is no way

You are a God who leads us, who makes a way when there is no way.
We give you thanks, O Lord, for you are stronger than every foe.
We give you thanks, for your creative Spirit is always at work, making all things new.
We give you thanks, for though we feel scattered or on edge, there is no place we can go beyond the reach of your love.
And so we are bold to lift our voices to you, to admit our need.
We pray this day for your Church, in this community, in this nation, and in the world.
We ask your blessing on your Body, that we may in turn be a blessing to others.
We ask your guidance, strong and sure, for we are not certain of the way forward.
We pray for the gift of discernment, and the courage to follow, even when we feel battered by the waves.
Give us eyes to see and ears to hear…and feet ready to follow…and hands ready to serve.
Take from us any thought that does not glorify you, and lead us on your way.

We pray this day for the nations of this world, and for our leaders, that they too may have the gifts of discernment and courage.
Give them wisdom to seek the good of all, not only some.
Give them compassion, and imagination, and love.

We pray this day for your people near and far who live each day with fear.
Whether they fear someone in their home, or violence in the streets, or the government, or themselves…bring peace, O God.
Bring peace to those in the midst of war, and to those whose greatest enemy is within.
Bring peace that passes all understanding, peace founded on justice, for the people of Syria, and Sudan, and Palestine, and Korea.
And bring us together, to be creators of justice and peace for all your creation.

We pray this day for those who are ill, in body, mind, or spirit.
May your healing presence surround and fill them, may your comfort enfold them.
Guide the hands and minds of doctors and nurses and all who care for others, that they may understand and so treat people toward wholeness.

We pray this day for all those who find the news too much to bear—people living with stories they have not been able to tell, with hearts burdened by trauma, with lives upended by choices made by others.
Shield their hearts, O God.
Give them hope, and help, and a listening ear.
Give us courage to hold their stories, their feelings, and their prayers, to be a friend to those who feel alone.

You are a God who makes a way when there is no way, who creates paths in the desert and through the storm. You carry our burdens and lift our spirits, that we may bravely walk this earthly way. Lead and guide us to go forward into your future, with faith, hope, and love.
We pray these and all things in the name of the One who is the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, Jesus the Christ. Amen.

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

dedication: guide these gifts

Great God, your liberating power opened a way through the waters and guided your people through the wilderness. Guide the use of these gifts by that same power. Free us from the need to determine and control your grace, and turn us into servants of your boundless love, poured out for us in Jesus Christ.

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, Marion, IA

confession: we cling

Holy and gracious God,
you have called us through your saving waters into new life,
yet we confess we cling to the old ways of death.
We doubt your promises and refuse your guidance;
we choose the power and privilege of empire over the justice and peace of your kingdom;
and we lose hope in your deliverance and give into despair.
Lord, in your mercy, wash away our sin and make us clean.
Give us the courage to follow where your Spirit leads,
that all may witness the saving power of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Submitted by David Bjorlin, Resurrection Covenant Church, Chicago IL

confession: turn us forward

Lord, you are before and behind us, whether we stand in the midst of a crowd or the edge of the wilderness. We look at your path, but sometimes we are afraid and we turn our eyes back instead; we long for what is comfortable and familiar. We hear your voice, but it is so easy to turn toward the many other voices offering a life of fun and prosperity. We pray for your will to be done, but it is easier to just go along as we always have. Forgive us, O God. Turn us forward, and set our feet on your path.    

 

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