illumination: stale minds & slowly-beating hearts




fill our lungs and lives with your energizing presence;

refresh our stale minds;

and stir our slowly-beating hearts;

so that we may humbly and courageously

be your breathing, gusting, good presence in the world.



Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)


confession: move!

Submitted by Rev. Scott Cervas, Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church

Spirit of God,
you move around us and we wave you away
as if you are a fly getting too close to our heads.
You move among us, but we all have different ideas…
different ways of doing things…
and so your perfectly chilling harmonics
are drowned out by our chaotic dissonance.
You move within us,
but sometimes we just aren’t willing to risk our own reputations
to embrace your radical vision.
But, deep down, we know that we need to move beyond ourselves…
we know that the church needs to move beyond itself.
So keep moving…keep moving around us, among us, and within us…
keep moving us so that we can be creators of movment in the world…

CTW: here in this place

A call to worship based on the hymn “gather us in” (we used it when the theme worked but the hymn did not).
Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church

One:      Here in this place, God’s light is streaming in.
All:      We gather in God’s light, to be light for the world.
One:      Here in this place, God’s wind is blowing.
All:      We gather—young and old, rich and poor, strong and weak—
to be renewed by the breath of God.

One:      Here in this place, God’s fire is burning.
All:      We gather to be set on fire with God’s love.

confession: we hear the mighty rush of wind

submitted by Rev. Rebecca Page Lesley, Suffolk Presbyterian Church, Suffolk, VA

Creator God, we hear the mighty rush of wind, and assume it is only the weather. We see the power of a flame, and are reminded only of combustion. We admit that we are hardly ever amazed and awed anymore. Often our prayers for help come with reservations and conditions, products of our own insecurities. We ask that you uphold us as we lay before you our doubts and fears.

We confess to you, holy Lord, that we are afraid of the chaos your Spirit leaves in its wake; we do not like chaos and disorder. We are worried that you might ask of us things that we’d rather not do or say; we don’t like to be uncomfortable. We fret about the way other people perceive us; yet you can see into our very hearts, O God. Those who sneered at the disciples, saying they were filled with new wine, did not understand the power of Pentecost and your Holy Spirit. Save us from ourselves, merciful God.

Spirit of new life and renewed life, remove our fears and inhibitions and fill us with strength and courage so that we may use your gifts to the absolute fullest. May we feel your power within us so that we can live and love and witness and serve with utter abandon, following only your will for our lives. Forgive our selfish ways and righteous attitudes that we might return to a right relationship with you and all creation, sharing your forgiveness with all those whom you call your children.

confession: on this Pentecost Sunday

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

On this Pentecost Sunday, we confess to You, O Lord –
our division, for we are not gathered together as Your people in one place;
our fear of the rush of your Spirit in our lives and what it might call us to do or to be;
our desire for a monolingual society,
even when you allowed the early church to transcend all language,
not favoring one over another;
our actions that can be like the crowds that taunt and torment,
mocking those who are filled with your Spirit that burns like fire and rushes like wind.
On this Pentecost Sunday, O Lord –
help us to let down our barriers to your Spirit;
guide us to live with joy, abandon, and faithfulness;
and create in us new hearts to be new people who worship only You.  Amen.

Brainstorming: Pentecost

Do you have Pentecost worship ideas? Seeds that need a little back-and-forth to grow? sentences or words that haven’t grown into full-blown liturgy? Music plans? Creative space, drama, reading, liturgical ideas? Here’s a place to brainstorm, feed off the energy, collaborate, and dream!