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This order is used by The General Board of Global Ministries for commissioning persons to the office of missionary.

Presiding bishop:

Dear friends,
as we take part in this celebration of blessing and commissioning,
we are reliving a practice of the early church.
We read in the book of Acts
that the Holy Spirit set apart Saul and Barnabas for the work of mission,
and the church at Antioch, after fasting and praying,
laid hands on them and sent them out.
The early church eagerly sent its members to other peoples,
to assist those who were already of the household of faith
and those who did not yet believe in Christ.

Today we also send our sisters and brothers
to serve the needs of the Church throughout the world.
This commissioning and sending will strengthen the bonds we maintain
with the faith–filled communities to which they are going,
and the prayers we offer are an expression of the ties
that bind us together in the larger body of Christ.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.

Lord Jesus Christ,
you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross
that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace.
So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love,
may bring those who do not know you
to the knowledge and love of you;
for the honor of your name. Amen.

Representative of The General Board of Global Ministries:

These are the names
of those who are being sent by The United Methodist Church
as partners with Christ in mission, accompanied by our prayers:

Candidates kneel as their names are read and their assignments are announced.

The bishop stretches hands over those being commissioned, saying this prayer of blessing:

We bless you, O God, and we give you all the praise and glory.
We ask you to bless these your servants.
Fill the hearts of those we are commissioning
with the power of the Holy Spirit.
We send them forth as messengers of salvation and peace in your name,
marked with the sign of the cross and anchored in your grace.

Bless the crosses we now give
as a sign of Christ's love and a token of our faith. Amen.

A cross is given to, and hands are laid upon the head of, each person commissioned. During the laying on of hands, the bishop says:

Name, I commission you
to take the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ into all the world,
in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Those who have been commissioned rise and turn to be greeted by the congregation.

A hymn may be sung. Suggested from UMH:

563–90 Called to God's Mission 648 God the Spirit, Guide and Guardian
433 All Who Love and ServeYour City 159 Lift High the Cross
530 Are Ye Able 424 Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone
451 Be Thou My Vision 444 O Young and Fearless Prophet
438 Forth in Thy Name, O Lord 336 Of All the Spirit's Gifts to Me
670 Go Forth for God 436 The Voice of God Is Calling
338 Where He Leads Me

Copyright: “The Order for Commissioning As Missionaries I” Copyright © 1992 UMPH. Opening Prayer (“Lord, you stretched out your arms”) from The Book of Common Prayer (The Episcopal Church, 1979), p. 101. Public Domain.

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Keywords: Commissioning, Missionaries