This was used as a prayer of installation for a Presbytery moderator, but could be easily adapted for congregations installing pastors or elders/deacons or other officers. The different “divisions” of the congregation were designed to ensure that a wide cross section of people lent their voices in different areas of the room and different areas of the Presbytery’s life.
One: Gracious God,
you have gifted your servants throughout the ages
with courage, grace, cheerfulness, vision, and hope.
Grant, we pray, this same spirit to your church in this place,
and to your servant ______ as she guides us to follow you.
women: We have seen your gift of vision in her,
opening our eyes to see your new thing.
men: We have seen your gift of compassion in her,
caring deeply for each one of us as your children.
younger: We have seen your gift of cheerfulness in her,
with a smile that comforts and encourages.
older: We have seen your gift of courage in her,
stepping in to hard places to be present with your grace.
One: Now give her, O God, a double measure of your Spirit,
for we know she will need it in the coming year.
Clothe her in compassion and kindness, love and forgiveness.
Give her a sure sense of your abiding presence and everlasting hope.
Keep her eyes and heart focused on you.
All: And give us the grace to respond to her leadership
with gratitude and peace, energy and love.
Give us the courage to look where she is looking
and to see what you are doing through her and through us.
One: Your creative spirit still flows free in the world, loving God,
and we pray this day that in days to come,
_____ will allow your imagination to be hers,
open to possibility, building on all you have done before.
ruling elders: We pray that she would fulfill her office with humility and grace,
always remembering that it is you who are the head of the body.
teaching elders: We pray for your guidance in her life,
that she may continue to be a leader in deed as well as word.
choir side: We pray for the Presbytery:
for courage to be honest and forgiving,
to speak for ourselves and with love,
to use the tools you have given us
for your work, not only our own.
pulpit side: We pray for the Presbytery:
for courage to listen deeply to one another,
to grow in love across divides,
to be re-made yet again as your body,
loving, serving, and caring for the world.
One: May the dawn of your tender mercy break forth from on high,
bringing light to those who walk in darkness,
guiding our feet, together with you, in the path of peace.
Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Palatine Presbyterian Church, Chicago Presbytery