a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

POP: hear us

Hear us, O God, when we call upon you!
Your love sets us free from the power of death;
your mercy frees us from doubt and fear;
your promise frees us to serve you alone.
You do wonders for your people, O Lord:
hear our prayers as we call out to you.
Guard those who face anger, fear, or trouble;
keep your people from sin, and reconcile our hearts.
Protect all who seek and serve you,
and bless those who give their lives to your mission.
Turn your face toward those who long for better times,
who long to see your light once again.
For all who suffer and sorrow, let there be gladness overflowing.
We put our trust in you, O Lord,
for your promises alone are sure.
We pray in the name of the risen Christ, saying together:
The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

confession: help us act on hope

Faithful God, your promise is forever true, your care for us is sure. We confess that we have often believed we will have to take care of ourselves, forgetting your promise and your call. We look at the world, and we choose fear rather than hope and love. When it seems life is unraveling, we look for ways to defend ourselves and ensure our security and our desire, rather than following your way. Forgive us, Lord, and give us courage to hope—and to act on hope—in the face of fear. Amen.    ~silence~

 

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

CTW: look to the stars

One: Look to the stars—filling the sky with light!
All: God’s word is a light, shining bright in the darkness.
One: Look to the stars—spread across the universe, farther than any eye has seen.
All: God is everywhere present, whether we go to the ends of the earth or depths of the sea.
One: Look to the stars—more than we even have numbers to count.
All: God’s grace is beyond imagining, beyond language, beyond counting.
One: Look to the stars—signs of God’s promise, shining through all generations.
All: We come to worship God, in whom we trust.

 

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

communion: life blooms

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, Ruler of the universe,
for you have provided for your people.
You have turned manna in the wilderness into the bread of life,
You have turned water from a rock into a spring of everlasting life,
You have turned law into love.
You have called us to this table, to know you in the breaking of bread and the sharing of the cup.
Here is grace, here is promise, here is love, here we see you face to face.

You, Lord, are the one who makes life bloom in the desert.
We give you thanks for your creating spirit, creating still,
and for the hope of your promise.
Where people still wait for fulfillment of your promise, give a glimpse of your glory.
Where people have lost hope, breathe your peace.
Where we have turned our eyes away,
choosing instead only to see what we think we already know
call us once again back to your way and your truth.
May your justice spring up in the desert like a river,
your love grow as tall as the trees,
until your whole creation thrives in your kingdom.

We come today bearing the hurts of the world,
seeking your forgiveness,
seeking your healing,
seeking to know your presence with us as we walk this journey.
Walk with us, Lord, and speak.
Walk with us, and show us your transforming grace at work in places we have left behind,
in people we have dismissed, in action and word together.
Walk with us, and then sit down at table
and open our eyes in the breaking of bread.

We pray now, O God,
that you would pour out your spirit again on us
and on these gifts of bread and wine,
that they might be for us the rich feast of life
and that we might be transformed once again into your people,
joined with your body all around the world,
fed with the bread of grace
and the wine of your everlasting love.
As we are fed and nourished,
send us forth as people of grace–
people who answer the call to build
your kingdom on this earth.

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

 

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

A Litany of Compassion

I promise to see you as a beloved child of God.
We promise to see each person as a beloved child of God.
I promise to listen to you and not assume I know your story.
We promise to listen to each other and hear your stories.
I promise to love you and support you living your life.
We promise to love each other and support each one in living our own lives.
Let us embody the words of 1 John 4:11.
“Friends, since God loves us so much, we also ought to love one another.” Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Susannah DeBenedetto, Christ Congregational Church and Takoma Park Presbyterian Church

confession: we explain away

Call to Confession

When we come together to confess our sin, we find that the closed room of our minds and the locked door of our spirits burst open, making room for the Spirit of God to run wild. When we think we can contain God, we deceive only ourselves—the Spirit is here, and calls us to join the dance. Before God, with the people of God, let us lay down our burdens of brokenness and join what God is doing. Let us pray.

Confession

The wind blows and we hear the sound of it, but we do not know where it comes from.
We try to explain it away, but even our own breath speaks of new things we cannot understand.
We may be together in one place, but we do not speak with one voice, we do not listen with one heart.
We hear, and dismiss, your deeds of power, your call to love those who are different, your insistence that the whole world be included.
You pour out your Spirit, and we squash the vision—it is too big, too unrealistic, too uncertain, too unruly.
You send visions of a future with hope, and we look back instead.
You light the way, and we look for a fire extinguisher, trying to keep ourselves (and you!) safe.
Forgive us, O God. We long for your new life, but we do not know how to live it.

~silence~

Rush into this place again, and fill every nook and cranny with dreams and visions of possibility.
Turn our hushed whispers into proclamations of your grace, in every language of the world.
Lead us out into your future.
Amen. 


Assurance

This is the promise: “I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh—young and old, men and women, rich and poor—and all people will see.” This promise is for you, and for us. No matter who we are or where we have been, the Spirit of the Living God falls fresh, with mercies new every morning. Know that you are forgiven, and let the Spirit speak through you!
Thanks be to God. Amen.

 

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

pastoral prayer: you spoke…

Holy God,

you spoke the world into being

telling a story of life and hope and love.

Still you speak, creating with your word

calling forth light from darkness.

You fill the earth with your glory,

visible to any who look for you.

Give us eyes to see.

We give you thanks for you are faithful.

You have promised your presence,

and your love never fails.

Now make us into agents of your grace.

Make your presence known to others

through our love, our compassion, our helping hands.

Speak your creating story through our voices.

And where darkness reigns and silence deafens,

may your Living Word shine through,

from Ukraine to Sudan and Syria to Korea,

from the streets of Nigeria to the streets of Chicago,

from the halls of congress to the halls of our homes,

let your voice ring out,

telling a story of love so great that death cannot end it,

a story of life for all people,

a story of your presence in, with, and among your people.

We seek you, O God.

Not just your path, but you.

Reveal yourself again in your church,

and in your world.

Show your face, and let your voice be heard.

Take your church by the hand

and lead us along your path,

telling us your story again and again

until we cannot help but tell it too.

It is in you that we live, and move, and have our being,

and so we listen for your heart,

until ours beats in time with yours.

We are your people, Lord, your creation and your beloved.

Make us into your body, loving, serving, and caring for the world.

We pray in the name of Jesus the Christ, the Living Word, who taught us to pray together…

 

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

 

CTW: look forward in faith

One: Look forward in faith, for God’s word will light the path.

All: God’s promise is trustworthy and true!

One: Look forward in hope, for God is always doing a new thing.

All: God’s steadfast love will lead the way.

One: Look forward in faith, for God’s glory will shine in the darkness.

All: God’s grace is alive, and draws us onward.

 

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

confession: under cover of darkness

Your light shines in the darkness, O God, and we confess that sometimes we prefer to hide under cover of darkness, where we are free to participate in injustice, to hurt others and ourselves, to do whatever it takes to get ahead, to operate only in our comfort zone without challenge. We forget that your light of true freedom will shine, calling us to a more excellent way. We forget that the promise of a child is a promise for the future—that there is more beyond us, beyond our desires, beyond our brokenness, beyond our understanding. Forgive our short-sightedness. Forgive our hardened hearts. Forgive our complicity in systems that hurt and abuse your earth, your people, your church, your world. Shine your light again this day, that we may see and follow your path.

 

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

confession: You make promises…

One:    You make a lot of promises, God, and we confess that sometimes we don’t believe them.

All:     It feels like we are alone out here, like we’d better take matters into our own hands.

One:    Your promise of abundant life, your promise of your presence, your promise of a future with hope—sometimes we just can’t see how they can be true.

All:     And yet you call us to run the race, to hope in things we cannot see, to follow though we do not know where you are going.

One:    Forgive us, O God, our insistence on certainty.

All:     Your faithfulness reaches to the skies, beyond what we can imagine. Forgive our fearful hearts, our unwillingness to go into places we don’t know, our idolatry of self-reliance.

One: Reveal to us again your loving presence,

All: that we may grow to reflect your faithfulness.

All sung: Kyrie Eleison

silence

 

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