a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Confession: we don’t want to understand

Holy God, we like to claim that your way is mysterious and we are uncertain how to follow. We confess that we don’t want to understand the fast that you choose. You call us to loose the bonds of injustice, to let prisoners free, to break every yoke, to bring the homeless into our house, to feed our neighbours and pray for our enemies. We make it sound like a difficult metaphor so we don’t have to act on your word, because we don’t like to be uncomfortable. Forgive our apathy, our wilful ignorance, our false modesty, and our unexamined privilege. Create in us a clean heart, and lead us into a Holy Lent…and beyond, to abundant life for all your creation. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

CTW: the Spirit is with us

One: As we walk into the wilderness, setting our face toward the cross,
All: The Holy Spirit is with us.
One: As we focus and prepare, fasting by letting go and by taking on,
All: The Holy Spirit is with us.
One: Facing temptations, finding help from unexpected quarters,
All: The Holy Spirit is with us.
One: Come, let us seek God’s way together.


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

Confession: we resist

God who pushes and pulls, coaxing and sending, we confess to you that we often resist your movement, wishing you would let us go our own way. If we’re completely honest, we give in to temptation more often than we resist. We confess that we have preferred to gorge ourselves on things other than your word; we have longed for power over others; we have bargained with your promise and begged for minor miracles. Forgive us, Holy One. Show us your way in the wilderness. Guide us to your path, and teach us to follow. We pray in the name of Christ, Amen.


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

Confession: we don’t know what to confess

Call to Confession
Sometimes we must let go of our nets in order to follow Jesus.
Let us confess our reluctance to follow,
and examine what we must let go of in order to follow Jesus.

Prayer of Confession
We confess that we do not often know what to confess, O Lord. We are so consumed by our own projects that we don’t always hear your voice. We know that you speak through the suffering of others, the curiosity of one who needs to know they are not alone, and the opportunity to demonstrate love and forgiveness. Help us, Lord, to know our faults and turn from them. Hear us now, even as we confess our own unwillingness to hear you.
(silent prayer)
Thank you, Lord, for hearing our prayers.
Guide us in the true way of life as we follow you today. Amen.


Submitted by Rev. Zach Sasser, First Presbyterian Church, Lafayette, Louisiana

A Spark of…. Advent Candle Liturgies (year B)

Week 1 (Hope) Candle (Isaiah 64, Mark 13)
One: Come, Emmanuel.
The world is over-full of things that do not satisfy.
We watch and prepare, for divine presence to shake our complacency.
~candle is lit~
All: A spark of hope lights the way—
Clearing our vision and renewing our minds
To recognize God’s glory in our midst.


Week 2 (Peace) Candle (Isaiah 40, Mark 1)
One: Come, Emmanuel.
The world is not ready, the field is still uneven,
Yet we watch and prepare to see God’s glory revealed, together.
~candle is lit~
All: A spark of peace lights the way—
Despite our fast-fading courage,
We w
ill follow the voice calling us in the wilderness toward Shalom.


Week 3 (Joy) Candle (Isaiah 61, John 1)
One: Come, Emmanuel.
Days grow short and to-do lists lengthen.
We watch and prepare, for the Word is coming, full of grace and truth.
~candle is lit~
All: A spark of joy lights the way—
Though the flame flickers against the shadows,
We will rejoice in God’s covenant of everlasting love.


Week 4 (Love) Candle (Luke 1)
One: Come, Emmanuel.
The time draws near, each moment magnified
As we watch and prepare, for God is doing great things!
~candle is lit~
All: A spark of love lights the way—
Turning the world around to match the promise:
That we love because God first loved us.


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson.

Confession: fading away

Holy and loving God, we hear your voice in the wilderness, and we come, seeking a glimpse of your glory in these days of lengthening darkness. We look for your star shining in the night sky, for the flickering candle holding back the shadows, and we strain our ears to listen for your word amidst the clamor of the festive season.
We confess that we don’t always want to hear what you are saying. We don’t want to turn and go another way, nor to stop and wait in the quiet when there is fun to be had. We are skeptical of comfort that is more than warm fuzzy feelings, or that asks something of us. We confess that we are prone to fading away like flowers and grass, unable to withstand challenges to our way of thinking or our way of life. And yet still you call, still you tell us to take comfort, still you come among us and live within us and believe in us.
Forgive us, O God, our fickle hearts, so often full of things other than you. Forgive our tendency to wander away, to prefer shallow comfort to your deep peace. Open us again to your love, that we may walk with you in every way. We pray in the name of Christ, the prince of peace. Amen.


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

Confession/Pardon: Real Salt, Spiritual Wounds

Holy and Beloved God, you are the great peacemaker, who brings together many different parts and makes the one united body of Christ. Yet, we often turn aside from the peace you offer, and assume that we alone have it right. Instead of listening to your call to comfort one another, we accidentally or purposefully rub salt in the spiritual wounds of our neighbors. Help us to stop making things worse, and instead offer cool, calm comfort to your warm and wonderful people, all in the name of your peacemaking. Amen.

My friends, this is the good news of Jesus Christ: God offers us grace for our mistakes and errors, and calls us to reconcile with one another. In Christ, we have hope for true and just peace.

Just as God forgives us, so we too shall forgive each other. Thanks be to God!


Submitted Rev. Lucus Levy Keppel, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bixby, Okla.

dedication: surpassing gift

Almighty God, we give thanks for the surpassing gift of your Beloved, the Christ. As we welcome him again into our lives, we commit ourselves to the work of his kingdom. Receive the gifts we offer as signs of our commitment to live according to Jesus’ good news, by which we are redeemed. Thanks be to God! Amen.


Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, Cedar Rapids, IA