a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

POP: theological education sunday

Let us pray to God saying:
Holy and Merciful God, hear our prayer.

Today is a Sunday that many Presbyterian Churches
celebrate and support places of theological education.
We give thanks for the 10 seminaries of our denomination including:
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary,
Columbia Theological Seminary,
University of Dubuque Theological Seminary,
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary,
McCormick Theological Seminary,
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary,
Princeton Theological Seminary,
San Francisco Theological Seminary,
Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary,
and Union Theological Seminary.
We give thanks for the two other seminaries
in covenant relationship with our denomination:
Auburn Theological Seminary and Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico.
We also pray for our local seminaries, including:
Lexington Theological Seminary and Asbury Theological Seminary
May these places continue to teach faithfully the future leaders
of our faith families here and abroad.
Holy and Merciful God, hear our prayer.

Gracious God,
today’s scripture reminds us that words matter
and that the way we choose our words
holds within it the capacity to either harm or heal, to wound or welcome.
In this time when words are tossed around so casually,
may our words be used to build up the Body of Christ
and share love and compassion in a broken and battered world.
Holy and Merciful God, hear our prayer.

Healing God,
we pray for those who have been hurt by words of late:
for refugees and immigrants with or without documentation,
for women and girls who have endured words of sexism,
for people of color who hear words of racism,
for people with disabilities who are told they are “less than,”
for elderly people who are told they are useless,
for young adults who are told they are entitled, selfish, and irresponsible.
God of the Living Word, help us speak the truth in love
and to care for one another with the words we choose to speak.
Holy and Merciful God, hear our prayer.

God of Healing and Wholeness,
we lift up to you our words of prayer
for the people near and dear to our hearts
as we lift them up silently before you…
Holy and Merciful God, hear our prayer.

Triune God,
we love you for you hear our voice and our supplications.
We lift these prayers to your ears
along with the prayer you taught us to pray, saying: Our Father…

 

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

Illumination: wisdom implanted

Holy Spirit,
stir our hearts to be moved by your Word,
that we might leave this place
with your wisdom implanted within us. Amen.

 

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

Confession: other things

Call to Confession
Friends, let us confess the ways that we have failed to live up to God’s bountiful invitation.

Confession
God of Mercy and Steadfast Love,
You gave us our tongues that we may speaks words of love, wisdom, and grace.
But often our tongues are the vehicles of other things:
instead of love, hatred,
instead of wisdom, foolishness,
instead of grace, rage.
Like a small fire that sets a forrest ablaze,
too often a word can set forth a flood of fear and anger.
Help us use our tongues to start other things:
kindness, compassion, and courage.
In the name of your son, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon
We love the Lord because God has heard our voice and our supplication.
In the name of Jesus Christ, I announce to you this day: our sins are forgiven!
Alleluia! Amen.

 

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

Prayer: voices of creation

God of Creation,
all of the world proclaims your praise,
from the highest heavens to the deepest recesses of the sea.
Make our voices true and faithful
as we join the voices of all of creation to sing your praise. Amen.

 

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

CTW: wonder and worship

Today we sabbath, we take rest in the Lord our God.
We put aside productivity to wonder and worship.
Today we sabbath, to do a different kind of work.
We have gathered to do liturgy, the work of the people.
Today we sabbath, for the world does not revolve around us.
We revolve around God and God’s goodness and grace.
Come, let us worship God!

 

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

POP: awaken our faith

Let us pray to God saying:
Beloved God, awaken our faith and guide our hearts.

Gracious God, we come before your word this day
and are reminded of the strong commands of the author of James.
We are humbled to be reminded that there have been times
when we’ve given preferential treatment to those for whom it is easier to do so.
As your people, we have long struggled to give the same love to a stranger
as to the person who we’ve known for so long.
Help us, as a congregation, speak and act
as ones for whom hospitality is the priority.
Beloved God, awaken our faith and guide our hearts.

Loving God,
we give you thanks for the gift of faith
that is found through Jesus Christ, your son.
Help us bring that gift to life through our living,
that we may be missional servants of your Kingdom.
Beloved God, awaken our faith and guide our hearts.

Where there are those who are naked, may we clothe them.
Where there are those without homes, may we house them.
Where there are those without acceptance, may we welcome them.
Where there are those without family, may we make them our own.
In all things, help us to fulfill your commandment to love one another.
Beloved God, awaken our faith and guide our hearts.

We pray this day for congregations such as ours
who are discerning how to be faithful to your calling
in these tumultuous times.
We trust that you do not abandon us when the going gets rough.
Rather, you walk alongside us as a friend
and hold our hand as a loving parent
to guide us in the path of faithfulness.
Thank you, Gracious God, for your steadfast love.
Beloved God, awaken our faith and guide our hearts.

Be with those whom we love and those who love them,
for those who are undergoing health problems…
for those who are struggling with mental health…
for those who lack health care…
for those who have suffered from the plague of gun violence in this country…
for those who have looked to the Church for comfort and found a closed door…
for those who live from paycheck to paycheck despite being fully employed.
Beloved God, awaken our faith and guide our hearts.

Hear us, Loving God,
as we pray the prayer you taught us to pray, saying: Our Father…

 

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

Illumination: molded

Beautiful Spirit,
come to this place and bless us with your wisdom
that we might be guided by the living word
and molded by its message. Amen.

 

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

Prayer: personal, not private

God of Good News,
we are reminded this day
that our faith is always personal but never private.
Bless our worship this day that we might leave this place
to live out our faith in tangible ways that change lives.
In all that we do, may we do it for your Gospel. Amen.

 

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

CTW: water breaks forth

Friends, be strong and do not fear, for we are in the presence of God.
Waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert.
The burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water.
God brings forth abundance where before there was scarcity.
There is nothing that is impossible with God.
We are gathered to share God’s blessings with one another.
Come, let us worship God.

 

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

POP: hearers and doers

Let us pray to God, saying:
Gospel God, help us be hearers and doers of your Word.

We are reminded that the great ends of the Church are: (PCUSA Book of Order F-1.0304)
the proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind,
the shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God,
the maintenance of divine worship,
the preservation of the truth,
the promotion of social righteousness,
and the exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world.
We acknowledge that these things don’t happen by themselves
but only by the faithful work that you call us to do.
Help us embrace that work and do it joyfully and faithfully.
Gospel God, help us be hearers and doers of your Word.

God of All Nations,
we lament the times when people have suffered
because of the Church’s silence, complicity, and apathy.
We pray for those who have sought protection but not found it.
We pray for those who have begged for food and water and have left empty handed.
We pray for those who have asked for love and received instead judgment.
Help us remember that how we treat the least of these is how we treat you.
Gospel God, help us be hearers and doers of your Word.

God of All Wisdom,
we pray that we might be a people that live the Christian life
more than one hour a week.
We are reminded that the work of the Gospel is not a part-time job
that we can pick up and put down at our convenience.
Help us heed James’ imperative to be a people of action and truth,
bound by our duty to serve you in all that we are and in all that we do.
Gospel God, help us be hearers and doers of your Word.

Gracious God,
hear us now as we pray silently for those upon our hearts this day…
Gospel God, help us be hearers and doers of your Word.

Heavenly Parent,
hear us now as we pray the prayer you taught us to pray, saying: Our Father…

 

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