Liturgy for Ordination: Celebrating from Afar

You may not know it, internet, but the world and the church are becoming a significantly better place–a place more full of hope, loud laughter, corny jokes, and crocs-and-socks. Today, we celebrate the ordination of my dear friend Cam Thomas to the ministry of Teaching Elder.

Below is the liturgy I wrote for Cam’s service, as well as the declaration from the PCUSA directory for worship. Join me in praying these prayers for and with Cam as we celebrate his ordination from around the world!

Call to Worship
Thus says the Lord, the God who created you, O Jacob, the God who formed you, O Israel,
“I have redeemed you, and I love you.”

Thus says the Lord, the God who created you, O Barbeque, the God who formed you, O Myrtle Beach, (names of ordaining and installing churches)
“The waters shall not overwhelm you. The flames shall not consume you. “

Thus says the Lord, the God who created you, O Cameron, the God who formed you, O friends and family.
“I have called you by name. You are mine.”

Let us worship the God who has called us together.
Let us worship the living God!

Call to Confession
Friends, if we say we have no sin, then we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. Confident in God’s grace, let us confess our sins together.

Prayer of Confession
God, we hear you calling our names but we doubt whether we are good enough, strong enough, faithful enough.
We hear you calling us to serve you, but we doubt whether we are young enough, old enough, brave enough.
You call us to lives of kindness, love, and justice, but we fall into patterns of apathy, hatred, and selfish comfort.
Forgive us, O God, for what we have done and what we have left undone.
Wash us in the waters of your grace, and empower us to share those waters with others.
     Silent prayers of confession

Assurance of Pardon
See what love God has given us, that we should be called children of God. The good news of the gospel is this: the waters of grace are ever-flowing, and the love God is abundant. In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!

Prayer of Illumination
Holy God,
Fill these words with your spirit, that we may know your will.
Fill our hearts with humble silence that we may hear no voice but your own.
Fill this space with your presence, that we may see you in one another.
In the name of Christ, our rock and our redeemer, Amen.

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 43:1-7

Scripture Reading: 1 John 3:1-2

Laying on of [Virtual] Hands 

Cam, you are now ordained a teaching elder in the church of Jesus Christ. Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

And the people of God say Amen!


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