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Ordinary Sunday 19, Year B
Commissioning of Elders
South Sydney Uniting Church
August 12, 2012

The Gathering of the People of God


We could not survive, O God,
if you remembered our sins and shortcomings ...
I trust in God, ever faithful,
knowing, like those on night shift,
that dawn will come.
Let us all be faithful watchers.
God’s mercy and pardon are ours.

SONG ‘O for a closer walk with God’ (576)

Lighting the Christ Candle.


The free kindness of our Saviour Jesus Christ
and the love of God
and the friendship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
And also with you.

Acknowledgement of Indigenous custodians.
Welcome to visitors.


We are God’s people, journeying in faith
towards the promised land of abundant life, eternal life.
The Saviour, in whose name we gather, is not only the goal
of our journey but our companion on the way.

Jesus, you strengthen us when we are weak.
God, have mercy.
You raise us up when we fall:
Christ, have mercy.
You renew our hope when we grow discouraged:
God, have mercy.


Ephesians 4:25 - 5:2


Guide your church, O God, on its earthly pilgrimage;
sustain it with the food that does not perish
so that, persevering in the faith to which Christ has called us,
we may come at last to your holy mountain
and gaze on the beauty of your face.
We ask this through our Saviour Jesus Christ, your Own,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

FIRST READING 2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33

The Wisdom of God.
God’s word made new.


We stand.

Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim
till all the world adore the glorious Name!

From north and south, from east and west they raise
in growing unison their song of praise:

GOSPEL John 6:35, 41-51

The Good News and Power of God.
Praise to you, O Jesus Christ.


Commissioning of Elders


Having sought the guidance of the Holy Spirit,
we are now to commission as elders those whom we have elected to this ministry.

On behalf of the people of this congregation,
I present the following persons to be commissioned as elders.

The responsibilities of elders include the following:
to share with the ministers
in building up the congregation in faith and love;
to nurture the members in their growth in grace;
to share with the ministers
in the conduct of worship
and the administration of the sacraments,
the spiritual oversight of the congregation,
and in christian education and evangelistic outreach;
to maintain the membership rolls of the congregation
and to exercise pastoral discipline;
to make recommendations to the church council
concerning applicants for training for ministry.


Do you confess anew Jesus Christ as Sovereign? I do.
Do you believe that you are called by God through the church to this ministry? I do.
Will you seek to live and work within the faith and unity
of the one holy catholic and apostolic church? I will.
Do you adhere to the Basis of Union of the Uniting Church in Australia? I do.
Relying on God’s grace, do you promise to carry out the duties of your office? I do.

The people stand.

Will you, the members of this congregation, accept these friends as elders? We will.
Will you encourage them in love and support them in their ministry,
serving with them the one Christ and Saviour? We will.

May God give you strength to fulfil these vows;
and to God be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus. Amen.


Laying on of hands.

Let us pray in silence for these people
before we commission them for the work
to which we believe the Holy Spirit has called them.

The candidates kneel.

Almighty God,
in every age you have chosen servants to lead and care for your people.
We thank you that you have called ... to serve you.
May they have the same mind which was in Christ Jesus
and be faithful disciples,
giving example to Christ’s flock and witnessing to the truth of the gospel;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.
... receive the Holy Spirit for the ministry of elder. Amen.

The God of all grace, who has called you to eternal glory in Christ,
establish and strengthen you in all things,
to the glory of God’s name and the good of the church on earth.



Let us now bring our needs before God ...
God, be our strength.
God, be our strength.

... Abba God, look upon your children
and draw us closer to the one whom you have sent
Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

Liturgy of the Eucharist

OFFERING: ‘Jesus, my Lord, let me be near you’ (656)

Provident God, you draw us to yourself through Jesus,
whom you sent to us as the bread of life.
He loved us and gave himself for us
as a fragrant offering and sacrifice.
May he satisfy our hunger
for the food that sustains us on the journey to eternal life. Amen.




God is here.
God’s Spirit is with us.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to God.
Let us give thanks to the God of love.
It is right to offer thanks and praise.

It is indeed right to give you our thanks and praise, O God,
for you have sent us the bread of heaven.

V1: You created the heavens and the earth,
and all your creatures draw their life from you.
V2: Even when we have rebelled against you,
you have never left us.

In love and mercy you hear our yearning prayers
and mark us out for the day of redemption.

V1: You sent to us your Beloved, Jesus Christ,
the bread of life for our deepest hunger,
and you drew us to him that we might learn from him.
V2: When the world turned against him,
he gave himself up, in the fullness of love,
a fragrant offering and sacrifice to you

for the life of the whole world, so that we and all who trust him
might feed on him and have life without limit.

Therefore we sing (761):
Holy, Holy, Holy God, wisdom, strength and hope,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of our God.
Hosanna in the highest.

Holy God, we offer our thanks and praise.

Through Christ, in Christ and because of Christ,
we affirm the Church’s faith:
Christ has died,
Christ is risen,
Christ will come again.

On the night ...

Holy God, we offer our thanks and praise.

And so, in remembrance of all you have done for us,
we take this bread and this cup,
and offer ourselves as a holy and living sacrifice,
made worthy by the perfect offering of Christ
our great high priest.

By your Word and Holy Spirit,
bless these gifts that we may truly share
Christ’s body and blood,
and become, by grace, his body given
for the sake of the world.

Holy God, we offer our thanks and praise.

For through your Spirit,
the whole earth makes its prayer
in sighs too deep for words,
longing for the day of freedom:
for in hope and by faith we were saved.

Accept our thanks and praise, Abba God,
through your Own, our Redeemer, Christ,
with whom and in whom,
and by the Spirit who dwells in us,
we worship you.
Blessing, honour and glory be yours,
here and everywhere, now and forever.


Abba God in heaven,
glory to you!
Your rule of love renews the earth.
In your name, we take part in that renewal
helping, and not harming,
caring, and not coercing ...
We pray that we might receive with thanks
the bread we need,
the money we need,
the warmth we need ...
We pray that forgiveness and freedom
flow through our lives.
Teach us that in sharing life
we live life to the full ...
Remind us that evil is real.
Still, we are not afraid of it,
but confident
that love is stronger than hate,
justice other than revenge,
true peace the work of your Spirit.



Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us, have mercy on us.
Servant of God, you take away the sin of the world:
grant us peace, grant us peace.



Sustainer of life, we have received from you the bread from heaven.
May we, your beloved, be kindhearted to one another,
forgiving one another as you have forgiven us in Christ Jesus
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.

The Sending Forth of the People of God



May you be imitators of God and live in love. Amen.
May you be kind to one another,
forgiving one another as Christ has forgiven you. Amen.
May the Holy Spirit of God who has marked you with a seal,
prepare you for the day of redemption. Amen.


In the strength of the living bread that Christ has given us,
go in peace to love and serve God.



Based on UIW2; Contemporary Liturgy (www.bible.claret.org);
Psalm translation by Patricia Stevenson RSJ;
Eucharistic prayers based on liturgy at laughingbird.org.au;
Lord’s Prayer translation by Andrew Collis.
Image: ‘Absalom’ by J. Marshall Smith (www.jmarshallsmith.com).