De-Covenanting with Rev. Heather Davies

Ritual to Mark the End of Our Pastiral Relationship With Rev. Heather Davies

Statement of Purpose:

Our church, like any community, changes.
Babies are born. Children grow up.
Loved ones and friends grow old.
People move into our community and church.
Others leave us, moving on to new places,
new experiences, and new opportunities.

Let us not forget that the ministry in this place
is Christ’s ministry, entrusted to us as part of his Body.
Our ministry belongs to Jesus and is ongoing.

When a minister comes into our church,
we covenant with one another;
we promise to walk together as God’s People,
deepening our commitment to Jesus Christ
and growing closer to God.
God’s covenant with us never changes,
but our covenants with one another do change.
We gather now to mark the ending of the covenant between the Rev. Heather Davies
St. James’~Rosemount United Church and Waterloo Presbytery.

Recognition of Symbols of Ministry:

Friends, you called me into your midst,
to serve with you in the ministry of
Worship, Pastoral Care, Christian Education and Outreach

Bible
One: The Bible is the symbol of the ministry
of the Word among us.
May God’s Word continue to challenge,
nurture, and inspire you.
.
All: We will continue to place scripture at the centre of our life.
The Word of God lives among us.
Thanks be to God.

Water
One: The font is the symbol of our baptism,
the place of our birth into the Body of Christ.
May you continue to welcome new members
through the Living Waters of our faith.

All: We will continue to celebrate new life in baptism;
the font of blessing welcomes all.
Thanks be to God.

Loaf and Cup
One: The table is the symbol of our communion in Christ,
the source of nourishment and strength.
May you continue to share the bread and cup,
remembering the One who is Bread of Life and True Vine.

All: We will continue to break the bread and share the cup;
the table invites us to taste and see that God is good.
Thanks be to God.

Towel and Basin
One: The towel and basin are the symbols of our calling
to justice and service,
according to the example of Jesus,
who washed the feet of his friends.
May you continue to walk the way of the cross of Christ.

All: We will continue to serve others and to work for justice,
following in the way of Jesus, Friend and Servant of all. Thanks be to God.

Congregation Walking Stick
One: This walking stick represents the Christian journey
As a congregation we are called to walk together
to love and serve each other,
to care and to heal, to teach and to witness to the Word.
May you continue to walk with each other as you love one another as God has loved you.

All: We will continue to offer care,
challenge, and encouragement to one another,
sharing all that we are and have.
Thanks be to God.

Keys
One: These keys are a symbol of our daily duties
and the work of administration; and of this building,
a witness to Christ’s presence in this community.
May your light continue to shine in this place.

All: We will continue to build, to dream and to grow,
discerning the will of God for us in our time and place.
Thanks be to God.

Returning of the Stole:

One: You presented me with this stole as a symbol as my role in your midst as worship leader and preacher. I return this stole to you with gratitude. May my successor receive this stole so that they too can share their gifts for ministry with you as you continue on your journey as God’s people.

Marking the End of the Covenanted Ministry

Presider (Steve):
On July 1, 2014, St. James’~Rosemount United Church called Rev. Heather Davies to serve as Minister of Worship, Pastoral Care, Christian Education and Outreach.

Heather:
Members and friends of St. James’~Rosemount
United Church I thank you for your love, kindness,
and support during this past year.
I am grateful for the struggles, the surprises,
and for the opportunities we have shared.
I ask you for your forgiveness for the mistakes I have made.

Congregation:
We receive your thankfulness
and offer our forgiveness.
We ask you to forgive us for our mistakes.
We are grateful for your guidance and your gifts.

All: As we part, may we know God’s grace and peace.

The presider may invite members and friends of the congregation to stand as they are able.

Steve: Will you, the members and friends
St. James’~Rosemount United Church
Release Heather from the duties of the ministry of
Worship, Pastoral Care, Christian Education and Outreach in this place?
All: We will, with God’s help.

Steve: Will you respect the new relationship that now begins
and offer your encouragement and prayers
for her continued ministry elsewhere?
All: We will, with God’s help.

The presider invites the departing minister to stand.

Steve: Will you, Heather, release St. James’~Rosemount United Church from their dependence upon you as a minister of Minister of Worship, Pastoral Care, Christian Education and Outreach.

Heather: I will, with God’s help.

Steve: Will you respect the new relationship that now begins
and offer your encouragement and prayers
for their continued ministry here?

Heather: I will, with God’s help.

Heather:
I thank you, friends and members of St. James’~Rosemount United Church for the love and support you have shown me
while I have ministered among and with you.
Let us not forget that the ministry in this place
is Christ’s ministry entrusted to us as part of his body.
Our ministry together always belongs to Jesus
and is always on going.
I am grateful for the ways my leadership has been accepted.
I ask forgiveness for the mistakes I have made.
As I leave, I carry with me all that I have learned here.

Congregation:
We receive your thankfulness,
offer our forgiveness,
and accept that you are now leaving us
to minister elsewhere.
We are grateful for your time among us.
We ask your forgiveness for our mistakes.
Your influence on our faith and faithfulness
will not leave us with your departure.
We release you from your duties of ministry here
in our midst, no longer turning to you
as we have when you were in ministry among us.

Heather:
I accept your thanksgiving and your forgiveness of me. I forgive you.
May our time together and our parting now
be pleasing and acceptable to God.
Further, I now release you
from turning to me and depending on me.
I encourage your continuing ministry here
and will pray for you.

Prayer (Steve)
Creator God, Holy One,
Great Spirit of Mystery and Love, God of Covenant,
we give thanks for remembered times
when we together have shared the life of faith.
We thank you for the moments we have shared with Heather in worship, in learning, in play,
in laughter, in tears, in prayer, and in service.
We pray that Heather will be aware of your guidance,
as she moves to a new ministry.
We pray that your Spirit continue to influence
St. James’~Rosemount United Church and Waterloo Presbytery in their ministry.
Be with us in our time of celebration.
Bless the insights we have received by your grace
during this mutual covenant, now ending.
We pray for wisdom, healing, and abundant new life.
May we move forward confidently
with renewed energy and vision;
in Christ we pray. Amen.

Blessing

Steve: Heather, go now, surrounded by our love,
led by the promises of the living God,
the presence of Jesus Christ,
and the guidance of the Spirit of Life.

One Comment

  1. The words in the decovenanting service last Sunday were just beautiful. The whole service was excellent. Sad to see Rev. Heather go so soon.

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