On our last Sunday at St. Anne’s Church, we were commissioned for our new ministry in a beautiful liturgy written by the Rt. Rev. Michael Creighton and led by the Rt. Rev. Eugene Sutton, Bishop of Maryland. The liturgy included parts for us, the vestry, our clergy colleagues, and all the members of St. Anne’s Church.
Here it is:
A Commissioning to Serve As Appointed Missionaries of The Episcopal Church
MEMBERS OF THE VESTRY: Amy and Joe, it is our honor and privilege to recognize your call to ministry in Africa.
CLERGY: For your faithful service among us, in Annapolis and in the Diocese of Maryland, we are most grateful.
CONGREGATION: Your ministry of teaching, preaching, leadership, encouragement, congregational development and so much more will have a lasting impact among all of us.
ALL – A PRAYER FOR THE PARISH: Gracious God, bless this band of believers and always draw us closer together in your ministry. When we are coping, cheer us on. When we are caring, let your love be alive between us. When we are committing, let it be with our whole being. When we are apart, bind us together in the fellowship of your Spirit. Bless you for accompanying us everywhere, for accepting our humanness, and for always calling us into deeper love and service. Amen. Amen.
WARDEN: And now, Amy and Joe, we stand by your side, and ask God’s blessing upon you, and upon all of us, as you follow this new call. We are reminded that the official name of The Episcopal Church is “The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society,” and your call reminds us of the global nature of following Jesus. Do you affirm your commitment to this new call?
AMY AND JOE: We do with God’s abiding help.
CLERGY: Will all of you do all in your power to support Amy and Joe in this new mission, and keep them in your prayers?
CONGREGATION: We will.
AMY AND JOE: With gratitude we deeply value the understanding, support, and encouragement of all at St. Anne’s.
ALL – A CLOSING PRAYER: Loving God, as your risen Son ascended to glory he declared that your people would receive power from the Holy Spirit to bear witness to God’s Love to the ends of the earth. Be present with all who go forth in his Name, especially Amy and Joe who prepare to serve as Appointed Missionaries of the Episcopal Church in Africa. Keep them safe and always encouraged in their new environment, through Jesus Christ our Divine Companion. Amen.
ALL: Amy and Joe, we commission you as Appointed Missionaries of the Episcopal Church, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. May God bless you richly in this ministry. Amen.
With thanks to Jim Proctor for the photograph. See more of Jim’s photos at Jim Proctor.