From The Water's Edge
Preparation: The worship center may be created with appropriate items from the sea shore and ocean including a table-top fountain or recorded ocean music. The officers to be installed need to be sitting in the front row. Be sure to get the name of each officer and the office to which they have been elected.
LEADER: I invite you for a few moments to go with me to one of my favorite places, the sea shore. Anne Morrow Lindberg in her book "Gift From the Sea" says, "If one is out of touch with oneself, then one cannot touch others," and I have always found the sea shore to be for me a place for reading, rest and renewal, a place to get back in touch with myself. And so I'm inviting you today to go with me to the shore. I'd like you to close your eyes, take a deep breath and try to let go of all those things that pull at you, those stressful things in your life. Feel the warmth of the sun on your face, smell the salt sea air, and listen to the water.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or about your body, what you will wear...consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. (Luke 12:27)
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth; who does not faint or grow weary; whose understanding is unsearchable; who gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40: 28-31)
For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. (II Timothy 1:7)
You can open you eyes now and return with me from the shore. Renewed a bit by the sounds of the water we come to this place as Christians with the understanding that by water in baptism we are also new and renewed. As we are told in John and II Corinthians, we are born again by water and the spirit, in Christ we are a new creation....Our baptism not only incorporates us into the church but also calls us to respond in service. It was at the water's edge that Jesus called his first disciples. And it is from the water's edge we come today to install these persons who have been called for service as officers for this unit of United Methodist Women for the coming year. Jesus calls all of us from the water's edge to live our lives as disciples and so I would invite you to sing with me the first two verses of Hymn #344 "Lord You Have Come to the Lakeshore."
HYMN "Lord You Have Come to the Lakeshore" United Methodist Hymnal #344 vs 1 & 2
LEADER: We come today to call from the water's edge the following women - we lift them up as new and renewed persons for the service to God in this unit of United Methodist Women, believing that their calling is a celebration of the unique gifts they bring to each position and is an expression by all of us of our belief in them. Please come forward as your name is called.
Chair of the Committee on Nominations (name). (Name) and her committee are called to seek and discern those whose gifts will bless God and this unit as officers for the following year.
Spiritual Growth (name)
Education and Interpretation (name)
Social Action (Name)
Membership Nurture and Outreach (name)
These four bring gifts and ministry to the very core of this unit of United Methodist Women by their attention to our spiritual growth, by keeping in front of us our mission in the world through education and interpretation and of our mission to justice through social action, and by the nurture and outreach to our local members.
Secretary of Program Resources (name). By her work throughout the year (name) will minister to each of us through her knowledge and sharing of the resources available to us.
Treasurer (name). (Name) will be the Matthew among us this next year, responsible for the collection of those monies that come to the unit and the disbursement of them. These tasks will require good stewardship of talent and time.
Secretary (name). (Name) is called to the important task of documenting the history of our unit - a calling both to accuracy and thoughtfulness.
Vice President (name). (Name) could be called ‘Peter' - the right hand woman, if you will, to the President. As Vice President (name) is called to an integral role in helping plan and achieve our unit's goals for the coming year through its programs.
President (name). (Name) is called out for a unique and special year of ministry as our unit president. To her comes the mantle of responsibility for the overall well-being of this unit. She is called to be our advocate wherever she finds herself and that will be in many and varied places - here within our unit and our circles, in the greater body of our church and beyond (name of local church) into the conference and community. She will be a cheerleader, counselor, advisor and liaison. In coming to this moment of installation we surround all those who stand here with our love, our prayers and our support for answering God's call to this new ministry.
Let us pray: Gracious and loving God we thank you for calling us from the lakeshore to enter into this new ministry. Bless each of these officers as they serve you through United Methodist Women. Give them the courage and strength they will need in the coming year and help them always to remember that you are there - that you do not faint or grow weary and that they only need to stop a moment and wait for you to renew their strength. Guide and direct this team as they work together with us as we find new ways to serve in mission and ministry through United Methodist Women. In Jesus name, Amen.
To the officers: Will you as an officer of (name of church) United Methodist Women promise to fulfill the duties to which you have been called, with God as your helper? Will you, when times of difficulty arise, remember that Christ renews and sustains you? Will you make yourself available to all training opportunities and reading materials for your office? If so, say "I will with God's help."
To the women of the local unit: Please stand as you are able. Will you, members of this unit of United Methodist Women, sustain these officers with daily prayer, and will you offer your help when you see an opportunity? If so, say "We will with God's help."
I present to you your new mission team. We lift up this team and their gifts and look forward with hope and love to the way you will live out your gifts in ministry.
Let us sing the last two verses of hymn #344, "Lord You Have Come to the Lakeshore"