THE ORDER FOR COMMISSIONING TO THE OFFICE OF DEACONESS, HOME MISSIONER OR AS MISSIONARIES II
This order is used by The General Board of Global Ministries for commissioning persons to the office of deaconess, home missioners or as missionaries.
Presiding bishop to candidates:
Dear sisters and brothers,
we rejoice that you have purposed
to devote your lives to Christian mission.
Your labors may take you to the mountains and the plains,
to isolated villages or teeming cities.
You are to be among persons as those who serve
in teaching, preaching, and healing.
In the varied activities of our common life,
you will testify every day to the infinite love of God
shed abroad in Christ Jesus.
Such a vocation confers a great privilege;
it also lays upon you a solemn responsibility.
What you have done alone with God
in consecrating your lives to this service,
we now ask you to do publicly in the presence of this assembly.
Do you sincerely believe that you have been led by the Spirit of God
to engage in this work and to assume its responsibilities?
I do so believe.
In humble reliance upon divine grace,
do you make it the supreme purpose of your life
to give yourself unreservedly to the work of Christ
in your appointed field?
I do, Christ being my helper.
Will you be diligent in prayer, in the reading of the Holy Scriptures,
and in such studies as increase your knowledge of God
and God's plan for creation?
I will endeavor so to do.
Will you earnestly seek to carry forward your ministry
in sincerity and love,
cooperating humbly with your coworkers,
under the direction of the Church?
I will, Christ being my helper.
The people pray for the candidates in silence, after which the bishop says:
Almighty God, Source of all mercies,
graciously behold these your servants
now to be commissioned as deaconesses, home missioners and missionaries
of your Church.
Endow them with your Holy Spirit,
enrich them with your heavenly grace,
and strengthen them for the tasks which lie ahead;
that in all their works,
begun, continued, and ended in you,
they may glorify your holy name,
and advance your blessed work;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
All those to be commissioned kneel. Designated representatives from the community assist the bishop in 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 being commissioned pray the Covenant Prayer in unison:
I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.
Presiding bishop to congregation:
Christian friends, I commend to you these persons
whom we this day have recognized and commissioned
to carry into all the world
the sacred and imperishable message of eternal salvation.
As members of this Christian assembly representing the whole Church,
we send you into service with your special gifts and graces.
We call you and support you.
You are our gift to the world.
We will receive you back again on behalf of all God's people.
Like you, we too have special gifts and graces,
particular endowments of mind and spirit,
through which God seeks to be made known in the world.
Together we are the people of God,
whose task is to participate in God's mission in the world.
We celebrate the gifts of life,
and we face the future with an unshakable hope.
Those who have been commissioned rise and turn to be greeted by the congregation.
Suggested hymns from UMH are listed on 741.
Copyright: “The Order for Commissioning to the Office of Deaconess or as Missionaries II” Copyright © 1964, 1965 by Board of Publication of The Methodist Church, Inc.; renewal © 1971, 1972 by Abingdon Press; © 1992 UMPH; renewal Copyright © 1992 UMPH. Altered, 2013, by the Discipleship Ministries to reflect the addition of the office of “home missioner” since the adoption of this ritual in 1992.