for Sam

Sam’s off to work in India for 12 months, we commissioned her last night…

[we made wine labels for last night’s celebration that looked surprisingly gorgeous. i’m still waiting on copyright permission for the image we used, if i get it i’ll put a pdf of the labels up here]

Sam’s commissioning

[large bowl of water in the centre of the room, placed on a large piece of silk]

Gathering

There are many stories in the Bible, and through all of history, of people who said ‘here i am’ – Abraham, Moses, Samuel;

and there are many more in the Bible, and through all of history, who might not have said the words out loud, but whose actions spoke it for them – Esther, Rahab, Mary.

you’re joining them, Sam
following a path of faith that is well worn
but one that’s also completely unique to you.

We do not underestimate the faith it takes to simply say ‘here i am’:
faith in yourself and in God.
To make a public declaration of call
to quit your job
to buy a plane ticket
to say ‘goodbye’
to begin forming the words with which you will say ‘hello’.

and tonight we want to honour your journey and to mark this moment
and to remind you that the promise of faith is that when you say out loud
with your words and actions,
‘here I am’
God will not leave you alone.

so we pray:
God,
you are the anger that confronts the world’s injustice
you are the compassion that heals the world’s pain
you are the love that restores the world to life

we pray for Sam as she makes this journey to India

that in every moment of fear
just as in every moment of welcome
she will find herself surrounded by grace

that in every moment of uncertainty
just as in every moment of wonder
she will find herself trusting in life

that in every moment of loneliness
just as in every moment of delight
she will find herself held by love

that in every moment of despair
just as in every moment of resolve
she will know that all she has to offer is enough.

and when Sam cannot hold this faith for herself, we commit ourselves to holding it for her

amen.

[writing our prayers for Sam onto the piece of silk with water, give the silk to Sam for her to take with her]

A sending:

Sam, you offer welcome and love to all who come your way,
may you let yourself also be welcomed and loved

you show grace and compassion in such abundant and rich ways,
may you be open to grace and compassion in return

you give of yourself with all your passion and strength,
may you be able to accept the gifts that are offered to you

you are disturbed by injustice and oppression
and you yearn for freedom and life for all
may you not lose courage and hope;

and may the source of all that brings life be your constant companion on this remarkable journey of faith.

go with peace,
amen.

4 Comments

  1. Kel

    cheryl, this is simply beautiful
    i’ve been to lots of “commissionings” but never one as creative as this

  2. Cheryl

    thanks kel. I was thinking of you the other day when the weather was warming up – you must be exhausted after this summer.

  3. swillow

    That is just awesome. I sooo wish we could have been there! Safe, though, to know how blessed Sam is to be surrounded in clever wonderful people to commission her in this way. Thanks Cheryl for sharing it with us.

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