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Jun 13, 2011

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Carla Gentry

Great idea! One hymn I would suggest is #364 I Sing a Song of the Saints of God. It's a great hymn (British in origin) that talks about how God's people come from all walks of life and "I'm going to be one too." I could see this service being useful in several of our congregations, not only as some launch Acts 16:5 but even for those who won't be participating. I am going to seriously think of working this in for my Labor Day weekend service. Thanks for the thinking on Monday morning.

Michael W. Kruse

Great Hymn, Carla. I found this link to:

http://www.hymnsite.com/lyrics/umh712.sht

BTW, I wrote this last week. I only posted on Monday. My brain isn't that sharp. ;-)

Marcus Goodyear

I love this, Michael. Really really love it.

Another hymn possibility is Fanny Crosby's "To the Work." We used to sing that growing up, but it may or may not be in the PCUSA hymnal. (We're new to the denomination.)

http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/t/o/tothewor.htm

Michael W. Kruse

Thanks Marcus. We'll see what happens.

David G Rupert

This is a great idea...To set people "apart" for the workplace, just like we do missionaries or pastors.

Dayna DeLaVergne

Michael, I really, really like this idea! Please make a special effort to include those whose work is in the home. Although raising a family is important, hard work, it is all too often severely underappreciated and frequently overlooked completely.

Michael Kruse

I hear ya, Dayna. I explain in the essay that human vocation is more than simply employment and marriage and family is probably the other BIG expression human vocation. Here is some of my thinking.

I don't know if you are Presbyterian. We have ordination and commissioning of pastors, elders, and deacons. We have wedding vows at marriage. We have infant baptism where the parents and the congregation promise to rear children in the nurture of the Lord, bringing them to the confirmation of their faith. We have commissioning services for mission trips. But there is no commissioning or formal acknowledgement of what we do in our economic labor.

I'm all for recovering the full understanding of human vocation. This is just a starting point.

Michele Corbett

Love it! Our church does something similar with what we call "Industry Prayers." We choose services once in a while to pray over people and their call to certain industries.

See some of the prayers: http://faithandwork.wordpress.com/category/industry-prayers/

I have a marketing prayer we just did that I will post soon.

Mike Murray

Ever since I left the full time pastorate almost 38 years ago (while holding on to my ordination---no one wants to be introduced as an "ex-minister") I have wrestled with the issue of "vocation" and how all Christians might explore that issue. Indeed, the topic being raised in this blog has been important to me: how can the church help those of its members who feel "called" to their daily work experience the church's support and blessing. (We do it for church officers, church school teachers, people headed on a mission trip; but rarely do we commission folks to their daily work)
SO, thanks for this effort. May it trigger many, many responses. (And, Hurrah for Laity Lodge for promoting this issue!)
One more remark: reading this blog today sent me back into my computer files. Sure enough, I found a sermon I preached eleven years ago on the occasion of the baptism of my grand-daughter. It is too long to include in this blog, but I would be happy to share it with anyone who emails me. It is entitled "The Christian CallingS" (yes, the capital S on the end is deliberate.)
It covers three different texts in Acts to explore three types of "calls" that are issued. Anyone who would like a copy is welcomed to be in touch and I will email it to them. My email is mtfm@aol.com

Michael W. Kruse

Michele, what a great resource! Thanks. I'm sharing it with others.

Sam Van Eman

Great post here, Michael. And I'm glad Michelle Corbett passed along her link. She's a good resource for this topic. I'll continue urging my church to consider this in the future.

Bobbie Henley

Thanks Micheal for material that I adopted for a service and sermon about the meaning of work in our lives as Christians.

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