Commissioning of Deacons
Tonight is Love Feast. You are invited to this special meal,
prepared and served by our Deacons. It is one of their
responsibilities as caregivers in this congregation. They are
persons prayerfully called to this task by you. The role of Deacon
came into existence in the early church. The book of Acts tells of
how the twelve apostles were overloaded with the all needs of the
people. Folks were getting left out, especially those on the
margins, like widows and the sick and children. Because the care
of everyone is important, God led the early church to call forth
deacons to take care of people, sort of like how a gardener tends
a garden - feeding, watering, weeding.
When you look closely as those first called to this role,
you discover they weren’t cookie-cutter deacons, they weren’t all
alike. In fact, one of them, Stephen, was a gifted preacher.
Preaching was not in the original job description, but he was so
good at it, he was stoned to death by those who opposed Jesus. By
the way, getting killed is also not in the Deacon job description,
but sometimes persecution happens to all God’s children.
What I’m saying is that every deacon, like every follower
of Jesus, is unique. Each one fulfills their calling in their own
way. In tending this garden called the church, some are more
‘hands on’ in visiting people, while the gift of others is to care
with phone calls or notes of encouragement.
Some are quite vocal, while others work quietly behind the
scenes. Some are blessed with organizing skills, while others
simply do what needs to be done. Thank God for each one!
Would all of our deacons please come forward? Nancy, Jean,
Gail, Linda, Teresa, Mike and Dave, you have been serving
faithfully. This year, we called you, Helen, to replace Lois. We
are grateful for the years Lois served, and are confident that God
will work through you, Helen, in the years ahead. This is not a
new call, for you have served as a deacon in years past.
It is always good to reflect upon and reaffirm vows we have
previously made. Therefore, let me ask all of you deacons the
following questions, that you may once again give voice to your
commitment, and be chastened in and revived for the importance of
your calling as deacons.
Do you declare anew your faith in the gospel
of Jesus Christ?
If so, say, “I do.”
Will you seek to cultivate more fervently
your spiritual life by Bible reading, meditation, prayer, and
If so, say, “With God's help, I will.”
Will you encourage and lead the congregation
in deepening its spiritual life and its ministries of compassion?
If so, say, “I will.”
Will you seek to be a good example in faith
If so, say, “I will.”
Do you, once again, accept the call to the
ministry of deacon in this body of Christ, and promise to perform
faithfully all the duties thereof?
If so, say, “I do.”
I now ask those of you who serve on our church board to come
forward to assist in laying hands on these deacons for a prayer of
consecration. If you are able, would you deacons please kneel (or
sit in a chair if your knees are not up to that task).
Eternal God, you have come in Jesus Christ not to be
served but to serve. Now we set apart and consecrate
these, your servants, to this ministry of deacon, that
they may serve in your name.
Grant them deep compassion for human needs; fill
them with tender care and steadfast love for those for
whom Christ died.
Inspire them with devotion to your church. Grant
them growth in faith that they may lead others by precept
and example. Grant to the church the grace to work with
them for the increase of faith and caring within the
them in their labors. Through Christ we pray.
In the name of Jesus Christ, you are now set apart in the sacred
ministry of deacon.
Serve God and this congregation faithfully and courageously.
And may God bless you in your service.
We, the members of this body of Christ, in the spirit of
joy and in renewed loyalty to our Lord, acknowledge and
receive you as deacons.
We promise to pray for you and support you in
confidence, encouragement, cooperation, and prayers, that
together we may increase in the knowledge and the love of
God, manifested to us in Jesus Christ.
all but the first 5 paragraphs
For All Who Minister
Copyright ©1993 by Brethren Press, p. 322-324
our Tithes and Offerings
The apostle Paul wrote the following to the
church in Philippi. Listen.
“Christ has shown
me that what I once thought was valuable is worthless.
Nothing is as wonderful as knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I
have given up everything else and count it all as garbage.
All I want is Christ and to know that I belong to him. I
could not make myself acceptable to God by obeying the Law
of Moses. God accepted me simply because of my faith in
Christ. All I want is to know Christ and the power that
raised him to life. I want to suffer and die as he did, so
that somehow I also may be raised to life.”
Lord of grace and forgiveness,
and spared nothing
to make us your own,
we offer back to you
what you have so freely given to us.
Let all that we say and do,
all that we think and plan and
be pleasing to you, blessed Creator,
in whose name we pray. Amen.
Philippians 3:7-11 from the Contemporary English Version
Copyright © 1995 by American
prayer by Bill
from “The Abingdon Worship Annual 2011,”
edited by Mary J. Scifres and B.J. Beu
Copyright © 2010 by Abingdon Press.