a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

POP: help us care

Let us pray to the Lord, saying:
Healing God, help us care for one another.

We recently acknowledged the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria.
We pray for our friends and family in Puerto Rico who are still recovering.
We pray for the estimated 2,975 people who lost their lives because of the storm.
We pray for the people of Puerto Rico who have endured the horrors of colonialism.
We pray for our politicians, that they may give Puerto Ricans as much respect and dignity
as they do those of us who live in the states.
Healing God, help us care for one another.

We pray this day for those who are still recovering from Hurricane Florence,
for friends, family, and strangers in the Carolinas and Georgia,
for those whose businesses had to close during the storm and lost revenue,
for those without homes that had no where to run,
and for those in marginalized communities who are more heavily affected by the destruction.
Healing God, help us care for one another.

Today is a day that the Presbyterian Mission Agency encourages congregations such as ours
to pray especially for the gifts of new immigrants.
We acknowledge this day, Gracious God:
that your scripture, time and time again, tells us to treat the foreigner with compassion,
that your son came into this world on the run from a dangerous political regime,
that he was born in a dirty, dusty manger as a marginalized person,
and that this country is not treating immigrants as justly as you call us to.
We give thanks for the gifts that new immigrants bring to this country
and we choose to remind ourselves of the truth that diversity makes us stronger.
Healing God, help us care for one another.

Gracious and Steadfast God,
we pray this day for those who are sick and in need of your care,
for those who are hospitalized,
for those undergoing treatment for cancer and other illnesses,
for those who cry out to you for health and healing.
We pray especially for those we lift up to you in silence…
Healing God, help us care for one another.

Author of our Lives,
hear us now as we pray as you taught us to pray, saying: Our Father…

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

Illumination: dance in your love

Divine Spirit,
surround us with the wisdom of your word
that we might dance in your love
and be messengers of your truth in this world. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

Confession: swallowed up

Call to Confession
God saves us despite us being unworthy of that salvation.
In response to that grace, let us confess the ways we have fallen short.

Confession (Responsive)
God of Endless Mercy,
we have often been swallowed up by our our greed and selfishness,
desiring that which we do not have, filling our lives with things that do not save us.
We have often been swept away by the floods of our own making,
polluting your creation, neglecting to be faithful stewards of the earth.
We have often attacked one another and led lives of violence,
sending missiles instead of accepting refugees, ignoring your commandments.
Lord have mercy, for we have sinned and fallen short of your glory.
Christ have mercy, for we are broken and need your salvation.
Lord have mercy upon us and hear us as we pray in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon
Friends, our help is in the name of the Lord
who has heard our plea and answered our confession with absolution.
In Christ’s name, I announce to you that our sins are forgiven!
Alleluia! Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

Prayer: stick with us

Saving God,
you are a God who has made it a habit to stick with us through thick and thin.
Thank you for calling us your own
even in moments when we haven’t been the best investment.
Help us, in our worship of you this day,
to be turned in a direction that pleases you. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

CTW: blessed

If it had not been the Lord who was on our side – let us say together:
If it had not been the Lord who was on our side,
we would have been swallowed up alive. But such is not the case!
Blessed be the Lord, who is our rock and our redeemer!
Blessed be the Lord, in whose name is our help!
Blessed be the Lord, who made heaven and earth!
Come, let us worship God!

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

POP: god of wisdom

Let us pray to God saying:
God of Wisdom, draw near to us

Ever-present God,
we look around the world and we see places where people cry out to you:
in places torn by the ravages of war,
in countries demolished by natural disasters,
in areas of rural Kentucky where there are no jobs,
in families across our state who have been devastated by opioid addiction.
Help us bear your light into the places in the world that need illumination and healing.
God of Wisdom, draw near to us.

Gracious God,
give us a gentleness born of wisdom
that we might go out into the world and serve as your ambassadors.
In order to do that, bless us with the wisdom needed to do so –
a wisdom that is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield,
full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy.
God of Wisdom, draw near to us.

God of all mercy and grace,
give us the courage to seek you out,
to search our hearts for your truth,
and to be guided by the stories of scripture.
Since our hearts do not rest until they rest in you,
lead us to the pastures of your protection,
that we might be faithful members of your flock.
God of Wisdom, draw near to us.

Healing God,
we pray for those among us this day who need your love:
for those who struggle with depression’s grip,
for those who journey with physical disabilities,
for those who are lonely,
for those who are hopeless,
for those who are addicted,
for those who are angry and bitter,
for those who are broken and battered,
and for those we lift up to you in silence this day…
God of Wisdom, draw near to us.

Giver of Hope and Truth,
hear us today as we pray the prayer you taught us to pray, saying: Our Father…

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

illumination: curiosity and wonder

As children welcomed to your presence,
instill within us a sense of curiosity and wonder
as we gather to listen to your Word. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

Confession: not enough

Call to Confession
With humility and honesty, let us confess our sins to our God
who is slow to anger and quick to forgive.

Confession
Abundant God, so much of our harmful behavior is rooted in our envy.
You have given us our manna – our daily bread – but we want more.
We have allowed ourselves to be seduced by commercialism,
telling ourselves that we are not complete until we have the nicest things.
Forgive us when our actions convey that you are not enough for us.
Help us to live our lives simply and faithfully,
trusting in your steadfast love to provide all that we need. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon
Friends, our salvation is not something that can be purchased with money or fame.
Our salvation comes from Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone.
I announce to you this day, our sins are forgiven.
Alleluia! Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

Prayer: narrative

Author of our Lives,
we praise you for writing us into your narrative of salvation.
As characters in this chapter of your story of creation,
help us tell the truth of your steadfast love and mercy
to all who have ears to hear. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

CTW: praise be

Praise be to God the Creator, who breathes life into being.
Praise be to God the Redeemer, who saves us from ourselves.
Praise be to God the Sustainer, who binds us together as one body.
Come, children of the Triune God, come worship our wild and wonderful Maker.

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY