Worship Order for
Responsive Call to Worship
morning is Easter morning from now on..." So goes that
familiar chorus we have sung many times. This past week we let go
of a beloved older brother in the faith, remembering his rich life
and celebrating his future - as he is now fully in Godís hands.
This morning we will baptize a beloved younger brother in the
faith, launching him upon the greatest adventure ever, as a
disciple of Jesus.
appropriate during this time of endings and beginnings to turn to
the final book of the Bible. Here Godís Word draws to a close
with an open door, revealing the new beginning God has in store.
In this revelation, John envisions what is really real - beyond
what we can see with our eyes. When we gather for worship,
brothers and sisters, we are surrounded by a heavenly choir.
Please turn in
your hymnals to #689 in the back. Letís stand and read,
responsively, part of Johnís vision. Your part is in bold print.
Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels surrounding
and the living creatures and the elders;
they numbered myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands,
singing with full voice,
"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain
to receive power and wealth, wisdom and might,
honor and glory and blessing!"
Then I heard every creature in heaven
and on earth and under the earth and in the sea,
and all that is in them, singing,
"To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might
forever and ever!"
Revelation 5:11-13 - Hymnal #689
Lord of life,
of love, of peace, of time itself, we stand in awe of your eternal
presence and resurrection power. We open our lives, once again, to
your involvement. Come, Lord Jesus. As you sit in heaven, be
seated here on the throne of our hearts. Forgive us our sin, and
enter in. Amen.
Vows of Commitment
Minister: Do you believe that Jesus is God's Son and do you receive
him as your Savior and Lord?
Candidate: I do.
Minister: Will you turn away from all sin and will you endeavor by
God's grace to live according to the example and teachings of Jesus?
Candidate: I will.
Minister: Will you be loyal to the church, upholding it by your
prayers and your presence, your substance and your service?
Candidate: I will.
Congregation: "With joy we receive you as part of this
congregation. With you we renew and reaffirm our vows of faith. We promise to
surround you with the love and encouragement that will enable you to grow strong
in compassion, vigorous in service, and sure in the way of Christ."
part by Carol A. Wise, For All Who Minister, ©1993, Brethren Press,
Minister: Let's go and prepare for baptism.
our Tithes and Offerings
Yes, when one
person steps forward in faith and commits his or her life to
Christ, we all are given a fresh opportunity to recommit our
lives. In the coming months, there will be plenty of occasions for
doing so, for several others will be baptized as well, and we are
only doing a few at a time. Brothers and sisters, we are in a
"season" of new life in Christ.
As you return
your offering, recall your own baptism. What made it special? What
steps have you taken since then to grow deeper in the faith? Those
of you who have yet to make such decisions, imagine what God can
do in your life... This summer, our denominationís Annual
Conference will take place right here in Baltimore. This yearís
theme is "Revive Us, Again." How appropriate for this
"season of baptisms" we enter today.
Would the ushers
come forward to serve?
We praise you,
Lord, and thank you for reviving us again, and again, and again.
In Jesusí name, we pray. Amen!
Minister: (name) , upon your confession of
faith made before God and these people, you are baptized in the
immersion, forward, fully "dunked")
- of the Father,
- and of the Son,
- and of the Holy Spirit.
O God, we are
thankful for the commitment made today by (name) . May
(he/she) experience your forgiveness, acceptance, and peace. Send
your Holy Spirit upon (him/her) to guide and to empower. Enable
(him/her) to walk in newness of life, using (his/her) gifts in
praise to you and in service to others. Through Jesus Christ our
Leader: Through baptism we are united to Jesus Christ
and given part in Christ's ministry of reconciliation.
Baptism is the visible sign of an invisible event:
the reconciliation of people to God.
Baptism shows the death of the old self and the rising to life of
a new self.
It shows also the pouring out of the Holy Spirit
on those whom God has chosen.
Baptism declares God's forgiveness;
it seals the gift of the Spirit
and joins the believer to the body of Christ.
People: This is the water of baptism.
Out of this water we rise with new life,
forgiven of sin,
and one in Christ,
members of Christ's body.
(#778 in Hymnal,
Adapted from Book of Worship United Church of Christ,