Back to Book of Worship >>



HYMN OF PRAISE Suggested from UMH:

711 For All the Saints
(omit stanzas 4 and 6)

60 I'll Praise My Maker While I've Breath

555 Forward Through the Ages

90 Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones



SCRIPTURE LESSON(S) Suggested lessons:

2 Kings 2:1 –15 The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.
Psalm 90 (UMH 809 or 117) Our dwelling place in all generations
Philippians 3:7 –16 Paul's testimony
2 Timothy 4:1 –8 Paul's charge to Timothy
John 21:15 –19 Feed my sheep.



The retirees and spouses come forward and are introduced by name.


Brothers and sisters in Christ, you came to us from congregations
where the Spirit of the Lord was upon you;
and you were charged to preach to the brokenhearted,
to visit the captive, to anoint those who were bruised.
These things you have done.


We thank God for the community of the faithful
in which the Word of God found response.
Countless persons have depended upon you for help.
In the providence of God, you know
that both suffering and joy can be God's way of teaching and healing.


At your ordination,
you received authority to read the Holy Scriptures
in the Church of God,
to preach the Word, to celebrate the Sacraments,
and to Order the life of the Church.
At your consecration,
you received authority to equip the people of God,
and to embody the unity of the congregation's worship
with its life in the world.
By God's grace you did many things
that seemed to be beyond your power.


We thank God that you were given the vision to be faithful.
Death and illness have not come on schedule.
The truth has not always been easy to preach.
We know something of the grace by which you have lived,
and we thank God for your vision.


Never think lightly of the great good
that God has wrought through you.
Continue to be true to your calling.
May God's love and power be with you always.
Let us pray together.

God of grace, you fill your servants with the vision.
You empower your servants with your Spirit.
We give thanks for the ministry of these women and men,
and for the ways in which you have ministered to us through them.
Give them a sense of your abiding presence,
that they may continue to love and serve you,
and ever grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ,
in whose name we pray. Amen.


Members of the retiring class may speak briefly to the conference.



A representative of the retiring class and a representative of the new full member class kneel. The bishop takes the mantle (a cape or stole) and places it on the shoulders of the representative of the retiring class, saying:

In the book of Kings we read of the prophet Elijah's ministry.
The mantle, symbolic of submission to God,
fell upon the younger prophet, Elisha,
and the spirit of Elijah rested upon Elisha.

The representative of the retiring class rises and places the mantle on the shoulders of the representative of the new full member class, saying:

I transfer this mantle from our generation to the young,
indicating thereby
that the responsibilities and dedication of the older generation
will be caught up and carried on by the young,
and the spirit of today's Elijahs will rest upon today's Elishas.

The representative of the new class rises, turns to the retiring class, and says:

We who come after you take up the mantle which falls upon us.
May we inherit a double share of your spirit.

The bishop responds:

I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord,
beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
bearing with one another in love,
making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit
in the bond of peace.
There is one body and one Spirit,
just as you were called to the one hope of your calling,
one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all,
who is above all and through all and in all. (EPHESIANS 4:1–6)

HYMN * Suggested from UMH:

940 Hymns listed under Discipleship and Service 583 Sois la Semilla (You Are the Seed)
949 Hymns listed under Ordination 399 Take My Life, and Let It Be
396 O Jesus, I Have Promised 344 Tu Has Venido a la Orilla (Lord, You Have Come to the Lakeshore)
338 Where He Leads Me



For everything there is a season,
a time for every matter under heaven.
So, too, there is a time for movement, new adventure,
fields of service not yet touched.
With love, we send you forth in the spirit of John Wesley:
May the world be your parish.


Go into the world and respond to the love of Christ in all you do.
Live out the vision God has given you.
May God's mercy, grace, and peace be with you.
May you be channels for God's mercy, grace, and peace
to the world wherever you may be!

Bishop: Amen!

People: Amen!


Copyright: “A Retirement Recognition Service” Copyright © 1992 UMPH

DOWNLOAD This Document in Microsoft Word