Prayers of the People (1) | Easter Sunday (Year C)

The following Prayers of the People is by Carol Penner via re:Worship. God of the bright and morning star, God of the rising sun, God of darkness banished, we praise and worship you! For empty tombs: thank you! For disciples running with good news: thank you! For your presence, alive, powerful, resurrected: thank you! We celebrate your victory over death, over all the powers that would defeat us.

Help us to grasp resurrection; to understand its power, to see its force at work in our world, overturning evil empires, changing the hatred within us, moving the world slowly, forcefully, bending us towards love and truth.

On this day of great gladness empower us to be your ambassadors, proclaiming good news. Good news in our kitchens and living rooms, good news in the offices and workshops good news in the fields and factories Help us to be that good news, walking softly on this good earth caring gently for all people, living hopefully into your kingdom.

Today we think of all who are grieving, especially… [name those who are grieving] and for the sick and dying…. [name those who are ill] for places in the world that are torn by war and bloodshed… [name countries at war]

In this world of broken hopes and dreams we catch sight of your kingdom come, in the person of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns in us forever. Amen.

~ written by Carol Penner, and posted on her Leading in Worship blog. Visit that site for other great worship resources.


Stephen Fearing

Stephen was born in 1988 in Cookeville, TN, where his parents met whilst attending Tennessee Tech. Shortly after, they moved to Dalton, Georgia where they put down roots and joined First Presbyterian Church, the faith family that taught Stephen that he was first and foremost a beloved child of God. It was this community that taught Stephen that it was OK to have questions and doubts and that nothing he could do could every possibly separate him from the love of God. In 1995, his sister, Sarah Kate, joined the family and Stephen began his journey as a life-long musician. Since then, he has found a love of music and has found this gift particularly fitting for his call to ministry. Among the instruments that he enjoys are piano, trumpet, guitar, and handbells. Stephen has always had a love of singing and congregation song. An avid member of the marching band, Stephen was the drum major of his high school's marching band. In 2006, Stephen began his tenure at Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC where he majored in Religion and minored in History. While attending PC, Stephen continued to explore his love of music by participating in the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, Jazz Trio, as well as playing in the PC Handbell ensemble and playing mandolin and banjo PC's very own bluegrass/rock group, Hosegrass, of which Stephen was a founding member (Hosegrass even released their own CD!). In 2010, Stephen moved from Clinton to Atlanta to attend Columbia Theological Seminary to pursue God's call on his life to be a pastor in the PC(USA). During this time, Stephen worked at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Silver Creek Presbyterian Church, Central Presbyterian Church, and Westminster Presbyterian Church. For three years, Stephen served as the Choir Director of Columbia Theological Seminary's choir and also served as the Interim Music Director at Westminster Presbyterian Church. In 2014, Stephen graduated from Columbia with a Masters of Divinity and a Masters of Arts in Practical Theology with an emphasis in liturgy, music, and worship. In July of 2014, Stephen was installed an ordained as Teaching Elder at Shelter Island Presbyterian Church in Shelter Island, NY. Later that year, Stephen married the love of his life, Tricia, and they share their home on Shelter Island with their Golden Doodle, Elsie, and their calico cat, Audrey. In addition to his work with the people who are Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, Stephen currently serves as a commission from Long Island Presbytery to the Synod of the Northeast and, beginning in January of 2016, will moderate the Synod's missions team.