a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Blessing for teachers

Scripture reminds us that teachers are a gift from Christ himself to the church. Together with apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors, our teachers equip God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up, find unity, and mature in faith until we attain ‘the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.’ That’s no small task! Therefore, today we say THANK YOU. Thank you, teachers and leaders, for answering Christ’s call; we honor your service and offer our support, our prayers and our heartfelt gratitude.
Let us pray:

For helping the congregation fulfill our baptismal promises, may God richly bless you.

For sharing your love of Christ with God’s children of all ages –from toddlers to teens to retirees -may God richly bless you.

For inviting your students to dive into Scripture with both head and heart, may God richly bless you.

For preparing lessons that spark curiosity and stimulate discussion, may God richly bless you.

For challenging us to ask the hard questions and have courageous conversations, may God richly bless you.

For crafting activities that spur creativity and allow talents to grow, may God richly bless you.

For late-night lesson plans and last-minute substitute teaching, may God richly bless you.

For lock-ins, mission trips, escape rooms and bounce-house duties, may God sustain you!

For equipping us to be sent out into God’s world to share the love of Christ, may God richly bless you.

For living lives that in and of themselves teach us so much about what it means to be a disciple, may God richly bless you.

Bless you for being just who you are -men and women of faith who teach us to love God, our neighbors and ourselves. We thank you, we love you, we honor you and we pray God’s blessings on you this day and always! And all God’s people said: AMEN!

Submitted by Jerie Lukefahr

Blue Christmas prayer

God of comfort, come gently among us this evening; hear our prayers, restore our souls.

Piece together our loose ends; smooth over our rough edges; restore our souls.

When lights and decorations fail to delight our senses, and serve only to deepen our pain and grief, restore our souls.

When we clench our fists in anger, open our hands to receive your grace.

When we are worn out and beat down, surround us with your peace.

When our doubts outweigh our hopes, increase our faith.

When we have no energy left to love, love us all the more.

When we cannot bring ourselves to pray, pray for us, as we remember how Jesus prayed, saying… OUR FATHER…

 

Submitted by Jerie Lukefahr, CRE

affirmation: in every place

We believe in God: omnipresent, in every time, and in every place, generating and sustaining all life, nurturing relationship with Creation.

We believe in Jesus, the Christ, who lived and loved, taught and died; the One who conquered death and who surprises us with grace, when we least expect or deserve it.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, who journeys with us and makes our faith possible, in every situation and every circumstance.

We believe that every place we pause to recognize the mystery of our Triune God, is a sacred place, from sanctuaries on North Sixth Street to sunrises over the Atlantic Ocean. Surely, God is with us in every time and in every place, and we are grateful.

 

Submitted by Jerie Lukefahr, Commissioned Ruling Elder (PCUSA)

*Loosely based on Gen 28:10-19 – can be adapted to reflect local elements. 

CTW and Assurance: God is in this place

Call to Worship:
Leader:          Surely, God is in this place,
People:          and calls us to worship in spirit and in truth.
Leader:          Surely, the Lord is in this place
People:          receiving our songs and praise.
All:                 Surely, God is in this place! Let us praise the Lord!

 

Assurance of grace:
Leader:          Surely, God is here, reconciling us through the gift of grace.
People:          Surely, Christ is here, bringing the Good News of our salvation.
Leader:          Surely, the Spirit is here, leading us to share this gift with others.
All:                 Thanks be to God, God is always with us.

 

Submitted by Jerie Lukefahr, Commissioned Ruling Elder (PCUSA)

Earth Care affirmation

We believe that somehow, God breathed life into the world and declared that it is all good– from the egrets winging their way over Eagan’s creek, and the creek itself – to the manatees meandering through the marina, and the inter-coastal itself**. We believe that God expects us to both enjoy and oversee this creation – to use it wisely, for our benefit and for that of our neighbor and to ensure that it will continue to reflect God’s creativity for generations to come. We believe that through Christ, all things are redeemed and will be made new – our own sinful selves as well as the world around us. We believe that every blade of grass and every drop of rain are miracles that testify to the work of the Holy Spirit. By living responsibly, we express our gratitude for the blessings of nature, in which we live, work, play and worship. Thanks be to God, our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer.

 

(**substitute your local environmental features)

 

Submitted by Jerie Lukefahr

Advent confession: we’ve bought in

Well, loving God, we’ve done it again. We’ve bought into – literally and figuratively- the messages bombarding us and telling us that in order to herald this Advent season, we need to shop: shop earlier, shop ‘round the clock, shop now and pay later, shop for folks we haven’t even spoken to in years. And so we do. Then we blame the season itself when we feel tired and burned out. We are in need of your comfort, your forgiveness and your peace. Come, Holy Spirit, refresh us, reorient us and show us the True Wonder of these days.

 

Submitted by Jerie Lukefahr

CTW: light with us

One:  We come, hoping to find God here;
All:     The Lord has always been with us.
One:  We wait, anticipating a word of Good News;
All:     The Word has always been with us;
One:   We watch for that light that shines in the dark;
All:      A Child will light our way! Come and worship.

 

Submitted by Jerie Lukefahr