a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Illumination: teach us to live

Risen Christ, fill us with your Spirit
and speak peace to us through these words of scripture.
As we hear you, let our love overflow
with knowledge and insight,
and teach us to live in you,
to the glory and praise of God. Amen.


Rev. Nathan Williams, Covenant Presbyterian Church. West Des Moines, IA

Dedication—claiming resurrection

God of grace,
you are the source of all we have gained,
but your greatest gift is the new life we receive in Christ.
We offer these gifts as signs of our commitment
to claim Christ’s resurrection as your gift,
for you have claimed us in his life. Amen.


Rev. Nathan Williams, Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines, IA

POP: resurrection light

We give thanks to you, O Lord, for you are good:
your mercy endures forever.
We sing and shout for the joy of your salvation,
secured for us in the resurrection of Jesus Christ!
Your living strength has triumphed!
The power of life has redeemed us!
We declare your saving works, O Mighty One.

Give us grace, O God, to open the gates of your righteousness
so that all your beloved ones may enter.
Let our lives bear witness that you are our salvation.
Christ, the stone which the builders rejected,
has become the cornerstone of your renewed people.
This is your doing, O Lord,
and it is marvelous in our eyes;
let all people rejoice and be glad in it!

We cry hosanna to you, O Lord: save us!
Work out your salvation for those who are in need today,
especially for those who labor under the shadow of death.
Shine your resurrection light upon us
and lead us like a joyful parade into your presence.

You are the God of life, and we thank you;
you are the God of new life, and we exalt you;
you are the God whose mercy endures forever,
and we pray rejoicing in Jesus’ name. Amen.


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

Dedication: proclaim glory

God of life,
in raising Jesus from the dead,
you triumphed over the power of the grave
and opened the way to your kingdom of life.
You have called us to bear witness to your good news.
Let the gifts we dedicate, and the lives we lead,
proclaim the glory of the risen Christ,
in whose name we pray.
Alleluia! Amen.


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

POP–your mercy endures forever

Prayers of the People (based on Psalm 118:14-27)

Lord of life, God of empty tombs, we praise you this Easter day.

You, O Lord, are our strength and our song,

for you have become our salvation!

We give thanks to you, and

We pray to you, O Lord, for you are good;

your mercy endures forever.


We sing with exultation, for you are victorious over death itself,

and so we entrust to you all who have died,

and we put our hope in Christ’s resurrection.

Hold us in our grief, and claim your people for life.

We pray to you, O Lord, for you are good;

your mercy endures forever.


We give you our thanks, O Lord,

for you have opened the gates of righteousness.

You have freed us from all fear and worry,

that we might serve you by serving our neighbor in your name.

Teach us your will and lead us in your ways.

We pray to you, O Lord, for you are good;

your mercy endures forever.


We proclaim your salvation,

the gift of wholeness

in our relationships, our bodies, and our souls.

We continue to seek your redemption

for the broken and rejected parts of our lives.

Work your healing for all we have lifted up,

and build us up once more in your marvelous love.

We pray to you, O Lord, for you are good;

your mercy endures forever.


We rejoice in the gift of this day,

the day of your triumph,

and we give thanks for all those through the years

who have proclaimed the good news of your salvation.

Unite us with each other,

and with your people in Christ throughout the world,

that we might bear witness to your grace.

We pray to you, O Lord, for you are good;

your mercy endures forever.


Your mercy is eternal, O Lord,

and we give you thanks, now and always,

in the name of the risen Christ,

who taught us to pray, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

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

prayer of the day: Easter 2B

Emptier of Tombs:
you raised Jesus
from the grave
so all fears might be banished;
so the locked doors of our hearts
could be flung open;
so our quivering lips
could declare what
we have seen and heard.

Bright Glory of God:
as you stood in the middle
of your friends
on that first Easter night,
come among us now,
in this time and place,
showing us that death and sin
no longer stand in the way
of our life with you.

Breath of Peace:
strengthen us
so we may stand
with all who fear life;
take our hands in yours,
so we may serve all
who are broken with grief;
inspire us to share
the grace which has been breathed
into our very souls.

God in Community, Holy in One,
hear us as we pray as Jesus taught us, saying,
Our Father . . .

Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, author of Lectionary Liturgies.

call to worship: the word of life

L:  The Word of life spoke:
P:  so we could hear the angels’ ‘Alleluias!’
L:  The Word of life reached out:
P:  so we could touch the hope which heals us.
L:  The Word of life walked out of death’s dread tomb:
P:  so we could follow him into life forever.

Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, author of Lectionary Liturgies.

confession and pardon: forgetting the resurrection

Prayer of Confession

Living Lord, Loving God of this Easter Season—we confess that we have already forgotten the Resurrection.  We are already back to our old ways, clinging to consuming, scrambling to be “good enough” and trying to do too much.  We have fallen back into the trap of thinking that we are gods, that the welfare of the world and of our lives depends only on us.   We have already taken more than we should —forgetting that you want to first carry our lives and our loads.   How quickly O Lord have we forgotten you, just one week since Easter.  How quickly have we made ourselves back into gods.  Help us to realign our lives and our faith, once again.  We pray these things in the name of Jesus—our Friend, always offering us a fresh start and forgiveness.  Amen.


Assurance of Pardon (adapted from I John, 2 in The Message)

“But if anyone does sin, we have a Priest-Friend in the presence of God the Creator: Jesus Christ, righteous Jesus. When he served as a sacrifice for our sins, he solved the sin problem for good—not only ours, but the whole world’s.”  Remember these ancient words, remember God’s Love for you, that is beyond all understanding.  Remember that you are forgiven, and do not forget your God.  Amen.

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

Easter prayer: joy comes in the morning

Weeping comes for a night,
but joy comes in the morning, O God of power and might.

Death has been defeated
and we shout Alleluia!

Let all that we do today be a prayer of praise.

For many of us,
it is an Easter just like the others,
with Easter bonnets and Sunday best,
with the ringing of bells and hymns of joy,
with the preparing of meals and gathering around tables and hunting for eggs…

But let this be an Easter like no other.
Let us see and hear with resurrection eyes and ears.

Let us discern signs of new life in the usual places—a new baby, the beauty of nature;
and in unusual places… who knows where we might find you if we but look?

It is daunting to be resurrection people
even as we read and watch the news—
news of continued violence, poverty, suffering and despair.
We drink in these stories with our morning coffee, day after day,
and wonder where the Easter’s gone.

One year ago we celebrated your resurrection,
and it seems little has changed in our world since then—
Easter seems an idle tale in the wake of
lives destroyed by war, children abused, a creation spoiled,
and endless bickering among our leaders—
too much hand-wringing and too little willingness to do the difficult things.

Close to home, we know loved ones
who have felt the sting of death in their families;
people who struggle to survive the loss of a job,
people entombed by depression or a crippling illness.

Yes, resurrection eyes are not blind to pain.
Resurrection ears are not deaf to cries of suffering.

But resurrection people see your goodness
that outlasts and overpowers any darkness
we can experience or concoct.

Easter is the climax of the story, but not the end.
You alone can roll away the stone,
but we are called
to run, and tell:
“We have seen the Lord!
Come and follow! Believe, and live!”

If we don’t, who will?
Resurrect us, O God of new life—resurrect us from our complacency and fear.
You have the power to do it.

Submitted by MaryAnn McKibben Dana, Idylwood Presbyterian Church, Falls Church, VA.

Easter prayer: we go to the tomb

We go to your tomb, O Christ,
expecting to be met by the cold hardness of stone,
sealing the death of hope.
Instead, we find that the stone has been rolled away
and you are not there!
Help us to encounter your risen presence everywhere we go
and live in the joy of Easter morn each and every day,
through Christ our risen Lord.
Alleluia! Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Andy James, First Presbyterian Church of Whitestone, Queens, New York, and Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church, Crystal Lake, Illinois.