a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

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

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

Confession: conditional faith

Voice 1: Show us a sign!
Voice 2: Make us understand!
Voice 3: If you can explain, we will believe!
All: We confess, Holy One, that often our faith is conditional. We trust you when we can see where you are going, and we believe your word when it makes sense with what we already know. The rest of the time…our voices can often be heard in the midst of the crowd demanding that you meet our expectations. Forgive us. Help us to trust where we have not seen. Teach us your way, foolish step by foolish step, until we find ourselves living your wisdom. Amen


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

confession: just enough to be dangerous

Creator God, you made us to live together with you. We confess that we are sorely tempted by the opportunity to be our own gods. We admit to you that we have tried shortcuts to wisdom—we think we know what is best, when really we know just enough to do harm to your creation and your beloved people. Forgive us for acting so arrogantly out of our limited human perspective. Forgive our disobedience, and give us ears to hear your word, and hearts ready to obey your will. Amen.


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

confession: we believe ourselves wise

Creator God, you knit all things together with your infinite wisdom. We confess that we are often foolish, yet believe ourselves wise. We ravage your creation, taking what we want without concern, searching for freedom and happiness, forgetting that our true purpose and joy is found only in you. We seek first our own good, heedless of our place as one strand in the carefully woven fabric of your world. Forgive us. Open our ears to hear you speaking, and our hearts to embrace your purpose. Amen.    ~silence~


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

confession: impatient, overwhelmed, and frustrated

Prayer for Confession (Unison)
Gracious God, we pray for new understanding
because we are tormented by our doubts and mistakes.  
We confess that we have been impatient with your ways.
We have not trusted your wisdom but have insisted on our own ways. We have been so overwhelmed and frustrated by what does not make sense that we have denied your righteousness and your salvation. We have ignored your glory.
We have dismissed your love. Forgive us, Gracious God.
Grant us new understanding.
Affirmation of God’s Grace (Responsive)
Leader: Beloved in Christ, believe in the good news.
For God’s love is made manifest in our flesh.
God’s love has been poured over us with
wisdom and understanding.
 People: We belong to God. Alleluia! Amen.
Submitted by Rev. Elsa Peters.

illumination: grow in wisdom

  Holy God, your Son Jesus Christ grew in wisdom as a child.
Send your Spirit to this place that, in the reading of this scripture,
we may, too, grow in wisdom by the proclamation of your Word.  Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY

prayers for Trinity Sunday

Prayer of Invocation (Unison)

Sovereign God, we look at the things You have made, the works of Your hands, and we stop to consider them with awe. From the intricate immensity of the universe to the specific singularity of a flower, Your works astonish us. Who are we mortals that You pay attention to us? We wonder at your love for us and rejoice in your presence, praying in the name of the Creator, the Christ and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Call to Confession

The book of Proverbs tells us that from the beginning of time, since before the creation of the Earth, there has been wisdom. Wisdom cries out to all people. But we do not always listen. We do not always care to listen. We do not want to know wisdom’s way. Let us bring our confessions to God together.

Prayer of Confession (Unison)

Great Wisdom-Maker, You arranged the world in beauty and brought humankind to life upon it. You want what is best for us. You provide us with guides and examples. You even came to be among us in Jesus Christ. We confess that we do not always pay attention. We admit that we do not always listen. We own up to taking the shortcuts and the easy ways because sometimes we cannot handle the truth. Forgive us, we pray, for the things we can acknowledge and especially for the things we try to hide from ourselves and You.
Silent Prayers of Confession

Words of Assurance (Responsive)

Minister: Beloved Children of God, the Maker of all Beauty, Goodness and Wisdom offers forgiveness to each and every one of us.
ALL: Amazed and relieved, we breathe in the Spirit of Forgiveness.
Minister: God is ever and always healing us, renewing us and preparing us for deeper understanding through the Holy Spirit. This is the good news that brings new life.
ALL:  We thank God for it. 
Submitted by Rev. Martha K. Spong, Sabbatical Pastor, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

POP–we do not understand

You are—and we thank you.
You are holy, and powerful, and gracious, and forgiving.
You are love.
You are hope and peace.
You are the One who gives, and the One who calls.
And so we thank you, for your faithfulness, your persistence, your generosity.
Yet at the same time, gratitude may be simultaneously over and understatement…
for we do not understand.
We do not understand why some have more and some have less.
We do not understand why some have floods and others drought.
We do not understand why the earth shakes, or fires rage, or violence erupts.
We do not understand where you can possibly be when we are sick, or worried, or despairing.
And yet…you are.
You are here. You are there.
You are within and among and around.
You remind us that we cannot know everything,
that mystery is called so for a reason.
So we do what we can do—
we come. we listen. we speak our pain and our joy.
we offer ourselves to you,
broken and healed, hopeful and lost, wondering and frustrated.
We bring our hearts, our minds, our bodies,
and pray that you would make yourself known yet again.
May your image shine in each face we see,
and in our own.
May your kingdom be visible in our community.
May your love overflow through our love.
Make us people unafraid to speak truth, to confront injustice, to show compassion.
Draw us near to you, and make us ever more in your likeness,
that all the world may know your healing love.
We pray in the name of the most gracious, Jesus the Christ, who taught us how to pray:
Our Father…


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church, Crystal Lake IL.

confession: wisdom

(based on Psalm 19, CEB)

One:      The Lord’s instruction is perfect,
reviving one’s very being.
All:      But we chafe at instruction and perfection,
            preferring to give you our instructions.
One:      The Lord’s laws are faithful, making naive people wise.
All:      But so often we think your way is naïve
      compared to our own human wisdom.
One:      The Lord’s regulations are right, gladdening the heart.
All:      It seems strange to think of regulation
      bringing gladness, so we go our own way.
One:      The Lord’s commands are pure, giving light to the eyes.

They are more desirable than gold—
than tons of pure gold!—
and they are sweeter than honey—
even dripping off the honeycomb!
All:      Forgive us, God, for wanting gold and honey
      more than we desire You.
      Forgive us, God, for preferring darkness to your light.
      Forgive us, God,
      for closing our ears and eyes to your word.
One:      No doubt about it: your servant is enlightened by them;
there is great reward in keeping them.
All:      Turn us again to your way,
      that we may hear and follow you. Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church, Crystal Lake IL.