Planning for This Service
These scripture passages intersect at the themes of labor (Isaiah 65; 2 Thessalonians 3), God’s blessing (Isaiah 65), and the faithfulness of God in equipping us for our labors (Luke 21.)
As the people of God, we have been called and equipped for a variety of careers and ministries in which to partner with God in advancing God’s reign here on earth. Whether we serve a congregation of 15 or 1,500, there are always key “doers” in each congregation who are carrying a great load of responsibility. With the themes of this week’s lectionary readings, this service provides an excellent avenue to honor the contributions of key leaders and/or ministry teams in your congregation. Depending on your ministry context, as a response to the Word—or even as a part of the sermon itself—take an intentional moment to honor the key laborers in your congregation. You will know how to organize this in the most efficient and tactful manner, but be sure to honor the diversity of all types of leadership within the faith community.
When thinking about organizing this portion of the service, be sure to look for guidance in The United Methodist Book of Worship’s “An Order for the Installation or Recognition of Leaders in the Church” (BOW, pgs. 599-603).
Written by guest writer, Nelson Cowan, Ph.D. Liturgical Studies: Boston University School of Theology.