a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

confession: at the edge

Lord, you are before and behind us, around us and within. We give you thanks for your constant presence, even as we admit that we don’t always see or hear you with us. So often we find ourselves standing at the edge…of uncertainty, of fear, of society, of faith, of life. We pray for your path to be clear, to show us your way, but we confess that sometimes we see it and we are afraid and turn our eyes back instead. We long for comfort, stability, familiarity. We admit to you that we prefer the easier way of what we have always done, even if it is not where you currently call. Forgive us, O God. Forgive us for our selective memory, our tendency to nostalgia, our hearts set on self-preservation. Turn our eyes forward, to where you are leading. Remind us that you are our God, and will never leave us. Give us faith to see your way, and courage to walk it. Focus our minds, hearts, and strength on your love, that we may know you fully…for to know you is to love you, and to love you is to serve you, whom to serve is perfect freedom.
It is with faith and hope that we ask these things in the name of your Son, Jesus the Christ, whose love casts out all fear and leads us into new life with you. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, St. John’s Church of Scotland, Gourock.

POP: where there is no way

You are a God who leads us, who makes a way when there is no way.
We give you thanks, O Lord, for you are stronger than every foe.
We give you thanks, for your creative Spirit is always at work, making all things new.
We give you thanks, for though we feel scattered or on edge, there is no place we can go beyond the reach of your love.
And so we are bold to lift our voices to you, to admit our need.
We pray this day for your Church, in this community, in this nation, and in the world.
We ask your blessing on your Body, that we may in turn be a blessing to others.
We ask your guidance, strong and sure, for we are not certain of the way forward.
We pray for the gift of discernment, and the courage to follow, even when we feel battered by the waves.
Give us eyes to see and ears to hear…and feet ready to follow…and hands ready to serve.
Take from us any thought that does not glorify you, and lead us on your way.

We pray this day for the nations of this world, and for our leaders, that they too may have the gifts of discernment and courage.
Give them wisdom to seek the good of all, not only some.
Give them compassion, and imagination, and love.

We pray this day for your people near and far who live each day with fear.
Whether they fear someone in their home, or violence in the streets, or the government, or themselves…bring peace, O God.
Bring peace to those in the midst of war, and to those whose greatest enemy is within.
Bring peace that passes all understanding, peace founded on justice, for the people of Syria, and Sudan, and Palestine, and Korea.
And bring us together, to be creators of justice and peace for all your creation.

We pray this day for those who are ill, in body, mind, or spirit.
May your healing presence surround and fill them, may your comfort enfold them.
Guide the hands and minds of doctors and nurses and all who care for others, that they may understand and so treat people toward wholeness.

We pray this day for all those who find the news too much to bear—people living with stories they have not been able to tell, with hearts burdened by trauma, with lives upended by choices made by others.
Shield their hearts, O God.
Give them hope, and help, and a listening ear.
Give us courage to hold their stories, their feelings, and their prayers, to be a friend to those who feel alone.

You are a God who makes a way when there is no way, who creates paths in the desert and through the storm. You carry our burdens and lift our spirits, that we may bravely walk this earthly way. Lead and guide us to go forward into your future, with faith, hope, and love.
We pray these and all things in the name of the One who is the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, Jesus the Christ. Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, St. John’s Church of Acotland, Gourock.

confession: not very good listeners

Loving God, you are always speaking, giving us instructions, directing our attention, and telling us your love. We confess that sometimes we are not very good listeners. We aren’t sure what is your voice, and what is ours, and what is just noise. We are easily distracted. We like our own ways. But even when we are too busy, you still call. We admit that we find you difficult to hear, and we ask for your help. Open our minds and hearts. Tune our ears to your voice. Help us to listen to what you have to say, and then help us to follow wherever you lead.
(Silence)
Thank you, God, for hearing us, and for speaking to us. Remind us of your love and forgiveness, and give us strength to be faithful to you. We pray in the name of Jesus, who taught us to pray together:

 

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, St. John’s Church of Scotland, Gourock

CTW: from many places

We have come from many places to gather in this place—from home and school and work, from next door and from miles away.

We have come on foot, by car, bus, and taxi, with friends, and alone.

Whatever the journey has held so far, wherever we find ourselves in our faith or life, God calls us together now, to see what God has done, and to follow wherever he leads us next.

And so we join our voices with voices past, present, and future, to worship God together.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, St. John’s Church of Scotland, Gourock

Confession: we don’t want to understand

Holy God, we like to claim that your way is mysterious and we are uncertain how to follow. We confess that we don’t want to understand the fast that you choose. You call us to loose the bonds of injustice, to let prisoners free, to break every yoke, to bring the homeless into our house, to feed our neighbours and pray for our enemies. We make it sound like a difficult metaphor so we don’t have to act on your word, because we don’t like to be uncomfortable. Forgive our apathy, our wilful ignorance, our false modesty, and our unexamined privilege. Create in us a clean heart, and lead us into a Holy Lent…and beyond, to abundant life for all your creation. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

CTW: the Spirit is with us

One: As we walk into the wilderness, setting our face toward the cross,
All: The Holy Spirit is with us.
One: As we focus and prepare, fasting by letting go and by taking on,
All: The Holy Spirit is with us.
One: Facing temptations, finding help from unexpected quarters,
All: The Holy Spirit is with us.
One: Come, let us seek God’s way together.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

Confession: we resist

God who pushes and pulls, coaxing and sending, we confess to you that we often resist your movement, wishing you would let us go our own way. If we’re completely honest, we give in to temptation more often than we resist. We confess that we have preferred to gorge ourselves on things other than your word; we have longed for power over others; we have bargained with your promise and begged for minor miracles. Forgive us, Holy One. Show us your way in the wilderness. Guide us to your path, and teach us to follow. We pray in the name of Christ, Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

CTW: from mountaintop and valley

One: We come from mountaintop and valley
All: From highways and quiet streets.
One: We come with joys and concerns
All: with expectations and excuses.
One: We come seeking Christ
All: to know and follow his way.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

Confession: on our terms

We name you Christ…and in the next breath we explain what we mean by that.
We offer our hearts and lives…on our terms.
We make sure you know when we think you’ve gone wrong.
We are full of human thoughts and there’s little room for God’s thoughts.
Forgive us again. Correct us.
Turn us around, and teach us your ways,
and lead us as we let go of all that we have grasped so tightly,
that we may pick up the cross and follow you.
Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

Illumination: open

Open your good news to us, O God…and open us to your good news, that we may find ourselves in your abundant life. Speak, Lord, and help us to listen. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson