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Ordinary Sunday 17, Year B
Commissioning of Elders
South Sydney Uniting Church
July 29, 2012

The Gathering of the People of God


YHWH looks down from heaven upon the peoples
to see if anyone understands, if anyone seeks God.
But they are all lost, they are all equally corrupt;
not one of them does what is right, not a single one.
Will they never learn?
They eat up my people like bread and never give God a thought.
I see them now, consumed with fear,
because God is on the side of those who do justice.
They frustrate the progress of poor people at every turn,
but YHWH is the refuge of those in need.

SONG ‘O love of God, how strong and true’ (139)

Lighting the Christ Candle.


From the Most High God
and Christ Jesus our Saviour,
grace and peace be with you.
And also with you.

Acknowledgement of Indigenous custodians. Welcome to visitors.


In today’s Gospel a boy gives Jesus the little he has five loaves and two fish.
In the hands of Jesus this is enough to feed a large crowd.
In every Eucharist, we bring the little we have to Jesus,
asking Christ to transform it for the greater honour and glory of God.

Jesus, you give food in due time to all those who look to you in hope:
God, have mercy.
You open wide your hand, you grant the desires of all who live:
Christ, have mercy.
You are close to all who call on you from their hearts:
God, have mercy.

SONG ‘Come as you are ...’ (693) vv. 3,4


May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith, so that you,
being rooted and grounded in love, will be able to grasp fully
the breadth, length, height and depth of Christ’s love, and
with all God’s holy ones, experience this love that surpasses all
understanding, so that you may be filled with all the fullness
of God.


O God, you open wide your hand,
giving us food in due season.
Out of your never-failing abundance,
satisfy the hungers of body and soul
and lead all peoples of the earth to the feast of the world to come.
We make our prayer 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 11:1-15

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

‘Christ be my Saviour ...’ (624) v. 3

We stand.

GOSPEL John 6:1-21

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.



We turn to God our Parent who gives us our daily bread
and satisfies our every need.

God, teach us to share.
God, teach us to share.

Loving God, hear the prayers of your people.
Open your hearts to the cries of our brothers and sisters
who hunger and thirst for your Word.
Grant this through Christ our Saviour. Amen.

Liturgy of the Eucharist

OFFERING: ‘Brother, sister, let me serve you’ (650)

Provident God, from the very little that we have,
we present to you these gifts of bread and wine.
In these signs your Beloved comes among us.
May Christ satisfy our hunger and quench our thirst
for a deeper faith and hope and love.
We ask this in the name of Christ. Amen.


Jesus, you said to your apostles:
“My peace I leave you; my peace I give you.”
Look with pity on our world torn asunder by war,
hunger and unfair trade practices.
Grant that all of God’s children
may enjoy the peace and unity of your kindom,
where you live for ever and ever.



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 we are overwhelmed
by the length and breadth, height and depth
of your mysteries, your glory, and your love for us in Christ.

V1: You brought forth the earth and the heavens,
and from tiny fragments you created a rich abundance
to nurture and strengthen all who look to your hand.
V2: You have given yourself generously to your people,
despite their eagerness to crown every new hero
and corrupt themselves before idols
of wealth, sex and power.

In your Child, Jesus,
you have given us the saviour we longed for.
Though he was crucified by the corrupt,
you raised him to life and he comes to us again,
striding over chaos and death,
dispelling our fears with a love beyond comprehension,
strengthening us in our inner beings,
and bringing us safely to you.

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.



Jesus, Wisdom of God,
have mercy on us.
Jesus, Word made flesh,
have mercy on us.
Jesus, Liberator of creation,
grant us peace.


This is Jesus who multiplied bread for the hungry.
Blessed are we to be invited to share in the Bread of Life.


The Sending Forth of the People of God



May God give you humility and gentleness. Amen.
May you have patience to bear with one another in love. Amen.
May you be bound together in peace and unity through the Holy Spirit.


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);
Eucharistic prayers based on liturgy at laughingbird.org.au;
Lord’s Prayer translation by Andrew Collis.
Image: Mosaic in the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves und the Fishes
at Tabgha near the Sea of Galilee (Yam Kinneret), Israel.