a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Easter Season communion invitation

Jesus met his disciples—women and men, young and old—

and invited them into his new life.

Jesus still meets his disciples—women and men, young and old—

and invites us into his new life.

That new life begins, as any life begins, with water and bread.

At this table, we receive the bread of new life.

At this table, we are called together from many individuals into one body.

At this table, we are strengthened to go answer Christ’s call.

This table is not mine, and it does not belong to this church.

This is not a Presbyterian table.

All of us, no matter who we are, or what we have done, or where we are on life’s journey, are as welcome here as Peter and Joanna and Mary and James were at the first table.

The risen Christ is the host, and he bids us come and celebrate the feast,

to know the power of resurrection, the joy of heaven, the glory of God’s grace.

 

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

Thanksgiving Prayer

On this Thanksgiving Day, let us not forget to start by saying thank you to the Creator and Source of all for which we have to be thankful. Loving God, we thank you for those with whom we spend this day. Thank you for family, friends, and strangers. We thank you for the food we share and remember those who do not have enough to eat. May today’s feast inspire us to share what you have given us with others. As we enjoy a day of relaxation and rest, we ask your blessing on those working today–the people working to keep us safe and healthy, the people working so others can eat, and the people working because they desperately need the money. We pray for families and friend who wish they could be together today. We pray for people who struggle to feel thankful this day. God, we ask that you give us thankful hearts, not just today when it is easy to be thankful, buy everyday. Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Susannah DeBenedetto

Maundy Thursday prayer after communion

On this night, in the midst of the festival celebrating the freedom you gave our ancestors the Israelites, we give you thanks that still you free us and show us how to be a new kind of people. You call us to love one another the way you love us—extravagantly and without reservation, even to the end. We give you thanks that as Jesus’ re-defined this feast, we can see your abundance, your joy, and the true meaning of love—to be broken and poured out for others.

We want to live your abundant life, and we thank you that in this feast you have given us the strength for that journey. We want to live in your extravagant love, but we are afraid that the outcome won’t be any different for us than it was for Jesus—ridicule, pain, distress. Give us courage to claim you when others betray, courage to follow you when others desert, courage to love even when we are not loved in return.

You have broken yourself open to show us love and life. Help us to do the same, loving, serving, and caring for your world. We pray in the name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church, Crystal Lake IL.

Maundy Thursday opening prayer

Gracious God, we give you thanks this night for the privilege of gathering together to remember, to celebrate, and to share.  We give you thanks for the journey we have been on with you—from manger to Temple, from Egypt to Galilee, from darkness to light.  Tonight we feast, as you did on a night like this so long ago, remembering your promises, your mighty deeds, your rescue of your people, your saving grace.  As we share this meal tonight, make us mindful of those who are hungry.  As we celebrate together, make us mindful of those who sorrow and those who are alone.  As we remember once again all you have done and all that you are, form us once again into your people.

May all who hunger come to rejoice in the feast of your kingdom.  Let all the human family sit at your table, drink the wine of deliverance, and eat the bread of freedom.  We pray these things in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church, Crystal Lake IL.

brokenness made whole–Maundy Thursday communion

When the hour had come, Creator of the heavens and earth,
you lifted up the cup of creation,
pouring it into the emptiness of chaos.
Rivers played tag through the valleys,
stars spangled the blue-black night,
joy danced in the fields of grace.
Given that fountain flowing with living water,
we drank from betrayal’s bitter cup;
offered the feast of faith,
we sat down at sin’s groaning table.
You asked the prophets to remind us of promises made,
but we continued to embrace the pangs of hopelessness.
Then, because we are your own, you sent Jesus
to glorify you by saving us from ourselves.

Therefore, with those whose feet are covered with sin,
and those who hearts are gripped by fear,
we join the choirs of every time and place,
forever singing your praises:

P:        Holy, holy, holy, God of towels and basins.
We join heaven and earth in praising your name.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who became a servant for us.
Hosanna in the highest!

Holy are you, God of Redemption,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, our Servant, our Savior.
When the hour had come, he got up from grace’s side,
took off his glory, tied humanity around his heart
to cleanse us of our sins.
In the midst of his friends, in the congregation of his enemies,
he kept the promised made to you, to love us to the very end.
our friend, he welcomed all;
our teacher, he modeled the life of obedience and faith;
our Lord, he endured the snares of death,
that we might have life with you.

Every time we eat the bread, our brokenness is made whole;
every time we drink from the cup, we receive unceasing grace;
every time we come to the Table,
we remember that mystery called faith:

P:        In remembrance, we mourn Christ’s death;
in remembrance, we look to the Day of Resurrection;
in remembrance, we await his return to us.

Now that the hour is come,
send your Spirit upon the gifts
of the bread and the cup.
As you cradle the bread in your gentleness,
break it, give it to us, feed us with your compassion
that we might be made whole
and, in our healing,
become servants to a shattered world.
As you take the cup,
mingle its juices with your tears of hope,
so we might carry this gift
to all who have lost every thing.

and when there are no more hours to come,
when there is only eternal peace and life with you,
we will gather in that upper room called your heart,
serving our families and friends with grace,
receiving forgiveness from our enemies,
singing your joy, forever and ever,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, author of Lectionary Liturgies.

CTW: Maundy Thursday

L:  In remembrance, we gather:
P:  to be with the One who teaches us the meaning of faithfulness.
L:  In remembrance, we worship:
P:  lifting our voices to the One who calls us to love one another.
L:  In remembrance, we feast:
P:  breaking the Bread which makes us whole,
drinking the Cup which fills us with grace.

 

Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, author of Lectionary Liturgies.

Invitation to the Table–palm sunday

Jesus shared his meals with all kinds of people—doubters, believers, and skeptics; rich and poor; leaders and followers; scholars and fishermen and tax collectors, palm wavers and parade watchers.
He calls us all to come, taste, and see that God is good, that there is enough for everyone, that there is another way.
This is the table where all kinds of people, from all kinds of places, in all kinds of times, meet.
This table does not belong to the Presbyterian church, or to this congregation, it belongs to Christ, and he is the one who promises to meet us here.
This is the table where we can begin a journey, where we can make a turn, where we can be strengthened for the road ahead.
So come, not because you understand, but because you want to know God more.
Come, not because you love God a lot, but because you love God a little and want to love more.
Come, not because your faith is unshakeable, but because you could use some strength for the journey.
Come, not because you are already perfect and worthy, but because it is Christ himself who invites you to share in the feast.

(Let us pray…)

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church, Crystal Lake IL.