confession: direction, directionless…

Submitted by Rev. Shannan Vance-Ocampo, Watchung Avenue Presbyterian Church, North Plainfield, NJ.

Many times O God we take steps backwards instead of forward. We retreat from our lives and from our calling. We wander or struggle. We become directionless. In those moments we have lost sight of You, and we have lost sight of ourselves. We no longer have a vision or a dream inside of us. Sometimes this season in life lasts for just a moment, or a short day. Other times it lasts much longer—and we struggle to regain control. This happens to all of us. And so today O God we pray for you to be with us and make us new when this way of life is of our doing, because of our refusal to follow your call. And we pray O God for you to help us when this way of life is not our doing—when depression or hopelessness has a grip on our lives we are unable to release on our own. And we especially pray O God that we might have compassion and patience to love each other through all seasons of the lives that we share—and to always remind others of your Good News, your Eternal Love, and your Hope-filled Promises. We pray these things in Christ’s name. Amen.

confession: Palm Sunday expectations

A prayer of confession for Palm Sunday. (Part of the “Choices on the Way” series, with the theme this week being “My Way — The Highway”). Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church.

One: You ride in with humble glory,
All: and we wave our palm branches,
shouting and dancing our prayer of Hosanna.

One: We join our voices and hearts with the crowd,
All: hoping that you will do what we expect of you.
One: But your way is not always glorious,
not always cheering crowds,
not always a parade of victory.
All: Lead us, Lord, to know your way,
and to walk with you on any road you travel.

CTW: Palm Sunday

A call to worship for Palm Sunday, based on Psalm 118. (Part of the “Choices on the Way” series, with the theme this week being “My Way — The Highway”). Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church.

One: Give thanks to the Lord, for God is good!
God’s steadfast love endures forever!
All: Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest!
One: Shout Hosanna, for the Lord is coming!
Line the festival road with waving branches!
All: We wave palm branches, praying and praising
as we walk God’s way.

Calls to Worship: Lent A psalms

Here will be calls to worship for every Sunday in Lent (year A), using the lectionary Psalm as a basis. (as a bit of background, we are doing a series called “Choices on the Way” highlighting stories of the people of God having to make a choice to go forward or back as they discern God’s will. I’ve also noted the theme words and texts, some of which are lectionary and some are not.)

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

Week 1 (Entrance – Exit, Genesis 2.15-17, 3.1-7)

Call to Worship (from Psalm 32)

One: Let all God’s people come—
All: We will lift our voices to the Lord.
One: God says, “I will teach you the way you should go.”
All: So we will listen and follow God’s way.


Week 2 (Familiar – Unknown, Genesis 12.1-4)

Call to Worship (from Psalm 121)

One: Lift up your eyes, people of God!
All: We look to the hills, we stare into the desert, we gaze at the horizon—
where is our help?
One: Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
All: We will lift up our eyes, and follow God’s way.


Week 3 (Golden Age – Promise, Exodus 32.1-10)

Call to Worship (from Psalm 95)

One: Come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
All: For the Lord is our God, and we are God’s people.
One: Listen to God’s voice—the Lord is a great God, above all others.
All: We will listen and follow God’s way.


Week 4: Seeing – Believing (Mark 8.27-33)

Call to Worship (Psalm 23)

One: The Lord is our shepherd, our leader and provider.
All: He leads us in the right path,
showing how to live centered on God.
One: The Lord is our shepherd, guiding us even in darkness.
All: Surely goodness and mercy will pursue us as we follow God’s way.


Week 5: Call – Answer (Mark 7.24-30)

Opening Prayer (Psalm 130)

One: We cry out to you, O God,
waiting for you, hoping in your word.
All: Hear our voice, for we call day and night!
We trust in your steadfast love,
so we will follow your way.

Prayers of Confession for Lent

Here will be prayers of confession for the whole season of Lent.  (as a bit of background, we are doing a series called “Choices on the Way” highlighting stories of the people of God having to make a choice to go forward or back as they discern God’s will. I’ve also noted the theme words and texts, some of which are lectionary and some are not.)

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

Week 1 (Entrance – Exit, Genesis 2.15-17, 3.1-7)
Prayer of Confession

One: You speak, Lord, but we are not always listening.
All: Sometimes other voices are louder or more persuasive.
One: You show us your way, lord, but we are not always looking.
All: Sometimes other ways seduce us with their ease or power.
One: You give us choices, now help us to learn your will.
All: Lead us, Lord, to walk your way on any road we travel.

(sung: Kyrie)

 

Week 2 (Familiar – Unknown, Genesis 12.1-4a)
Prayer of Confession

One: You call us to leave our old ways behind,
All: but we like our comfortable lives.
One: You call us to go where you will show us
All: but we want the map and directions before we leave.
One: You call us to be a blessing to all
All: but often we want to keep the blessing for ourselves.
One: Help us to hear your voice and to let go of what holds us back.
All: Lead us, Lord, to walk your way on any road we travel.

(sung: Kyrie)

 

Week 3 (Golden Age – Promise, Exodus 32.1-10)
Prayer of Confession

One: God, sometimes you work too slowly for us.
All: We want something we can see,
something we can do now,
something quick and easy.
One: So we turn our eyes toward “the way it’s always been”
All: and we try to re-create the days when everything was simple and good.
One: But you call us to hear your promise of a future with hope,
All: a promise we can’t understand, or see—
a promise for which we must wait and look and work.
One: Forgive us our impatience with mystery and promises,
and turn our eyes toward your future.
All: Lead us, Lord, to walk your way on any road we travel.

(sung: Kyrie)

 

Week 4: Seeing – Believing (Mark 8.27-33)
Prayer of Confession

One: God, we confess that we like to think we know you,
All: while what we really know is who we want you to be.
One: We often think we have the answers, that we know best,
All: even as you show us a still more excellent way.
One: Open our eyes and our ears to know you as you are,
All: and lead us, Lord, so we walk your way on any road we travel.

(sung: Kyrie)

 

Week 5: Call – Answer (Mark 7.24-30)
Prayer of Confession

One: God, we confess that oftentimes our boxes are too small.
All: We know what, and who, belongs where.
One: But your circle is always growing,
All: erasing our lines in the sand.
One: Call out to us, O God.
Widen our vision.
All: Lead us, Lord, to walk your way on any road we travel.

(sung: Kyrie)