Order of Worship for Ordination of Paula Whitacre

Updated: Sep 30, 2020

Sunday, October 4, 2020, 2:00 PM

Music: Angie Jones

Preaching: Rev. Craig Sparks

Liturgist: Rev. Jim Sterner

Respondent: Marge Joseph

PRELUDE

WELCOME

CALL TO WORSHIP AND BRINGING THE LIGHT OF CHRIST

Inspired by Psalm 138 – Praying the Psalms by Nan C. Merrill

From: Psalms for Praying psalm 138 by Nan C. Merrill

Though I walk in the midst of trouble,

You preserve my life;

You are a very Presence as I face

my fears and doubts;

Your strength upholds me.

You guide me as I pray to fulfill

my purpose on earth;

You do not forsake those who

call upon You.

Your steadfast Love and Truth

endure forever.

Open my eyes,

That I may see my sisters and brothers, and you in them!

Open my ears

That I may listen!

And my lips,

So my mouth may proclaim your praise!

Peace be with you.

And also with you.

HYMN OF PRAISE Gather Us In

Here in this place the new light is streaming

Shadows of doubt are vanished away

See in this space our fears and our dreamings

Brought here to you in the light of this day

Gather us in, the lost and forsaken

Gather us in, our spirits inflame

Call to us now and we shall awaken

We shall arise at the sound of our name

We are the young, our lives are a mystery

We are the old who yearn for your face

We have been sung throughout all of history

Called to be light to the whole human race

Gather us in, the rich and the haughty

Gather us in, the proud and the strong

Give us a heart so meek and so lowly

Give us the courage to enter the song

Here we receive new life in the waters

Here we will take the bread of new birth

Here you shall call your sons and your daughters

Call us anew to be salt for the earth

Give us to drink the wine of compassion

Give us to eat the bread that is you

Nourish us well and teach us to fashion

Lives that are holy and hearts that are true

Not just in buildings

small and confining

Not in some heaven light years away

Here in this place the new light is shining

Now is God present, now is the day

Gather us in and hold us forever

Gather us in and make us your own

Gather us in, all peoples together

Fire of love in our flesh and our bones

INVOCATION

Merciful God, this day is full of your possibilities for healing and reconciliation, for new beginnings

and restored relationships. Unite our hearts with your will so that your abundant anointing ill flow

through us. Send us your promised blessings to preserve the lives of those in need. Gather us in

as one family and prepare us for worship. Amen.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION and ASSURANCE OF PARDON

Trusting in God’s forgiveness,

let us in silence confess our failings

and acknowledge our part in the pain of the world.

{We hold silence}

Before God,

with the people of God,

I confess to turning away from God

in the ways I wound my life,

the lives of others

and the life of the world.

May God forgive you, Christ renew you,

and the Spirit enable you to grow in love.

Amen.

Before God,

with the people of God,

we confess to turning away from God

in the ways we wound our lives,

the lives of others

and the life of the world.

May God forgive you, Christ renew you,

and the Spirit enable you to grow in love.

Amen.

HYMN OF INCLUSION We are Called (Come, Live in the Light)

Come, live in the light

Shine with the joy and the love of the Lord

We are called to be light for the kingdom

To live in the freedom of the city of God

We are called to act with justice

We are called to love tenderly

We are called to serve one another

To walk humbly with God

Come, open your heart

Show your mercy to all those in fear

We are called to be hope for the hopeless

So hatred and violence will be no more

We are called to act with justice

We are called to love tenderly

We are called to serve one another

To walk humbly with God

Sing, sing a new song

Sing of that great day when all will be one

God will reign and we'll walk with each other

As sisters and brothers united in love

We are called to act with justice

We are called to love tenderly

We are called to serve one another

To walk humbly with God

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

Scripture Reading John 21:15-17

SERMON Shepherding Rev. Craig Sparks

For the Word of God in Scripture,

For the Word of God among us,

For the Word of God within us,

Thanks be to God.

SERMON SONG Here I am, Lord

I, the Lord of sea and sky

I have heard my people cry

All who dwell in dark and sin

My hand will save

I who made the stars of night

I will make their darkness bright

Who will bear my light to them?

Whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord

Is it I, Lord?

I have heard You calling in the night

I will go, Lord

If You lead me

I will hold Your people in my heart

I, the Lord of snow and rain

I have borne my people’s pain

I have wept for love of them

they turn away

I will break their hearts of stone,

give them hearts for love alone

I will speak my word to them

Whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord

Is it I, Lord?

I have heard You calling in the night

I will go, Lord

If You lead me

I will hold Your people in my heart

I, the Lord of wind and flame

I will tend the poor and lame

I will set a feast for them

My hand will save

Finest bread I will provide

'Til their hearts be satisfied

I will give my life to them

Whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord

Is it I, Lord?

I have heard You calling in the night

I will go, Lord

If You lead me

I will hold Your people in my heart

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

ORDER FOR ORDINATION TO MINISTRY

GREETING

Grace to you and peace from God, who is and who was and who is to come, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness and the sovereign of the rulers on earth. The Chesapeake Association of the Central Atlantic Conference of the United Church of Christ greets you in the name of Jesus Christ, the only head of the church.

To God, who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen

PRESENTATION

Webster Congregational United Church of Christ, after carefully considering the call to ordained ministry of Paula Marie Whitacre, respectfully requests that the Chesapeake Association ordain her to the ministry of the church of Jesus Christ, consistent with scripture and with the traditions of the church universal, and according to the faith and order of the United Church of Christ.

The Potomac Association has reviewed the request of Webster Congregational United Church of Christ. We have prayerfully examined Paula concerning her fitness for ministry in Christ’s church. We are pleased, on behalf of the United Church of Christ, to authorize the ordination of Paula Whitacre into the Christian ministry.

Paula, servant of God, we invite you to come forward as a sign of your consent to receive ordination into Christian ministry.

The United Church of Christ acknowledges as its sole head, Jesus Christ, Son of God and Savior. It acknowledges as kindred in Christ all who share in this confession.

It looks to the word of God in the scriptures, and to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, to prosper its creative and redemptive work in the world. It claims as its own the faith of the historic church expressed in the ancient creeds and reclaimed in the basic insights of the Protestant reformers.

It affirms the responsibility of the church in each generation to make this faith its own in reality of worship, in honesty of thought and expression, and in purity of heart before God.

In accordance with the teaching of our Lord and the practice prevailing among evangelical Christians, it recognizes two sacraments: Baptism and . . . Holy Communion.

The United Church of Christ recognizes that God calls the whole church and every member to participate in and extend the ministry of Jesus Christ by witnessing to the gospel in church and society. The United Church of Christ seeks to undergird the ministry of its members by nurturing faith, calling forth gifts, and equipping members for Christian service.

Ordination is the rite whereby the United Church of Christ through an association, in cooperation with the person and a local church of the United Church of Christ, recognizes and authorizes that member whom God has called to ordained ministry, and sets that person apart by prayer and laying on of hands. By this rite ordained ministerial status is conferred and authorization given to perform the duties and exercise the prerogatives of ordained ministry in the United Church of Christ.

EXHORTATION

Hear these words from the prophet Isaiah: “I heard the voice of the Holy One saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” How wonderful it is to see a messenger coming across the mountains, bringing good news, the news of peace! The messenger announces victory and says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” The Spirit of God is upon me, because the Holy one has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, and freedom to those who are bound.”

EXAMINATION

Paula, before God and this congregation, we ask you: Are you persuaded that God has called you to be an ordained minister of the church of Jesus Christ, and are you ready with the help of God to enter into ministry and to serve faithfully in it?

I am.

Do you, with the church throughout the world, hear the word of God in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, and do you accept the word of God as the rule of Christian faith and practice?

I do.

Do you promise to be diligent in your private prayers and in reading the scriptures, as well as in the public duties of your office?

I do, relying on God’s grace.

Will you be zealous in maintaining both the truth of the gospel and the peace of the church, speaking the truth in love?

I will, relying on God’s grace.

Will you be faithful in preaching and teaching the gospel, in administering the sacraments and rites of the church, and in exercising pastoral care and leadership?

I will, relying on God’s grace.

Will you keep silent all confidences shared with you?

I will, relying on God’s grace.

Do you seek to regard all people with equal love and concern and undertake to minister impartially to the needs of all?

I will, relying on God’s grace.

Do you accept the faith and order of the United Church of Christ; and will you, as an ordained minister in this communion, ecumenically reach out toward all who are in Christ and show Christian love to people of other faiths and people of no faith?

I do and I will, relying on God’s grace.

ACCLAMATION

People of God, you have heard the promises Paula has made. What is your will?

By the grace of God, she is worthy. Let us ordain her. Come, Holy Spirit.

Will you support Paula in the ministry of Christ?

We will.

LAYING ON OF HANDS

The laying on of hands is the symbolic act whereby the church in every age recognizes God’s call to ministry in the lives of faithful women and men and asks the Holy Spirit to confer on them gifts for ordained ministry. Please hold your hands up to your screens to represent the laying on of hands.

Let us pray.

Eternal God, in wisdom you govern all things, and from the beginning you have chosen faithful people to serve you in ministry, calling some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip all your people for the work of the ministry and for building up the body of Christ. Now bless and sanctify by your Holy Spirit your servant Paula Whitacre whom we, in your name and in obedience to your will, by prayer and with the laying on of hands, ordain to the ministry of the church, committing Paula the authority to preach your word, administer the sacraments, and exercise the responsibilities of pastor and teacher. Bestow on her the power of the Holy Spirit, confirming what we do. Let the same mind be in her that was also in Christ Jesus. Enable Paula to nourish your people in the faith of the gospel. Fill her speech with truth and her life with purity. Increase the faith of Paula in you, strengthen her in the day of trouble, prosper her words and works that your name may be glorified and your truth exalted; through Jesus Christ our Sovereign and Savior.

Amen. Thanks be to God!

DECLARATION

Paula Whitacre, in the name of Jesus Christ, the head of the church, and by the authority of the Chesapeake Association of the Central Atlantic Conference of the United Church of Christ, I declare you ordained into the ministry of Jesus Christ.

(Presentation of the gift)

You are granted ordained ministerial standing in the United Church of Christ; and on behalf of its people, we offer you the hand of Christian love. Let us all celebrate.

CLOSING HYMN Now Thank We All Our God

Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,

Who wondrous things has done, in whom this world rejoices;

Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way

With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,

With ever joyful hearts and blessèd peace to cheer us;

And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed;

And free us from all ills, in this world and the next!

All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given;

The Son and Him who reigns with Them in highest Heaven;

The one eternal God, whom earth and Heaven adore;

For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.

BENEDICTION

By Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Abandon the illusion you’re a self-contained individual.

Be a part of this wounded world,

and find yourself in Christ.

Set aside your own desires,

give yourself fully for others;

be the hands and heart of Jesus.

Renounce self-protection,

accept your brokenness,

and reach out for love.

Let go of your own plans.

Join in the healing of the world.

You will not be alone.

Follow your soul, not your ego.

Follow it right into people’s suffering.

Follow it right into the heart of God.

Pour yourself out;

let the world pour in;

then you are one with the Beloved.

And may the peace of God, our Creator,

the blessing of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer,

and the presence of Ruach, our Holy Spirit,

One God, Mother of us all,

be with you and among you. Amen

Postlude

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