Grace United Church Lloydminster
Sunday, March 27th, 2011
A COVENANTING SERVICE BETWEEN
Grace United Church, St. Paul Presbytery, and
The Rev. Tom Sawyer
God invites Us to worship
We have gathered here this afternoon to covenant together to help us all discover who we are, whose we are, and what God is calling us to do and be. Let us be reminded of the congregation’s mission statement.
In response to God’s call, we the congregation of Grace United Church understand our mission is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to all ages. Using the Bible as our guide, we are challenged to worship and praise and celebrate God’s love and accept God’s grace, learn God’s will, live in faith, and reach out in humble service in the community and the world.
I am prepared, to the best of my ability to help Grace United Church to fulfill its Mission Statement, and to fulfill the Goals outlined in the Transition Ministry Position Description.
Presbytery Representatives Present:
We are prepared to work with, and to offer whatever assistance is needed, to help Grace United Church and the Reverend Tom Sawyer fulfill the goals of the Interim Ministry description.
Since all parties to this covenant are present and have committed to action, let us Approach God in worship.
Choir: Psalm 100 “Serve the Lord with Gladness”
Prayer of Approach.
In this season of Lent, we are aware of the approaching darkness where the light of the Christ Candle is extinguished with the
death of Christ on Good Friday. We are also aware of the pain that can spread in congregations and among individuals as we strive to serve Christ in our Churches today. We need to find reconciliation, family fellowship, and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit among all who seek the Christ. As we covenant together we seek a growth in trust as we seek our oneness in Christ that is stronger than any of our differences, and may we become a model to others of how we can love those who may hold different understandings of God and how we serve God in this fellowship that we call the church. May our hearts be in the words that we use to covenant together. Amen
Hymn: MV # 1 “Let Us Build a House”
We are gathered here in the presence of God to covenant together for the service of God in this place.
Darrel Howell, Chair of the Transition Team:
We present the Reverend Tom Sawyer who has been appointed to an Interim ministry to help us to:
• Bring unity to the Congregation,
• Provide clarity surrounding the ministry model needed and expectations,
• Claim who we are as a worshipping community , and
• Define our outreach programs,
This is to be done while helping us in the ministry of Word, Sacrament and Pastoral Care. We believe he is qualified and has been prayerfully and lawfully selected and appointed.
Tom Sawyer, you are here in response to the request of Grace United Church and the subsequent appointment of St. Paul Presbytery and the approval of Alberta and Northwest Conference. We come together to commit Grace Congregation, St. Paul Presbytery and the Reverend Tom Sawyer, to work together to mark a new era for God’s mission within the congregation and its community. May God, who has given us the will to do these things give us the power and grace to perform them.
Words of Welcome
Presider may recognize special guests.
The Scriptures speak to us
Hebrew Scriptures" Isaiah 6:1-8
Christian Scriptures: 1 Peter 5:1-11
Gospel: Mark 10:35-45
Hymn: VU # 509 “I the Lord of Sea and Sky”
Sermon: Rev Ken Flanagan,
Chair of St. Paul Presbytery
Hymn: # MV 161: “By Your Name You are Called”
Let us stand and join in a statement of our communal faith.
We are not alone,
we live in God's world.
We believe in God:
who has created and is creating,
who has come in Jesus,
the Word made flesh,
to reconcile and make new,
who works in us and others
by the Spirit.
We trust in God.
We are called to be the Church:
to celebrate God's presence,
to live with respect in Creation,
to love and serve others,
to seek justice and resist evil,
to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,
our judge and our hope.
In life, in death, in life beyond death,
God is with us.
We are not alone.
Thanks be to God.
Statement of this New Ministry
The new minister comes forward at the invitation of the presider.
Tom Sawyer, you are about to undertake the interim ministry of word, sacrament, pastoral care and healing in this place.
You, the members and adherents of Grace United Church, are called to join Tom Sawyer in worship, study, prayer and action.
We, the Presbytery, will be responsible for the oversight of this ministry. Let us ask for God’s grace as we covenant together this day.
Let us pray.
Gracious God, by our baptism you have called us to Christ`s ministry; pour out your Holy Spirit upon us as we commit ourselves to work together in Christ`s name. Amen
Promises of the New Minister
Tom Sawyer, do you, in the presence of this congregation, commit yourself to this new trust and responsibility?
Will you accept the discipline of the Presbytery and, together with its other members, be responsible for the oversight of the church’s life?
Will you accept the support and encouragement of this pastoral charge and this presbytery?
Promises of the Grace United Church
The members and adherents of Grace United Church stand.
Will you join with Tom Sawyer in a ministry of worship, prayer, healing and action within this congregation and the world?
Will you support him as he serves among you in this ministry?
Promises of the Presbytery
Will you, as members of St. Paul Presbytery, join with Tom Sawyer and this pastoral charge in the ministry that is both theirs and ours?
Will you exercise oversight for their work and witness, support and encourage them in this ministry?
Presentation of Symbols
A Bible (Lyle & Diane Mabbott)
Take this Bible. Be among us as one who teaches and proclaims the Word. Amen
Water (Greg Weaver)
Be among us as one who baptizes in the name of Christ. Amen
Water, towel and basin (Shirley Aston)
Be among us as one who services. Amen
Bread and Wine (Brenda Ellison)
Be among us as one who cares for those who hunger and thirst. Amen.
Symbol from the Transition Team (Bill Luchynski)
Take this symbol from the congregation of Grace United Church. May it inspire you during your time with us. Amen
Tom Sawyer and Grace Congregation let all these be signs of the ministry that is ours and lours in this place. Amen
Prayer Tom Sawyer
Let us rejoice in the covenant we have made. Applause would be appropriate.
Choir: “Prayer for Partnership”
Jane Parker Herber & Tim Mitchell
Offering, Invitation, Offertory Prayer
Hymn: VU # 603 “In Loving Partnership We Come"
Lord, hear our Prayer
And in Your mercy, answer.
(Prayer to conclude with the following:)
Confront us, O Christ, with the hidden prejudices and fears that deny and betray our prayers. Enable us to see the causes of strife; remove from us all false sense of superiority. Teach us to grow in unity with all God’s children. Into your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy now and forever. Amen
Lord’s Prayer as a Solo by Brenda Ellison
God goes with Us in our daily lives...
Hymn: VU # 510 “We Have This Ministry”
Let us go forth together proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ to all ages, worshiping, praising and celebrating God’s love, learning God’s will, living in faith, and reaching out in humble service in the community and the world.