a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

confession: streams of…

One:    You are the Source of all Life, O God, offering yourself to us beyond our imagination.

All:     Yet so often what comes streaming out of our own hearts is not grace, but gossip; not compassion, but comparison; not peace, but passive-aggression; not hope, but hurt.

~silence~

One:    You are the Source of all Life, O God.

All:      Forgive us for turning to other sources, gorging ourselves with that which does not satisfy. Fill us once again with faith, hope, and love, and connect us to you so that we may be springs of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, generosity, and self-control. We ask in the name of Jesus the Christ, who quenches thirst with living water. Amen.

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

elemental Advent Candles

One: Deeply planted in the mystery of life
is God’s love
gracing the world with presence and purpose.

All: We wait, longing for the dawning of God’s new day.
We prepare, trying to make room,
expectant yet despairing, hopeful yet wondering.
God too longs for the world’s transformation.
God too prepares—making us into vessels of light and love,
getting us ready to receive anew the gift.

One:

(week 1) Deeply planted in the mystery of life
is a spark
holding back darkness with possibility.

(week 2) Deeply planted in the mystery of life
is a breath
whispering hope in the silence.

(week 3) Deeply planted in the mystery of life
is a stream of living water
filling dry lands and dry people.

(week 4) Deeply planted in the mystery of life
is God’s presence
living among us, living promise, living Word.

All sung:
(insert your sung response here! We are using “As we light the advent candle” from Ruth Schram’s Light the Advent Candle)

 

~~note: you can choose whether to simply switch out the weekly section, or add on each week, keeping the previous week’s reading as well)~~

 

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

prayers of the people: seeking

Prayers of the People (based on Isaiah 55:6-13)

Lord, we have come seeking you this morning,
knowing that you are near,
believing that you want to be found.
We have confessed our sins,
Of word and deed
Of silence and apathy
We give thanks for your mercy and pardon,
freely given as we turn to you.

With feet firmly on the ground, the sky seems so very distant.
And though we feel your presence as close as the embrace of a loved one,
Our understanding of you – of your thoughts and your ways –
Remains as distant as the clouds.
And yet we trust you.

We trust that your Spirit
Will enliven and enlighten us, illuminating the Scriptures.
Like rain and snow provide healing water for the earth
Your Word quenches the thirst of our hearts

You send rain, You sent your Son,
You send your Spirit, You sent your Word
All to accomplish what you desire
Each to achieve purposes you ordained.

And you send us
Like the grain that buds and flourishes in fertile ground
We live to offer seeds of hope and the bread of life to our neighbors

We look to the day, Holy One, when you lead us out in joy and peace
When the mountains and trees sing and clap
And people sing out in praise of the one who was, and is, and is to come

But for now, we trust that
When we turn our faces to you,
When we lift our hearts and prayers to you
You will hear
We come as people ready to move mountains.
We come as people borrowing the faith of others
Trusting our pleas will achieve their purposes.

~specific concerns may be spoken~

We pray all of this, as well as those things left unspoken, in the name of Jesus the Christ…

Submitted by Laura Viau, Orlando, FL (MDiv student at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary)

confession: Isaiah 55

A prayer of confession for (World) Communion Sunday, based on Isaiah 55.
Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church

One: God, you call us to come share a rich feast
All: but we often choose to spend ourselves
for things that do not satisfy.
One: You call us to listen carefully and to delight in you,
All: but we often choose to look our own way
and impose our own will.
One: You call us to open our doors and our tables
to stranger as well as friend,
All: but we often choose to close
our doors and hearts to those unlike us.
One: You call us to seek you, to call on you, to find you near us,
All: but we often choose to ignore your cries
for justice and your plea for boundary-less love.
One: Your thoughts are higher than ours, O God,
and your ways are higher than our ways.
All: Forgive us,
Invite us again to your feast,
fill us with your word and your Spirit,
that we might go out in joy and come back in peace.
Amen.