a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Invitation: we are not alone

In the broken and messy world in which we live in there are many things to worry about: debilitating illness, hate inspired violence, or the uncertainty of our future well being. It is easy to close ourselves off emotionally, physically, and spiritually to seal ourselves and our hearts away behind doors forged from fear. Yet despite our efforts, Jesus enters in unhindered and says, “Peace be with you.” He encourages us to engage the worries, doubts, and fears we face filled by the Holy Spirit, our advocate…we are not alone.

At this table, we remember the life, death, and resurrection of our savior who bids us to go out sharing Good News and practice acts of forgiveness with ourselves, our neighbors, and our enemies. This table is for those who feel certain and those who feel frightened. This table is for those who feel filled by the Spirit and those who are seeking to be filled. This table does not belong to the Presbyterian Church, it belongs to Jesus Christ—and it is he who invites all to share in the bread and cup of peace, love, and life everlasting.

Submitted by Rev. Andrew Black, Unity Presbyterian Church, Terre Haute, IN

Opening words for Easter 2

Call to Worship

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week,

Jesus came and stood among the disciples and said: Peace be with you!

The Risen Christ is with us now, offering us the gift of peace.

Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

                We too have seen the Lord. Let us rejoice and give thanks!

Let us worship God!

 

Opening Prayer

Living God,

When our Risen Lord appeared to his disciples,

he greeted them in peace

and breathed the Holy Spirit upon them.

Breathe your Spirit upon us

                as we gather to welcome Christ

                with glad hearts and joyful voices.

Meet us here, we pray;

open our ears to hear you speaking

and our hearts to respond with joy.

Fashion us into an Easter people,

and send us out

to proclaim what we have seen and heard:

Christ is risen. He is risen indeed! Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Sudie Niesen Thompson, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Wilmington, DE

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.

Invocation
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.

CTW: early on the first day of the week

Call to Worship     (John 20:1 and Psalm 118:19-23)
Leader One: Early on the first day of the week…
Leader Two: Open to us your gates of righteousness,
All: That we may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.
Leader One: While it was still dark…
Leader Two: This is the gate of the Lord;
All: The righteous shall enter through it.
Leader One: Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw…
Leader Two: We thank you that you have answered us;
All: We thank you that you have become our salvation.
Leader One: …that the stone had been removed from the tomb.
Leader Two: The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
All: This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes!
Submitted by Rev. Martha Spong, First Congregational Church, North Yarmouth Maine.