Tis the season when Sunday school, choirs, and confirmation begin again. Below is a liturgy commissioning those who choose to serve, lead and explore their faith.
We have many parts in one body, but the parts don’t all have the same function.
In the same way, though there are many of us, we are one body in Christ, and individually we belong to each other. We have different gifts that are consistent with God’s grace that has been given to us.
If your gift is prophecy, you should prophesy in proportion to your faith. If your gift is service, devote yourself to serving. If your gift is teaching, devote yourself to teaching.
If your gift is encouragement, devote yourself to encouraging. The one giving should do it with no strings attached. The leader should lead with passion. The one showing mercy should be cheerful. (Romans 12:4-8, CEB)
There are different spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; and there are different ministries and the same Lord; and there are different activities but the same God who produces all of them in everyone.
A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good. (1 Corinthians 12:4-7, CEB)
Today we commission teachers, musicians, and worship leaders who will use their gifts to encourage and nurture the faith for the common good of our worshipping community. Let us pray:
Holy Spirit, provider of the gifts that give us each a unique identity in Christ, we give thanks for the willingness of these to serve and their generosity as they share their gifts and talents with us. In response, we commit ourselves to receive their teaching, leadership, music, and worship offerings to the edification of our souls and to the glory of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Today we also commission our confirmands and their mentors as they begin a journey of intentional seeking to understand their faith. In our baptism, we recognize that the first “Yes” of faith always comes from God. In the same way, we say “Yes” to the ministry of nurturing our children and youth before they are able to make a profession of faith on their own. As we do at baptism, let us affirm our vows as the Body of Christ:
Do you, as members of the church of Jesus Christ, promise to guide and nurture __________, by word and deed, with love and prayer, encouraging them to know and follow Christ and to be faithful members of his church?
At this time, I invite anyone who has been ordained to the ministries of Ruling Elder and Deacon to come forward and lay hands on the confirmands, their parents and their mentors.
Let us pray:
Faithful and loving God, our very presence before you today testifies to your desire to be in relationship with us. God, you walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden, calling them by name. Jesus, you took on humanity and lived with us: healing, teaching and loving. Holy Spirit, you bind us to Christ and one another with your constant presence.
We lift up these confirmands as they seek a deeper relationship with you. We pray that they would be bold in their questions and give voice to their doubts so that they would find a faith that is their own.
We lift up their parents and mentors as they continue to nurture these youth. May their love and support clarify their own faith and lead them to find its greater meaning in their lives.
In response to your love and presence for us, we commit ourselves to loving and journeying with these confirmands, their parents and mentors. May our words and deeds increase their knowledge of you. May the offering of our love and prayers encourage them as they follow you. And in our faithfulness to your Church, may our communion with you and one another be light to the world. Amen.