Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Commissioning of Sunday Church School Teachers and Staff and Blessing of the Backpacks and Lunchboxes

The Commissioning of Sunday Church School Teachers and Staff

&

Blessing of the backpacks and Lunchboxes

Grace Lutheran Church

Springfield, Illinois

Pastor Juli Lejman-Guy

Commissioning of Sunday School Teachers and Staff

In Christian love, you, the parents and families of this congregation, presented your children for Holy Baptism just as you yourself were Baptized. In baptism, sacred promises are made. It is your calling to keep these scared promises:

To faithfully come AND bring others to the services of God’s house.

To study AND teach the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed and the Ten Commandments.

To use the Holy Scriptures AND to share those with those who do not know the stories.

To take the opportunities to be instructed AND to provide for the instruction in Christian faith.

One of the ways we, as a congregation, help you do this is through our Sunday Church School Program. Sunday Church School is an important part of the life of a Christian, from birth until death, because it is here that you grow in your faith, learn the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, and Ten Commandments. You learn the stories of our faith and you join with other Christians as we build up the body of Christ. Today we commission our Sunday School Teachers and Staff.

At this time I would like to invite all of our Christian Education staff members to come forward as your names are read:

Teachers: ____________________________

Staff: ____________________________

Worship Staff: ___________________________

P: Our Lord, who came along among us as a servant, calls us to faith and a life of loving service to our neighbor. You stand among us as one called to render a particular service, a gift from God to inspire us to love and good works.

For as in body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, {5} so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members of another. {6} We have gifts that differ according to the grace given us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; {7} ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; {8} the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness. (Romans 12:4-8 NRSV)

The Minister questions the teachers:

P: Will you assume this ministry in the confidence it comes from God?

R: I will, and I ask God to help me.

P: Will you teach in accordance with the Holy Scriptures and the Confessions of the Lutheran Church?

R: I will, and I ask God to help me.

P: Will you be diligent in your study of the Holy Scriptures and faithful in your use of the means of grace and prayer?

R: I will, and I ask God to help me.

P: Will you trust in God’s care, seek to grow in love for those you serve, strive for excellence in your skills, and adorn the Gospel of God with a godly life?

R: I will, and I ask God to help me.

P: Almighty God, who has given you the will to so these things, graciously give you the strength and compassion to perform them.

C: Amen

P: I now declare you teachers in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

C: Amen**

The teachers and staff may sit in the front row until during the children’s sermon portion.

P: Will all of our students join us and bring your backpacks and lunchboxes with you.

BLESSING OF THE BACKPACKS AND LUNCHBOXES

Invite all students (preschool through post graduate) to come forward.

Who can tell me what a vocation is?

A Vocation is a call to a specific job. For example: some people are called to be doctors, some teachers, and some even pastors. A vocation is the job that you are naturally good at doing. Our moms and dads have their jobs. They are parents, but they also get up in the morning and go someplace to work. Hopefully, the job they are doing is the job God intends for them. Do you know how we know that? If they love what they are doing and they are good at it then chances are they have found their calling. For example: Mrs. Christell is a schoolteacher. She loves children and is excited about finding new ways to teach you here at church about God and her school kids about English. That’s her vocation.

Now, do you know what it means when we say we are called to be something?

Being called means that God has given you special gifts that are different than others in order to do something special. The Bible tells us that we have all been called to serve God.

OK, if our vocation is that thing we are called to do~ what is your vocation right now in your life? To be students. God wants us to be the best students we cam be. And, God wants us to be the best Christians we can be. In Matthew 5:16 we are told to “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Then other people will learn about God through you.

What are some gifts that you have as students? Eyes to read, ears to hear, teachers, schools, tools, books, computers….Even our backpacks and lunchboxes. PULL OUT TOOLS (paper, pens/pencils, folders, rulers…) and our lunchboxes carry the food we need to stay strong and healthy. We know we need to eat to keep our brains working and our energy level up. Maybe you like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and carrot sticks for lunch. But if we eat healthy, we take care of one of the best gifts Gods has given us-our body.

Now, one more question: What is a blessing? A blessing is a way that we bring God into our daily lives. When we get new songbooks we ask that God will help us to use them to sing praises to God. Today we are going to pray that God will help us use these tools- our backpacks and lunchboxes-to make us be the best students we can be.

So let’s lay all of our bags and boxes on the floor together, I’d like for you to place your hands on someone’s backpack and lunchbox. Let us pray. Dear God. Help us to use the tools you have given us in our job as students. We especially ask that you bless these backpacks and lunchboxes to your service. May they remind us always that you have called us to do our best and to be a light for you no matter where we go. Amen.

Now, we are going to bless you as students. Will the adults in the congregation raise your hands as if you were laying them on the head of our young people. Let us pray. Gracious God, we give you thanks for the opportunities to learn. We ask that you bless these students. Give them wisdom to learn; patience in their studies, courage to face new things and compassion for all those they meet that they may let their light shine each and every day. Amen.

Now, will all of the teachers, Sunday Church School and public, come forward and kneel at the altar. And will the children come up here with me and place your hands on the teacher’s heads. Let us pray. O God of wisdom, in your goodness you provide faithful teachers for your whole Church. By your Holy Spirit give all teachers insight into your Word, holy lives as examples to all, and the courage to know and do the truth; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

And to help you remember you are a child of God to be the best you can be every day no matter where you are I have something for you to take as a reminder. (Stickers/pencils)

**Ending when there is no blessing of the backpacks and lunchboxes

P: I now declare you teachers in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

C: Amen

The teachers may kneel:

P: Let us pray, O God of wisdom, in your goodness you provide faithful teachers for your Church. By your Holy Spirit give all teachers insight into your Word, holy lives as examples to us all, and the courage to know and do the truth; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

C: Amen

The minister blesses the teachers:

P: Almighty God, our heavenly Father, guide, bless, and keep you that you may be faithful in the ministry to which you have been called.

C: Amen

***Commissioning Service is adapted from the Lutheran Book of Worship Occasional Services

1 comment:

ElastiGirl said...

love this - it will definately go in my files! thanks for sharing

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