a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

CTW: called by name

We have been claimed by the God who calls us children.
We, the redeemed, have been called by name.
As with the Israelites, God promises to pass with us through the water.
We will not fear, for God is with us!
The rivers shall not overwhelm us for God is our guide and our protector.
Through God’s saving grace, the waters that tested us
are now the waters that wash us and nourish us.
Great is the Fount of Every Blessing,
ever flowing, ever redeeming, ever claiming us as God’s children.
Come, let us worship the God who washes us in grace.

Submitted by Rev Stephen M. Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY

Hymn: Thus Says the Lord, Our God

Below is a hymn that I recently composed that was inspired by the words of Isaiah 43:1-7, the Old Testament lectionary text for Baptism of the Lord Sunday (Year C) – January 10th, 2016.

It is dedicated to my dear friend, Rev. Joseph Taber, Pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Lowell, North Carolina on the event of his 29th birthday.

It is sung to the tune, ENGELBERG, ( which is commonly used to sing the hymn “We Know That Christ is Raised.”


Submitted by Rev. Stephen M Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY. Permission is given for congregational use–please do not remove copyright information.

confession: we do not see

One:    Do you not perceive it?

All:     No, God, we confess that often we are blind to the new thing you are doing.

One:    So often we are not looking, and sometimes we choose not to see.

All:     We are comfortable with the way things are—we weary of the call to your newness.

One:    Sometimes we see, but our hearts are hardened and we look away, making excuses.

All:     But you call us to respond, to live in your kingdom now.

One:    Forgive our status-quo caution, our focus on self-preservation rather than on your kingdom.

All:     Forgive our narrow vision and insistence that you fit into our plans.

One:    Open us to the movement of your Spirit,

All:     and give us hearts ready to be generous in response.

sung: Kyrie Eleison



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

POP: Baptism of the Lord

Your voice, O Lord…your voice is powerful and sweet,
tender yet awe-inspiring,
sometimes overwhelming, sometimes unheard.
We give you thanks that you spoke the world into being,
and that you continue to speak through your people and your creation.
We give you thanks for the Word Made Flesh,
and pray that your word would be made flesh again in this place.
Come into our world again, God, and speak your healing word
to those who are broken,
to those who are grieving,
to those who need work,
to those who despair,
to those whose lives are marred by violence or hate,
to those who struggle through flood and flame.
Remind them again and again and again: You are my beloved, precious and treasured,
and I am with you to the end of the age.
Speak, Lord, that we may be whole.

Even as we pray this, we wonder.
We want to hear your voice, but instead we hear our own.
We want to hear your voice, but instead we hear the racket around us.
We want to hear your voice, but instead we hear nothing.
Where is the voice that twists cedars, the voice that calls prophets,
the voice that creates light, the voice that makes animals play?
Where is the voice that brings peace?
Where is the voice that calls our name with nothing but Love?

Lead us again beside your still water, O Lord,
and then trouble those waters with your Spirit
that we might find there your living water,
refreshment and strength as we seek your way.

Open our ears and eyes to you, O God, in the most unlikely of places…
in promises made and kept, in still small voices and in loud raucous laughter,
in the clink of forks against plates, in warm socks, in tired smiles,
in a drip of water, incessant…
open our ears.

We listen.


We pray these and all things in the name of Christ, who taught us to pray together, Our Father…


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

confession: afraid

Let us join together in confessing our sins and our faith:

You call us out, Lord. You call us by name. You call us to bring redemption and hope to desolate places and ____ people. We confess that we are afraid. We are afraid of what others will think. We are afraid we might get hurt. We are afraid we might get taken advantage of. Help us in our fears, Lord. Strengthen us with your resolve.

A moment of silent prayer.

Through Jesus God revealed the truth of what is possible.
Through Jesus God showed us the Way.
Through Jesus do not have to be afraid.
Lord, help us to trust you; help us to lean into you and let you show us the way.

Through Christ a Way has been revealed that leads us on a journey of learning, maturing, and growing in our understanding and faith. Trust this good news and trust God.
Through Jesus Christ we are healed of our fears, forgiven for our sins, and nourished for this journey. Thanks be to God!


Submitted by Rev. Eric Ledermann, University Presbyterian Church, Tempe AZ.

CTW: called

The Lord has called us by name, called us out!
We are here, is that not enough?
We have been called for a purpose, to offer hope for the world.
Where can this hope be found?
It is within you, that yearning for something bigger than yourself.
What do we do with it?
We speak the truth of God’s grace, mercy and love. We live the truth every moment of our lives as best we can.
It sounds too hard, it seems too big!
And that is what Jesus came to do: to help us, guide us, encourage us. Come, let us worship the Lord, the Almighty!


Submitted by Rev. Eric Ledermann, University Presbyterian Church, Tempe AZ

you may think… (call to confession)

We may think that once we’ve come to the font, experienced confirmation, joined the church, served on a team, or been here awhile, we’ve got it made. No matter what we think of ourselves—whether we believe ourselves perfect or irretrievably broken or anywhere in between, God is continually calling us to streams of living water. Before God, and with the people of God, let us confess our failings.


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

confession: called and promised

One: You have called us by name, and we belong to You.
All: And we confess that sometimes we can’t hear,
and sometimes we don’t want to belong to anyone.
We like our independence.
One: You called us through the water and into new life, into new hope, into new community.
All: Forgive us when our answer is “if it’s convenient for me.”
One: We make promises to guide and nurture, to support and encourage, to learn and serve,
All: and often we do not keep those promises.

~silent prayer~

One: Faithful God, call us again, forgive us our brokenness, and lead us by your still waters.
All: Help us to live as you created us: for your glory. Amen.


Assurance of Forgiveness

Friends, the Lord who keeps promises says “I have called you by name, you are mine.” Believe and live the good news:
In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven. Thanks be to God! Amen.


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

CTW: why?

Leader: Do not fear, for God has redeemed you!
People: I hear God say: “I have called you by name; you are mine.”
Leader: God gives all the treasures of the world in exchange for you!
People: Why?
Leader: The word of the Lord: “Because you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you.”
ALL: Alleluia! Let us worship the Lord!

based on Isaiah 43, Submitted by Rev. Mary Beene, Faith Presbyterian Church, Rincon, GA.