a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

POP: hearers and doers

Let us pray to God, saying:
Gospel God, help us be hearers and doers of your Word.

We are reminded that the great ends of the Church are: (PCUSA Book of Order F-1.0304)
the proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind,
the shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God,
the maintenance of divine worship,
the preservation of the truth,
the promotion of social righteousness,
and the exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world.
We acknowledge that these things don’t happen by themselves
but only by the faithful work that you call us to do.
Help us embrace that work and do it joyfully and faithfully.
Gospel God, help us be hearers and doers of your Word.

God of All Nations,
we lament the times when people have suffered
because of the Church’s silence, complicity, and apathy.
We pray for those who have sought protection but not found it.
We pray for those who have begged for food and water and have left empty handed.
We pray for those who have asked for love and received instead judgment.
Help us remember that how we treat the least of these is how we treat you.
Gospel God, help us be hearers and doers of your Word.

God of All Wisdom,
we pray that we might be a people that live the Christian life
more than one hour a week.
We are reminded that the work of the Gospel is not a part-time job
that we can pick up and put down at our convenience.
Help us heed James’ imperative to be a people of action and truth,
bound by our duty to serve you in all that we are and in all that we do.
Gospel God, help us be hearers and doers of your Word.

Gracious God,
hear us now as we pray silently for those upon our hearts this day…
Gospel God, help us be hearers and doers of your Word.

Heavenly Parent,
hear us now as we pray the prayer you taught us to pray, saying: Our Father…

 

Submitted by Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

confession: we forget

O God, every breath we take should be a reminder of your life giving Spirit! And yet, in the midst of our lives busy-ness, we often forget to give you praise  – or even to think of you at all. Be such a force in our lives that we cannot forget you. Shine through us, Holy One, that we might also show the world your grace and love. In your name we pray – Amen.

 
This was used in a service dedicated to the third great end of the church – Divine Worship. It would be useful in many other settings too.
 
Submitted by Rev. Lucus Keppel, Ancho Community & Corona United Presbyterian Churches, New Mexico

confession: church, steeple, people

This prayer of confession (which I feel still needs some work) is inspired by the 2nd of the six Great Ends of the Church found in section G-1.0200 of the Book of Order of the Presbyterian Church (USA) – “the shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God” – and the beloved children’s poem, “Here is the church…Here is the steeple…Open the doors and see all the people.” (Author unknown)

Nourishing God…
we are called to be your welcoming church,
and yet, most of the time, we keep our doors locked;
we are called to be a beacon of hope in our community,
and yet, we worry about the energy it takes to keep our lights shining;
we are called to be your life-changing people,
and yet, often, we prefer to maintain our own comfort.
Remind us, again, that the church is not a steeple
standing tall, without the faithfulness and comittment of the people.
Unlock the doors of our hearts and minds…
Fill us with renewed energy…
And give us the courage to take risks…
even now…as we offer our silent confessions…

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)

A Lenten Litany of Renewal & Purpose

Every day is a day to be renewed…
to become the people God created us to be.
May we learn to recognize our true selves
as we reflect on God’s hope and intention for creation.

God calls us to proclaim the gospel
for the salvation of all humanity.
May we seek to be the presence of Christ in the world
without creating clubs that push people away.

God calls us to shelter, nurture,
and cultivate spiritual communion among all God’s children.
May we be a safe place for everyone
to question, to know, to struggle, and to grow

God calls us to worship in spirit and in truth.
May we abandon entertainment for profound awareness;
may we share our gifts and creativity in our expression;
and may the table at which we gather always have room.

God calls us to uphold the truth.
May we faithfully struggle to understand truth,
so that instead of being chained and imprisoned to it,
we may be joyfully and completely set free by it.

God calls us to be advocates for social justice.
May everything that seeks to undermine God’s love
make us uncomfortable and passionately counteractive.

God calls us to be a visible manifestation
of God’s vision of, and hope for, all creation.
May we live as if we truly believe that;
shining light in darkness…sprinkling salt on blandness…
and celebrating the joy of life that we all share together.
Let it be so!

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY) as an Affirmation of Faith to be used during a series of sermons based on the Great Ends of the Church listed in section G-1.0200 of the Form of Government of the Presbyterian Church (USA).