a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Confession: God shines

The presence of God shines all around us, and yet our faces are buried in our phones, and our minds are on the tasks that are left undone, oblivious to the miracle of the Holy Spirit that surrounds. Let us together lift up our heads and open our eyes to see the work of God that abounds.

God of the snowfall and coming spring,
Spirit of the journey that leads us to the height of the mountain,
We open our hearts to you and to one another
the many ways we fall short to live into the fullness of life in you.
We create schedules that add to the burden,
And further shelter us from hearing your voice.
We add to the shadows finding the worst in the world around us,
Rather than living as instruments of your hope.
How quick we add to the discord with one another,
unable to see your face in our neighbor
in our disagreements we often miss the transference
of our own scars, disappointments, and should haves,
Help us again today to be renewed by your ever flowing grace
and unending love
Open all of who we are to your holy imagination of who we are yet to become restoring us in your glory. Praise be to God.

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

morning prayer: the table we surround

God of imagination and creativity…
we gather from many different places…
we gather from many different contexts and situations…
we gather with many different questions,
and many different hopes…
but we’re all here for the same reason…
to discover the joy of a
safe, barrier-free, intentional community.

This table we surround
has reminded us this week
that life is not always as you intend it to be.

We often encounter these same signs.
No Trespassing!
Keep Out!
Private Property!
Under Surveillance!

And when we’re not encountering them ourselves,
we’re nailing them to our own fences.

This table we surround
has reminded us this week
that life is not always as you intend it to be.

And yet,
it also paints for us
your perfect vision for creation.

A vision that does not exclude.

A vision that celebrates the good-ness of your creation.

A vision that does not reach full satisfaction
until everyone has sat…
until everyone has eaten…
until everyone has drank…
and until everyone has loved and been loved.

So help us all…this day…
to fully discover your image within us…
to draw our own pictures…
to paint it with our fingers…
to color outside the lines with our jumbo boxes of crayons…
and to make it all into one, big, messy…
yet absolutely perfect…
collage of creation
that dares to challenge our deep-rooted prejudices
and quiets the cacophony of pre-conceived notions
that plague our minds.

Give us the courage
to embrace the energy and enthusiasm
that flows deep within us…
so that our discussions today
might inspire us…
transform us…
and move us forward.

We look for this inspiration…
even now…
as we gaze upon the Christ…
whose words and actions
challenge us to a life
that moves each of us far beyond ourselves
toward every OTHER that surrounds us…
even now…
as we sing that familiar prayer of Jesus together…

(We closed with a sung version of “The Lord’s Prayer”)

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY), this prayer was used in a morning prayer service at Unconference East at Stony Point Conference center (Stony Point, NY) on May 22, 2012.