On Sunday 5th May, 2019, we commissioned Peter Blair as our Olive Way Pastor and Dave Hall as our Children & Families, Youth and Young Adult Pastor.

In this Presbytery led service Rev Sani Vaeluaga reprised his role presiding over the service, having inducted Ian Ferguson as our Minister of the Word in 2013.  The Gospel reading, John 20:1-19, was offered as a Readers Theatre (in three voices) after which Ian invited the children to explore the  story reminding us of the three times Peter had denied Jesus and the parallel with Jesus’ threefold question to Peter:  ‘Do you love me?’.

Rev. Rachel Kronberger offered an inspiring reflection also focussing on the Gospel reading exploring being lost and found.  She concluded ‘And in this service of commissioning we will remind them of Jesus’ call to Peter ‘Feed my lambs.  Tend my sheep.  Feed my sheep’.  Feeding and caring for Jesus’ sheep is the calling of every disciple of Jesus, of every baptised person, of every congregation.  Children, youth and Olive Way participants are already part of this congregation.  These ministries belong to all of you.  And so may you be blessed with great abundance together as you work with Dave and Peter to the glory of God in this place.  Amen.  A recording of Rachel’s sermon is provided separately.

Heather Loader, Presbytery Administrator, presented Dave and Peter to Sani for commissioning and offered a narration of the steps which had brought them to this time and place.  Both offered statements in response.  You can listen to their statements via the links provided separately.  Sani invited Ian to join Dave and Peter with him and asked them:  Dave, Peter and Ian, you have been called by God to work together in this congregation.  Will you promise, in faith and obedience to Christ, to share this ministry, supporting one another in love, and through your harmony of spirit inspiring God’s people in their common ministry for Christ?  To which they responded:  We will, by the grace of God.

Inviting them to kneel, a group of people gathered around each of them for the commissioning prayer, offered in turn as the congregation also held out a hand in blessing: By the Holy Spirit, Lord, strengthen this your servant, Dave (then Peter) and set his heart on fire with love for you.  Increase in him your gifts of grace: the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and wonder in your presence, the spirit of joy and delight in your service, now and for ever.  To which we responded:  Amen.

Ian lit three candles responding to Simon Peter’s three affirmations and his threefold call and invited the children to light tapers as he prayers for the church including the ministries of BUC, Peter and Dave, for the world and for those in need.

Sani concluded the service with these Words of Mission:  As we leave this celebration to share in the mission of God in the world I solemnly charge you: to continue in the community of faith; the apostles’ teaching, the breaking of bread and the prayers; to proclaim by word and example the good news of God in Jesus Christ; to seek Christ in all people, and love your neighbour as yourself: to strive for justice and peace and respect the dignity of every human being.

And we responded:  Generous God, touch us again with the fire of your Spirit, and renew in us all the grace of our baptism, that our lives may profess true faith in you and show the wideness of your mercy towards the world you love.  We offer our lives to you in Jesus’ name. Amen

And the blessing of God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always. Amen.

Rev. Rachel Kronberger offered the sermon for the Commissioning Service, a reflection on Jesus’ call to Simon Peter to ‘Feed my lambs.  Tend my sheep.  Feed my sheep’.

Dave Hall offered his statement in response to being presented for commissioning as the BUC Children & Families, Youth and Young Adult Pastor.

Peter Blair offered his statement in response to being presented for commissioning as the BUC Olive Way Pastor.