a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

invocation: bold to worship you

O God, as a hen gathers her brood under her wing, so you have gathered us all here.  As the father runs to welcome the prodigal home, you too have eagerly opened your arms to welcome us into this holy space.  As your assembled people, help us to welcome you into our hearts.  Teach us to open ourselves to receive your word, your call, and your love.  Make us bold to worship and serve you, now and always.  Amen.

submitted by Rev. Betsy Turner, Luther Hays Presbyterian Church, Hayston, GA

invocation: pleasing

Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe.
We praise you for the goodness of your creation,
the power of your love,
and the signs of your presence among us.
We gather here to worship you,
and we call on you to come and speak among us.
May what we do here be as pleasing to you as it is pleasing for us
to be here together in your name.  Amen.


submitted by Rev. Betsy Turner, serving Luther Hays Presbyterian Church, Hayston, GA

invocation: root us

Gracious God, we gather to worship You and to consider the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. He existed before all things, and all things are held together in Him. Root us in faith. Keep us secure in the Good News. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Martha Spong

invocation: God of the cross

God of the Cross, be with us now as we begin again the Lenten journey.
In this time of worship, and in the days ahead,
strip us of our attachments and addictions,
that we might bare our souls to you;
render us deaf and blind to the distractions of want,
that we might hear and see only the demands of the Gospel;
and break through our spiritual blockades,
that we might be assailed by your relentless love.
We pray in the name of the self-giving, self-sacrificing Christ.  Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Daniel Mayes, First Christian Church, Spencer, IA.

invocation: pick the locks that hold our hearts shut

Triune God,
you are three and yet one,
the image we are born to resemble.
We gather as the body of Christ
many and yet one
through the mysterious power of your Spirit.
In this time of worship
pick the locks which hold our hearts shut
that we may love you
that we may love each other
with the same totality of love which you love us.


Submitted by Rev. Dan Mayes, First Christian Church of Spencer, IA.

invocation: hard to live new life

Heavenly Parent, you have called us your children.
And you have called us to new life.
Sometimes that makes it hard to live in this world, where other people are so separate from you.
Help us to find the inner resources to stay in touch with you.
Help us to find our source in Christ Jesus, who taught us to pray saying…


Submitted by Rev. Martha Spong, First Congregational Church, North Yarmouth Maine.


call to worship and prayer: now what?

One: Christ is risen!
Many: Now what?
One: The disciples clung to each other. They huddled in the upper room, waiting.
Many: Would the authorities come to take them, too?
One: Instead, Jesus himself appeared, despite the locked door.
Many: What next?
One: Next came doubts and questions, assurances and instructions, and a last word:
Many: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
One: Christ is risen! Now what?
Many: Now we come together to wait for him.
One: May the risen Christ bless us as we worship what we have not seen, yet believe.

God of new life, move through the locked doors of our hearts. Open us to your love moving in the world. Instruct us as you taught the disciples. Make a new church of us, a blessed place where we live in unity. Help us to learn from those first believers who prayed as we do, using the words Jesus taught, etc.

Submitted by Rev. Martha Spong, First Congregational Church, North Yarmouth Maine.