a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

communion: our faithfulness comes from you

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, ruler of the universe,
for you have loved the world into being,
formed it with a word, enlivened it with your breath,
cared for it with your life.
We give you thanks for your faithfulness,
upholding your promise even when we fail.
As you created in love, so you call in love—
again and again, bringing us together, making us your body.
When we lost our way, or turned away,
still you sought us.
Through the voices of your prophets,
you showed us your vision and offered us your hand.
Though we do not often show it well, we are grateful, O God.
We give you thanks for Christ who came to walk among us,
living our life and dying our death,
teaching and eating and healing,
drawing us close to you,
feeding us with your word and your presence,
and showing us the extent of your love.
Though we did not recognize you in our midst,
our hearts full of our own ways and gods of our own making,
you stretched out your arms and gave us your last breath,
and then in the shadows of the morning you broke the last barrier,
bringing life yet again into your world,
proving love always has the last word.
It is still hard to see you, Lord Jesus, in the world today.
Love is elusive, healing seems far off, peace an impossible dream.
We pray that just as you fed the multitudes,
you would once again make your abundance known.
Where your children go hungry, break us open like bread.
Where your people are thirsty, pour us out in streams of clean water.
Where the earth groans, let your dew refresh and your shade protect.
You promised flourishing life, abundant,
and we beg you to continue your promise, O God.
Make your reality seen among us, even now.
May your Holy Spirit open our eyes and ears, hearts and minds,
to know you and your call,
and to serve you with every breath.
Give us courage to be makers of peace and doers of justice,
courage to confess our own shortcomings without highlighting the sins of others,
courage to trust your word of hope in a world of fear.
God of grain and grape,
from our many stalks and vines we pray that you would create one body,
as we share one bread and cup,
broken and poured for the healing of your world.
Lift us into your presence yet again, that we may feast at your heavenly banquet,
and then send us out nourished and prepared to build your kingdom here on earth.
We pray these and all things in the name of Christ, whose healing spirit overflowed into all who even touched his cloak, and who taught us to pray together…

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

CTW: do you want to be healed?

Do you want to be healed?
Yes, but there’s too many problems just seems so hopeless
Do you want to be healed?
Yes, but I don’t want to do the work
Do you want to be healed?
Yes, but someone always seems to be blocking my way
Let us worship the one who makes the path straight, the mountains low, and the valleys high.

Submitted by Rev. Shannon Meacham, Ashland Presbyterian Church, Cockeysville MD

CTW: broken places

One: Healing God, we come today seeking your presence in our broken places.

All: In our own stories, we have struggles, we carry burdens, and mask our shame.  

One: Help us find the courage to reach out to you in all places—not just in the church, but also out on the streets.

All: May we touch the hem of your garment and be reminded of your words—that we are enough—that our faith has made us well.  

One: We invite you into our hearts and welcome the transformation you continually inspire!

All: Let us turn to you with our whole heart, mind, soul, and strength. Let us worship God. 

 

Submitted by Rev. Rob Smith, Spirit of Life Presbyterian, Apple Valley, MN

confession: obedience, courage, faith

One:    Loving God, you offer us your whole self, and ask us to trust and obey.
All:     We confess that sometimes it is hard to trust and hard to walk your path.
When we ignore your call and follow our own way instead, forgive us.
One:    Lord Jesus, you offer us not just healing, but wholeness.
All:     We confess that we’re often not interested in that inner work, only in just enough to continue on our way without facing those things that keep us from you.
When we allow fear to rule, rather than standing up with courage, forgive us.
One:    Holy Spirit, you bring new life into every place.
We confess that sometimes we like things just the way they are, and the newness is scary.
When we insist on seeing before believing, forgive us.
One:    Holy God, fill us again with your grace, your hope, your peace,
All:     and help us to be your faithful people in the world.

~silence~

One:    We pray in the name of the One who disrupts the world with love, Jesus the Christ.
All:     Amen.

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

CTW: hear, see, call, and heal us

Leader: Brother Jesus, We pray this morning that you hear, see, call and heal us.
People: Jesus, have mercy on us!
Leader: Sometimes we are deaf to your voice. Other times, we can hear you so clearly that we are guides for others, pointing the way to you. Call us now.
People: Son of David, have mercy on us!
Leader: Sometimes we are blind to your signs and wonders all around us. Sometimes we can see clearly where the path ahead lies. Show us your way now.
People: Teacher, let us see again!
All: Brother Jesus, we pray this morning that you hear, see, call and heal us. Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Jennifer Brownell, Portland, Oregon

call to confession / declaration of grace: renewed

Call to Confession:

Too often, we ignore our need to be renewed,
and our responsibility to be a renewing presence in the world…
So please join me in the prayer of confession, printed in the bulletin,
followed by a moment of silent reflection and personal confession…

Declaration of Grace

This is good news:

We were not created to be static human beings…
immoveable, unalterable, and unyielding;
and God responds to our stubborn resistance to be renewed,
not with violent threats,
but with graceful patience and healing mercy.

So let’s sing and give thanks to God!

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