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Advent 1, Year A
Commissioning of Teachers and Elders
South Sydney Uniting Church
December 1, 2013

The Gathering of the People of God


We come open to new possibilities for our world.
We come open to new inspirations from God’s Spirit.
We come open to fresh calls to action in the name of Christ.
Here we will listen in hope and trust for God’s new word to us.

SONG ‘Come as you are’ (693)



Response: With God’s help, we will.


In a world often given to despair
I will light a candle for hope.
Hope is the gift of God in Christ.




God, our hope and our future,
by your Only Begotten Jesus Christ
you are part of our lives and our community.
Make us aware of your presence
that people may encounter you
in our discreet but deep love for one another,
in our respect for the earth,
in our commitments to justice,
in our efforts to make peace.
May the Holy Spirit guide us
to lead others to you,
our God for ever. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

Your word, O God, is a lamp to our feet:
a light to our path.

FIRST READING Isaiah 2:1-5

May your Word live in us, O God,
and bear much fruit to your glory.

Let us stand to acclaim God’s saving justice,
attested by the teaching and the prophets,
and now revealed through faith in Jesus Christ
to all who believe.

GOSPEL Matthew 24: 36-44

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




We pray today for the people of the Bicol region in the Philippines. We recognise their constant struggle with natural disasters and the effort required to keep rebuilding, physically and emotionally. We give thanks for those who bring short-term aid and long-term planning to cope with their situation, and pray that they may be given the strength and wisdom they need.

Offer prayer for current situations where natural and human-made disasters are occurring and for those who are helping. Pray for wisdom for our leaders in planning for a more secure future ...

OFFERING ‘For the bread and for the wine’ (518)

The love of God is shown in the gift of Jesus,
bearer of hope.
In our giving of what we have and who we are
may we too bring hope to the earth.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist


The peace of the Promised One be with you all.
And also with you.


Let us give praise and thanks to Abba God,
for the hope and the life given
in Jesus the Promised One.
By the Spirit of love
may this Eucharist give us the strength
to bear the promise for the sake of the world.


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 the night is far spent, and your day draws near.

You created the earth and its inhabitants,
and when the flood came in the days of Noah,
you saved a people and called them to walk in your light.
Though the day and hour cannot be known,
through your prophets,
you have given us visions of approaching salvation.

In your child, Jesus the Christ,
you have called all creation to yourself
and taught us your ways.

When he was killed,
you raised him to new life
and promised a day
that weapons and works of darkness
might be discarded,
that all might be clothed with justice.

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.

To you indeed be glory, almighty God,
because on the night before he died ...

God of hope and joy,
we thank you for counting us worthy
to stand in your presence and serve you.
With this bread and this cup
we proclaim the mystery of our faith.
Christ has died,
Christ is risen,
Christ will come in glory.

Loving God, we ask you to accept
this our sacrifice of praise.

Send your Holy Spirit upon us
and our celebration,
that we may be fed with the body and blood of Christ
and be filled with your life and goodness.
Strengthen us to do your work,
and to be your body in the world.
Unite us in Christ
and give us your peace.

Blessing, honour and glory be yours, O God,
here and everywhere, now and forever. Amen.


Abba God in heaven,
hallowed be your name!
May your reign come,
may your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven:
give us today the bread we need.
And forgive us our debts,
as we hereby forgive
those who are indebted to us.
Don’t put us to the test,
but free us from evil.


Let us receive what we are;
let us become what we receive:
the body of Christ.



This is Jesus our Saviour
to whom we pray: Come, Jesus!
Come, and satisfy our hunger
for goodness, joy and freedom.
Come, and make us the people
through whom you are present in this world.
Amen! Come, Jesus!

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.

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 creation, in the church and in Christ Jesus.


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.

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.


The Sending Forth of the People of God


SONG ‘How shall I sing to God’ (667)



Go into the world watching for signs of hope and love.
God goes before you planting seeds of blessing.
Let us nurture these seeds and love them into full bloom.

In the name of Christ, our hope and guide. Amen.

Based on the Service of the Lord’s Day, UIW2,
and Christmas Bowl Resources for Worship, NCCA, 2013.
Artwork by Scott Erickson (http://createvisualculture.files.wordpress.com).