Lectionary - Easter 4 - Year A

[Service includes the Commissioning of Elders]

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Acts 2:42-47 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship
Psalm 23 The Lord is my shepherd
1 Peter 2:19-25 The shepherd and guardian of your souls
John 10:1-10 The shepherd of the sheep enters by the gate

Possible Hymns
(Numbers refer to The Australian Hymn Book and Sing Alleluia.)
SA 81 'The kingdom in upon you!'
SA 90 We are your people
SA 14 Brother, sister, let me serve you
13 Let all the world in every corner sing
16 The Lord's my shepherd
27 Sing praise to God who reigns above
72 Souls of men, why do you scatter
81 The king of love my shepherd is
92 God has spoken by his prophets
93 God is love, let heaven adore him
98 The Lord in my shepherd
130 My God, I love thee; not because / I hope for heaven thereby
144 Ye servants of God
147 Rejoice the Lord is King
183 I danced in the morning [last week]
308 Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire
327 Holy Spirit come confirm us
365 Jesus, united by thy grace
371 Dear shepherd of your people, hear
407 Father of peace, and God of love!
513 Eternal ruler of the ceaseless round
516 Master, speak, thy servant heareth
573 Praise God, from whom all blessing flow

Sermon summary [Click here for complete sermon]

Sharing the work of the shepherd

Jesus spoke of himself as the good shepherd [John 10:11,14] who knows his flock and cares for them even to the extent that he lays down his life for them. His followers know him and answer his call [See John 10:2-4]. His purpose is fullness of life for his followers: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly [John 10:10]. It is very likely that Jesus had in mind the warning of the prophets to bad shepherds who exploited the flock rather than caring for them as he did. [See Ezekiel 34:1-11; Jeremiah 23:1-4; Zechariah 11:15-17.]

The Good Shepherd -- a servant leader
Jesus, the good shepherd, is a model of servant leadership, gathering his people into a unified community, healing the sick or wounded, protecting them and suffering for their welfare. Above all he served their interests and not his own. The assumption of self interest is so pervasive today that it has corrupted much of our community life. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Sharing the shepherd's work in the community
Traditionally people in positions of responsibility of this kind include teachers, managers, governing authorities, priests, parents, and elders. Some of you might say that you are just an ordinary member of the church and that in your everyday life you are not a leader or that you are not the managerial type. We all have to act at one time or another as the shepherd looking out for and leading on behalf of someone else. [See Sing Alleluia song14 Brother, sister, let me serve you, and Matthew 16:24-25].

Sharing in the ministry of pastoral care in the church
Today we commission two new elders who will share with the minister and other elders in the pastoral leadership of the congregation. They will assist in the leadership of worship, and oversight of the spiritual welfare and development of the congregation, its educational programs, evangelism and service activities. Parish visitors and others too can share in the pastoral tasks. Non-judgmental listening and confidentiality are important. The pastoral task must have priority. Training is valuable. We trust in the great shepherd [Hebrews 13:20-21].

Order of Service - Easter 4 - Year A (Commissioning of Elders) - | DB Home | RCL Resources Index |

The Gathering of the People of God

Let us worship God in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ who said:
I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, -- John 10:14

HYMN 371 Dear shepherd of your people, hear

Merciful God, our Maker and our Judge,
We have sinned against you in thought, word and deed:
We have not loved you with our whole heart,
We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves;
We repent, and are sorry for all our sins.
Father, forgive us.
Strengthen us to love and obey you in newness of life;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

If we confess our sins,
God is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins
and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. [1 John 1:9]
Hear then Christ's word of grace to us:
Your sins are forgiven.
Thanks be to God.

DOXOLOGY: Hymn 573 Praise God, from whom all blessing flow


Service of the Word

INTRODUCTION OF THEME: Shepherds of the flock
OLD TESTAMENT Acts 2:42-47 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship
HYMN 16 The Lord's my shepherd [PSALM 23]
EPISTLE 1 Peter 2:19-25 The shepherd and guardian of your souls
GOSPEL John 10:1-10 The shepherd of the sheep enters by the gate


Commissioning of Elders

HYMN SA 14 Brother, sister, let me serve you

There are diverse gifts
but it is the same Spirit who gives them

There are different ways of serving God:
but it is the same Lord who is served.

God works through people in different ways:
but it is the same God
whose purpose is achieved through them all.

Each one of us is given a gift by the Spirit:
and there is no gift without its corresponding service.

There is one ministry of Christ:
and in this ministry we all share.

Together we are the body of Christ:
and individually members of it.


[N and N, who have been elected by the congregation are introduced]


Do you confess anew Jesus Christ as Lord? 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

[To the people]
Will you, the members of this congregation, accept Samantha and Andrew as elders? We will

Will you encourage them in love and support them in their ministry, serving with them the one Lord Jesus Christ? We will

May God give you strength to fulfil these vows; and to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus from generation to generation for ever. Amen

ACT OF COMMISSIONING .... for the ministry of elder. Amen

[Hymn 572] The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious unto you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
and give you peace.

SHARING TIME [Notices, celebrations, requests for intercessions]

O God,
whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people:
Grant that when we hear his voice
we may know him who calls us each by name,
and follow where he leads;
who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns,
one God, for ever and ever.


The Sending Forth of the People of God

HYMN 516 Master, speak, thy servant heareth
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.

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