a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

communion: blow through this place

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

We praise you, O Lord, and all the earth with us,
for your Holy Spirit calls all things into being.
The entire created order serves you joyfully,
and your gracious presence is the song of every heart.

We bear witness that you alone are God,
and we give thanks that you have claimed us as your people.
By water and the Word, you make us your own;
by fire and the Spirit, you call us into the world.
Wherever we go, the risen and ascended Christ is our good shepherd.

Therefore we join our voices with all your people
in every time, every place, and every language,
singing praises to your holy name:

Holy, holy, holy…

Holy One, we enter your gates with thanksgiving;
Blessed Christ, we rejoice in your holy presence.
By your gracious invitation,
we gather at this holy meal
where we give thanks and call upon your great name.

Send forth your Holy Spirit once again.
Blow through this place;
reveal yourself in this bread and this cup;
make your dwelling within this congregation.
Join us to one another
and transform us by your presence,
that we may be the sign of your life in this world
for all who are hurting, hungering, and searching.

Reveal your goodness through us, O Lord,
for your mercy is everlasting;
we pray with your faithful ones in every age,
joining our voices in the prayer you taught us, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

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

CTW: Come Holy Spirit!

A word about how this call to worship might work. This will require a bit of planning and knowing your congregation. I picture the congregation facing forward and the gifts of the Holy Spirit coming from behind the congregation toward the front of the sanctuary. I’d like to have the visuals stay where they are visible for the whole service. They may even be utilized while talking with the children or preaching the sermon. Be creative and have fun! I would suggest having multiple readers but not having the congregation read responsively. This will allow the visuals time to move around the sanctuary before the next line is read.

 

Come, Holy Spirit, Come!
Live and move among us like a dove of peace!
(Enter the dove-possibly a fake dove on a stick that can “fly”, possibly a banner with a dove on it that floats through the congregation, maybe even a real dove?!)
Swoop down. Surprise and delight us like a red kite.
 (Enter someone flying a red kite through the sanctuary!)
Flash and flicker as our light of inspiration.
   (Enter someone with flashlights or glow sticks or lanterns!)
Warm our hearts so we may be fire-filled followers.
 (Enter someone carrying a lit candle!)
Come, Holy Spirit, Come!

Submitted by Rev. Susannah DeBenedetto, Salisbury, Maryland

illumination: beyond your words

As we read the words of scripture,
we are pointed to your living Word who walked among us;
and we are surrounded by your Spirit,
who whispers words within our hearts and minds.
Inspire us in our hearing and reflecting,
that we may move beyond your words
into life-changing acts of grace, love, hope, and peace.
Amen.

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

dedication: the Spirit’s vision

Spirit of life, you long for the world’s transformation. Your vision is grander than anything we can imagine, and so we thank you for the privilege of participating in your mission. May these gifts be a blessing that speaks the language of this community, and may that blessing multiply out to every place. Breathe in us again this day, that our whole lives may be an offering for your glory. Amen.

 

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

Pentecost Prayer: freed for

On this day of Pentecost, the church is born and re-born.

The Holy Spirit is poured out

and sends us out together, aflame with new life.

God, we pray that your Spirit would set us free

from the prisons of pettiness, jealousy, and greed.

Set us free to be Your church.

We are freed to free others.

We are forgiven to forgive others.

We are loved to love others.

You call us to be the church,

and you send us to feed the hungry,

clothe the naked, heal the sick,

and to be alleluias even when there is no music.

Fill us with your Spirit,

make us again into your body for the world.  Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, the Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL. Originally used in place of a confession sequence.

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

confession: we separate ourselves

Eternal God, your compassion waits for us around every corner, pursuing us to the depths of our existence. We separate ourselves from you by making destructive choices and living in ways that lead to death, rather than graciously receiving the gift of abundant life. Have mercy on us!  Weep for us and with us, that by your power we may inhale the breath of your Spirit and know the freedom of forgiveness, restoration to wholeness, and life everlasting. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Elaine Murray Dreeben, Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church, Dallas Texas

illumination: stale minds and slowly-beating hearts

Spirit…

Wind…

Breath…

fill our lungs and lives with your energizing presence;

refresh our stale minds;

and stir our slowly-beating hearts;

so that we may humbly and courageously

be your breathing, gusting, good presence in the world.

Amen

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

CTW: imagine, dream, create, worship

As a new light dawns…the sounds of sunrise stir us from our slumber!
As we gather together…songs of shared celebration ascend from our souls!
As we reside within our reality…God’s Spirit invites us to imagine…
dares us to dream…and compels us to create life as it is intended to be!
So let’s not simply sit and stand! Let’s not simply sing songs and say words!
Let’s imagine…let’s dream…let’s create…and let’s worship God!

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