a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Dedication: signs of glory

You, Lord, are our God, and we are your people. As you have placed your generosity in our hearts, we pray now for the blessing of pouring it out for others. May the gifts we bring be of use in your kingdom, bringing hope to the despairing, light in the valley of shadows, peace in the midst of chaos. Make these tokens of our gratitude into a sign that shows your glory, until all come to see your gracious love. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

communion–independence day

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, Creator of the universe,
for you made all things and called them good—
earth, sea, and sky are yours,
every tree and bird, each seed sprouting,
every firefly twinkling and every drop of precious water
is a witness to your grace.
We give you thanks this day for your generosity,
for you are the giver of every good gift.
Today we especially give you thanks for the gift of freedom,
for those who have worked and sacrificed to honor that gift,
and for the many privileges we enjoy in this place.
We thank you for the gift of this community,
the gift of curious minds and ingenuity,
the privilege of learning and teaching.
We thank you for your Son
who became flesh and lived among us
in order that we might know the gift of your abundant life
right here in these bodies, right here in this Body.
When we forget that all we have, from every tiny bone to every big cathedral, is a gift from you,
call us back to your truth.
When we are tempted by the siren song of individual independence,
remind us that we are but one part of your Body on earth.
When we separate this earth from your Spirit,
give us eyes to see and ears to hear your breath in every heartbeat, every gust of wind, every creaking joint, every neighbor’s laugh and enemy’s tear.
We hold in your light those who live in fear, in violence, under oppression.
We remember your people in Syria, in Bangladesh, in Baghdad, in West Virginia, on the streets of Chicago and the homes of our own neighborhood.
As we gather at this table, we remember that many are hungry.
As we share the cup together, we remember that many are thirsty.
May the day come soon when there may be food and water for all.
May the day come soon when justice and peace take the place of violence.
May the day come soon when your freedom may be known by all of creation.
Many grains come together to make bread, and yet our world community is fractured—
as we eat this feast, draw us together in your Spirit.
Make us again into your body, loving, serving, and caring for the world.
We pray in the name of Jesus the Christ, who taught us to pray together…

 

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

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

Dedication: not to earn favor…

We thank you, God of abundance,

for the privilege of sharing your blessings with others.

We dedicate these gifts to you,

not to earn your favor or make a point,

but simply out of gratitude

for the amazing goodness you pour out on us.

Thanks be to you, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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

 

stewardship commitment

Charge to All Stewards

PASTOR: Today is a day of celebration in the life of (church name) because today we remember that each and every one of us — young and old — is called by God to be stewards of justice, stewards of creation, stewards of peace, stewards of this family of faith. Stewards give from all aspects of their lives. As we accept this call to be stewards, we each become a living example of Christ’s gospel, proclaiming faith through all that we do and all that we give. As it is written in I Peter, “Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.” (I Peter 4:10) And so, people of God, I ask you now, do you promise to enter into this covenant together to be God’s stewards with all your mind and heart? If so, please answer, “I do.”

Litany of Commitment

(Invite the congregation to stand.)

PASTOR: Gracious God, you have made a world for us and given us incomparable gifts: air and water, family and friends, your steadfast love and forgiveness, and your son Jesus the Christ. For all the gifts and wonders you have bestowed on us.

PEOPLE: We thank you and worship you with renewed gratitude.

PASTOR: O God, you created us to love one another as Christ has loved us. We are concerned about all your children, those who live near us, and those who live far away. We are eager to participate in the work of the whole church and to further the ministry and service of this congregation.

PEOPLE: We are called to be your stewards. We thoughtfully shoulder our personal share of responsibility, and we pledge to witness to the good news of Christ with our hearts and hands and voices.

PASTOR: We are confident in your love and care for us.

PEOPLE: We gladly give back to our Gracious God our whole lives, our time, our talents, and our financial resources.

The Commission

O God, throughout the ages you have challenged your people to step out in faith and follow you. You have put purpose and direction in the lives of your people. We have before us a new direction and a new purpose. We have set our feet on the pathway. Be our guide. Whisper in our ears when we need to make decisions. Hold us up if we start to stumble. May your Holy Spirit lead us in joyful song and fill us with eager anticipation. You are our vision, O God; lead us on our journey. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Elsa Peters, The United Churches of Olympia, WA.

offering gratitude

An invitation to give and a prayer of dedication, submitted by Rev. Laura Becker, Northminster Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga TN.

Invitation to Offering
And now, not because we have to, but because we are grateful, let us return to God what is ours to share. Let us joyfully offer our time, our treasure, our commitment, our prayers.

 

Prayer of Dedication
God, thank you, thank you, thank you – for your grace, for this community of faith, for the gifts of our lives. Bless these offerings today that they might be used to further your reign of righteousness here and now. Work through each of us and through the ministries of this congregation that we might glorify you in all we do. Amen.