Encourage the Call invites you to Call Sunday, May 22, 2016. The Call Sunday worship experience is designated for clergy and lay leaders to bear witness to the ways in which they responded to God.
The local church is a seedbed for calling. From teaching a Bible study, to serving on a mission trip, to offering the bread and cup during Sunday worship, the local church provides countless ways through which God might speak a word of calling into ordained ministry.
If your congregation seeks to be more intentional about creating spaces and opportunities whereby individuals might hear and respond to God’s call, check out the suggestions listed below.
On this day, focus your attention on Christian vocation, and how God calls us into service. Pastors, share your own call story within the worship service and invite others serving in full-time Christian vocations to do the same. Invite those who might be discerning a call to talk with you about how God is speaking to them. Find resources here.
Be intentional about drawing lay people into your weekly worship services. Encourage lay people to read scripture, offer a children’s message, or serve communion. Many individuals have experienced a call to ministry while serving as worship leaders.
Invite those who respond to register here.
Invite those who are discerning to explore the candidacy process in the Indiana Conference. Find resources here.
These resources are shared from the Missouri Conference’s Culture of Call Resources
Call to Worship
Leader: Our congregation is called to serve the Lord our God!
People: We celebrate our congregation’s ministries to the world.
Leader: We are called to serve the Lord our God through Baptism!
People: We celebrate our individual calls to Christian service.
Leader: Some are called to become ordained clergy. Others are called to serve as Local Pastors.
People: We celebrate those that choose Christian service for their lives. We encourage those within our congregation that may be experiencing a call to become a pastor!
Leader: We are called to worship, and called to serve.
People: Here we are, Lord.
Leader: We are called in the quiet of the night, and called in the faces of those who hunger for God’s Word.
People: We are called to serve as laity, as deacons, and as elders. Each of us is called. When we are called to worship, to give thanks, to serve, to lead, help us O God, to say with all of our hearts…
People: Here we are, Lord!
Litany of Response to God
Leader: We wait for your Spirit, our God.
People: Like Abraham and Sarah before us, we have accepted your call to journey into unknown territory. We wait for your Spirit now to show us the way.
Leader: Like Moses and Miriam before us, we have accepted your call to lead your children toward freedom. We wait for your Spirit now to show us the way.
People: Like Ruth and Jeremiah before us, we have accepted your call to risk ourselves for your plan of hope. We wait for your Spirit to guide us.
Leader: Like Mary Magdalene and John the Baptist before us, we have accepted your call to bear witness to the God of life. We wait for your Spirit to lead us in word and action.
People: Like Paul and Priscilla before us, we have accepted your call to establish your church in this place. We wait for your Spirit to enable our ministry.
Leader: Guiding, empowering Spirit: we wait upon your silent breath that gives life to our faith, that makes active our love, that emboldens our commitment, and that gives direction to our work.
People: We wait with longing. Spirit of God, come quickly to be in us. Amen.
-Caren L. Caldwell
Almighty and everlasting God,
In whom we live and move and have our being,
you created us for yourself,
so that our hearts are restless until they find rest in you.
Grant to us such piety of heart and strength of purpose
that no selfish passion may hinder us from knowing your will,
and no weakness from doing it.
In your light may we see life clearly
and in your service find perfect freedom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
#459, The United Methodist Book of Worship 1996
O God, our Guide and Guardian,
you have led us apart from the busy world into the quiet of your house.
Grant us grace to worship you in Spirit and in truth,
to the comfort of our souls
and the upbuilding of every good purpose and holy desire.
Enable us to do more perfectly the work which you have called us,
that we may not fear the coming of the night,
when we shall resign into your hands
the tasks which you have committed to us.
So that we worship you not with our lips at this hour,
but in word and deed all the days of our lives;
through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
#460, The United Methodist Book of Worship 1996
God of the faithful in every time,
today you have called us into your church
to be one body in Jesus Christ.
You have bestowed upon us the gifts we need for your service.
Grant that we may willingly take our part;
that we may support one another;
and that we may seek the greatest gift, which is love.
Knead us together in one loaf
with all your people throughout the world,
through your Spirit of unity. Amen.
As it is a gift that we may serve God, let us now go forth, accepting the ministry to which one is surely called, rejoicing in the blessing of our Creator God, continually renewed in the life of Jesus Christ, and hoping in the presence of the spirit. Go in peace. Be led out in joy.
-Caren L. Caldwell