Liturgy

AN ORDER FOR THE CELEBRATION OF AN APPOINTMENT

This order is intended to be used within a service of worship by a congregation whose pastor has been newly appointed or reappointed by the bishop according to the polity of The United Methodist Church. The leader may be the chairperson of the Pastor–Parish Relations Committee or another designated leader in the congregation. The service may be adapted as needed where ordained elders, deacons or local pastors or are appointed, reappointed, or assigned to ministry in a particular congregation.

 Before the reading of the scripture lessons, the pastor and any other staff under appointment come before the Lord's table, and the person officiating says to the congregation:

Dear friends, today we welcome Name(s),
   who has been (re)appointed to serve as our pastor(s).
We believe that he/she is (they are) well qualified
   and has (have)  been prayerfully appointed by our bishop, Name.

Leader to elders or local pastors:

Name(s), you have been sent to live among us
   as a bearer  of the Word of God;
    a minister of the Sacraments;
   and a sustainer of the love, order, service and discipleship of the people of God.

Leader to deacon(s):

Name, you are to represent the ministry of servanthood,
to proclaim God’s word,
    and to equip all Christians to be in ministries
       of compassion and justice in service to the community.

Pastor (and other staff):

Today I (we) reaffirm this commitment in the presence of this congregation.

Leader to congregation:

Brothers and sisters in Christ,
as a people committed to participate in the ministries of the Church
   by your prayers, your presence, your gifts, and your service,
will you who celebrate this new beginning
   support and uphold Name(s)  in these ministries?

Congregation:

We reaffirm our commitment to support you
with our prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness.

Leader:

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger

Congregation:

who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation.

Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow ( UMH 94–95), Glory Be to the Father ( UMH 70–71), or another doxology may be sung. See list of doxologies in  UMH. See also Doxology (Hymn 182), Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow (Hymn 180 and Hymn 185)

 The leader continues with one of the following prayers.

Let us pray.

Eternal God, strengthen and sustain us in our ministries together,
   with Name(s)  as our pastor(s) [and Name as our deacon].
Give him (her, them) and us patience, courage, and wisdom
   so to care for one another and challenge one another
   that together we may follow Jesus Christ,
   living together in love,
   and offering our gifts and talents in your service;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Almighty God, you still call us to go into your service
   and spread the message of the salvation of your Son.
Bless richly, we pray, your servant(s) Name(s) entrance into our fellowship.
Fill him (her, them) with the power of your Holy Spirit
   and let him (her, them) find with us an open door for the Word.
We also pray for your church on earth.
Equip us all with a spirit of willingness,
   that we with courage can witness about you
      by the profession of our mouths and through our way of living.
Grant us all to partake in your strength and joy,
   so that we can enter into the anxiety and suffering of the world,
      to be radiating and make alive that hope which Christ gives.
All this we dare to pray of you;
   for you are to us the Father of mercy and the God of all grace;
   you are the Son, the Savior and the Redeemer;
   you are the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Helper and the Giver of life.
Blessed be you. Amen.

Jesus, We Are Here (Hymn 187) or another suitable hymn may be sung.

When a reappointment is being celebrated, the service continues with the congregational prayer below.

When a pastor, associate pastor, or deacon is being appointed to a congregation for the first time, representatives of the congregation may make any or all of the following presentations, or others as may be deemed appropriate. After each presentation, the newly appointed person responds Amen and places it on a table.

Presenter to pastor:

Name, accept this Bible,
   and be among us as one who proclaims the Word. Amen.

Name, take this water,
   and baptize new Christians in this place. Amen.

Name, take this bread and cup,
   and keep us in communion with Christ and his Church. Amen.

Presenter to deacon:

Name, accept this Bible,
   and be among us as one who proclaims the Word. Amen.

Name, take this towel and basin,
   and lead us to be servants of all. Amen.

Name, take this plumbline,
   and faithfully call us toward ministries of compassion and justice.

Presenter to pastor or deacon:

Name, use this hymnal and book of worship
   to guide us in our prayer and praise. Amen.

Name, receive this Book of Discipline,
   and help us keep the covenant
   that strengthens our connections as United Methodists. Amen.

Name, receive this globe,
   and lead us in our mission to this community and all the world. Amen.

Presenter to pastor:

Name, receive this stole, signifying your ordination,
   and shepherd us as our pastor. Amen.

Presenter to deacon minister:

Name, receive this stole signifying your ordination,
   and equip us for our ministries in the world. Amen.

Then the pastor or deacon may take from the Lord's table the stole left by the previous pastor or deacon, put it on, and say:

This yoke has been laid upon me, and I willingly take it upon myself.

Pastor:  Let us pray.

Congregation:

 Lord God, bless the ministries of your Church.
We thank you for the variety of gifts you have bestowed upon us.
Draw us together in one Spirit,
   that each of us may use our differing gifts as members of one body.
May your Word be proclaimed with faithfulness,
   and may we be doers of your Word and not hearers only.
As we who have died and risen with Christ in baptism
    gather at his table and then scatter into the world,
may we be one in service to others,
in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The pastor or deacon minister may kneel, and the leader and others may lay hands on his/her head. The congregation may join hands and unite in this blessing:

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. Amen.

Pastor: The peace of the Lord be always with you.

Congregation: And also with you.

A hymn or chorus may be sung. Tino tenda Jesu (Hymn 203); Jesus, We Are Here (Hymn 187); and the following hymns from UMH are suggested:

 

939  Hymns listed under Commitment 383  This Is a Day of New Beginnings
545  The Church's One Foundation 558  We Are the Church
546  The Church's One Foundation  

 

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Copyright:  “An Order for the Celebration of an Appointment,” alt. from The Book of Common Prayer, The Episcopal Church, 1979. Public domain. Prayer “Almighty God, you still call us” by Ole Borgen, Copyright © 1992 UMPH.

Categories: Occasional Services