a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Confession: sin is a hard word

Lord, sin is a hard word. I try so hard.
I do not do the good I want to do.

Is sin unavoidable, so that the world can see your grace?
I do not do the good I mean to do.

The broken frustrations of the world surround me and are within me.
I seek your will, forgetting that it has found me.

I long to feel a flood of forgiveness, to be transfigured, to be different- somehow, someway.
But you made me, you know me, you love me.

Forgive my sins- what I do, what I avoid.
Forgive my sins- what I say that should go unsaid, what I hold back that should be shouted.

Forgive my sins- the successes I credit to myself, forgetting your Spirit.
Forgive my sins- the shortcomings I see in others, forgetting my own.

Forgive us. Renew us. Transfigure us.

Silence for reflection

The God of creation does not begin work only to abandon it. The good thing that God has begun in you will continue until the day of Christ’s return and, then, eternally. Hear and receive in your hearts and minds to forgiveness of all your sins, consolation for all your griefs, affirmation of your gifts, and hope for your tomorrows. All of this is true and possible, through Jesus Christ- our Savior and Lord!
AMEN.

 

Submitted by Rev. Julia Seymour, Lutheran Church of Hope, Anchorage AK

Confession: season of anxiety

Jesus our Christ, Prince of Peace, Savior of the Creation, we praise you.  We give you thanks for this holy time of preparing for your birth, of renewing our calling as your people.  And yet as get closer and closer to the stable, we acknowledge that we have fallen short of following Your Way.  We have allowed the allure of other gods in this season to draw us in.  We have permitted anxiety to rule our lives and fallen victim to the myth of scarcity when you have already prepared the Table of abundance for us.  We are always in need of your renewal, and so we open our souls today that the Baby in the Manger–full of trouble and full of opportunity will be our only Guide.  We offer our very selves to you this day, this community, all of who we are.  Walk alongside us O Lord our God, who is always birthing and renewing.  In Christ we pray.  Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Shannan Vance-Ocampo, Watchung Avenue Presbyterian Church, North Plainfield, NJ

call to confession / declaration of grace: in the midst of the song

Call to Confession:

Even in the midst of great joy and celebration,
we know that our lives don’t always reflect God’s intentions…
So please join me in the prayer of confession, printed in the bulletin,
followed by a moment of silent reflection and personal confession…

Declaration of Grace:

This is good news:

The song does not ever have to end…
the joy does not ever have to be forgotten…
and the celebration does not ever have to fade…
because God’s grace does not ever stop surrounding us…
loving us…
healing us…
and making us new, each and every day!

So let’s continue to sing and give thanks to God!

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)

illumination: hush our sure grasp of your truth

Holy God,
in the midst of the loud “Hosannas!”,
as the waving palm leaves rustle in unison,
quiet our pre-conceived notions…
and hush our sure grasp of your truth…
so that we may, perhaps, discover something
about your vision…your hope…your purpose for our life…
that changes the way we think, act, and do.
Amen.

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)

CTW: run the risk of being transformed

You may not see it…but the air is full of exciting energy!
You may not notice it…but something is stirring that cannot be contained!
You may not recognize it…but nestled deep within each one of us…
and within this community…are life-changing seeds of renewal!
So let’s sing, “Hosanna!”…and run the risk of being transformed…
As we worship God, together!

submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)

confession: we aren’t sure

God of something new…
every year we purchase palm branches,
waving them with one hand
while holding hymnals in the other;
we sing (and sometimes even shout), “Hosanna!”;
and we imagine Jesus riding on the back of a donkey,
as we try to get into the spirit of this strange parade.
We long for something new…
and you surprise us with something unexpected.
You offer us a radical approach to life…
but we aren’t sure we trust your way of doing things.
Help us see your perfect vision for creation…
and help us find the courage to strive for it…
so we may be a lasting grain of hope in the world…
even now…as we offer our silent confessions…

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)

call to confession / declaration of grace: renewed

Call to Confession:

Too often, we ignore our need to be renewed,
and our responsibility to be a renewing presence in the world…
So please join me in the prayer of confession, printed in the bulletin,
followed by a moment of silent reflection and personal confession…

Declaration of Grace

This is good news:

We were not created to be static human beings…
immoveable, unalterable, and unyielding;
and God responds to our stubborn resistance to be renewed,
not with violent threats,
but with graceful patience and healing mercy.

So let’s sing and give thanks to God!

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)

illumination: imaginations gone wild

As these words become pictures in our imaginations,
blow our minds…
renew the passion in our hearts…
and dislodge our settled lives
so that our imaginations might run wildly
towards your vision for creation.
Let it be so!

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)

call to confession / declaration of grace: stubborn resistance

Too often, we ignore our need to be renewed,
and our responsibility to be a renewing presence in the world.
So please join me in the prayer of confession…

< INSERT POC HERE>

This is good news:

We were not created to be static human beings…
immoveable, unalterable, and unyielding;
and God responds to our stubborn resistance to be renewed,
not with violent threats,
but with graceful patience and healing mercy.

So let’s sing and give thanks to God!

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)

confession: ready, willing, and able?

God of our renewed lives,
we talk about being better people…
doing things differently…
living more disciplined lives;
but we always talk about doing it tomorrow…
or next week…
or after the beginning of the new year.
Meanwhile, your Spirit surrounds us…
and we swat you away like a pesky fly…
because we don’t have the time, or the energy,
to be transformed.
So lead us to a quiet place of readiness…
and inspire, in us, a willing attitude…
so that we may be able to welcome your newness…
even now…as we offer our silent confessions…

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)