(Heritage Sunday/Graduate Recognition)
The dining table is in place, front and center. The Lord’s Table is bare today, except for paraments. We are not recommending Communion as part of this service.
There is now one less chair at the table, signifying that Judas has departed for some time now. The cross placed in the center position (where Jesus would be sitting) remains.
“They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love” (in 5/4) The Faith We Sing, 2223
“Make Us One” (2X) The Faith We Sing, 2224
WORD AND RESPONSE
During the singing of the second song, a group of people comes and takes seats at the dining table.
During the final chorus of “Oh How Good It Is” or the second time through singing “Make Us One,” the reader (a deacon or the pastor) approaches the table and opens the Bible, preparing to start the reading. The reader looks first at the people at the table, taking time to make eye contact with each, then at the congregation, then begins the reading.
Reading John 14:15-21, 15:12
[Reprise: “Make Us One” (1X) TFWS 2224]
The pastor takes a seat at the table, and begins the sermon.
Sermon Becoming… One with Each Other
Prayers of the People BOW 495
This form of prayers of the people is chosen today because it expresses our oneness in corporate prayer with many other Christians in the world. Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and Reformed Christians all call for the prayers of the people to include the topics covered here. We also share this prayer with The Episcopal Church, from whose prayer book (1979) we have borrowed it.
A deacon or layperson may lead these intercessions, introducing them with:
Joining our voices with sisters and brothers in Christ, who makes us one, let us pray for the church and the world.
Act of Repentance and Peace
These songs acknowledge the reality of brokenness and strife within the congregation, recognize God as the source of our unity, seek God’s help, and make commitments to seek unity with one another.
During the singing, invite the congregation to share signs of their commitment to love one another as Christ has loved us, especially with persons with whom they may be in some tension or conflict.
“I Need You to Survive” Zion Still Sings, 219; Africana Hymnal, 4130
“Jesus, Lord, We Look to Thee” UMH 562
“Dona Nobis Pacem” (sung in rounds) UMH 376
“Live in Charity” (5X or more) TFWS 2179
THANKSGIVING AND OFFERING
Deacon or Lay Leader:
Strengthened in our oneness with each other,
let us offer our thanks and our gifts to God.
The offering is collected during the singing.
Music during the Offering
“Mystery of Faith” CCLI# 6256764
“In Unity We Lift Our Song” TFWS 2221
“We Are One in Christ Jesus” (3X-- alternating languages) TFWS 2229
Persons shortly completing or who have recently completed coursework in educational institutions may come front and center during the singing. Close friends and family may stand behind them.
Recognition of Graduates
On this Heritage Sunday,
United Methodists worldwide recognize milestones
in the life of their local congregations.
Often we think of milestones as church starts,
new buildings, new staff, or substantial growth
But the most important milestone for the church,
united in our Risen Lord,
are those moments when we send persons
into new contexts of ministry in Christ’s name and the Spirit’s power.
Today, we recognize these persons who are graduating
from educational institutions.
Whether they leave us to continue study or work elsewhere,
or remain among us,
they have completed one phase of their formation for lifelong discipleship,
and now begin new ones.
We send them forth with our prayers,
and the laying on of hands.
The congregation may be invited to stretch their hands in prayer. Clergy, lay leaders, and those standing with the graduates may lay hands on each graduate.
A certificate of prayer and a small cross may be given to each graduate after the prayer.
Pastor (laying hands upon each graduate):
Name, thankful for all you are now prepared to do,
we send you forth in the name of Christ,
and in the power of the Spirit,
who makes us one.
Graduates and others may remain where they are and help lead the singing.
“We Unite” CCLI# 5654532
“Walk with Me” TFWS 2242
Deacon or Pastor:
Go in peace, united in the love and power of the Risen Christ. Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thanks be to God. Alleluia! Alleluia!