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Posted by on Sep 23, 2016 | 5 comments

A Service of Ordination


On Sunday, 9/18/2016 in Jeffersonville, VT, Rev. Sally PH May was recognized and authorized by prayer and the laying on of hands as an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ.  It was a joyous and celebratory day for Sally, her family and friends, and the entire Vermont Conference.  Below is her service of ordination.

(NOTE: all hymns are from the New Century Hymnal)

* Please stand as your are able

Prelude Music


Introit: “Spirit of the Living God”

Call to Worship (written by Rev. Laura Cadmus)    

Leader: We gather this afternoon because God appeared to Moses in the burning bush and said, “I am sending you.”

People:  Because Isaiah heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send?  Who will go for us?”

Leader: Because the Word of the Lord came to Jeremiah saying, “Before I formed you, I knew you.  Before you were born, I consecrated you.”

People: Because Jesus said, “Follow me,” and the fishermen left their nets and followed him.

Leader:  We gather because there is one among us whom God has called to join in ministry with all the prophets, priests and teachers before her.

ALL:  God is surely with her and with us this day!

*Hymn: “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore You

Prayer of Invocation (unison) (written by Rev. Amanda Swoyer) – Holy One, we lift up our voices, our hearts, our lives to You in praise. Uphold the weary, for whom praise may be difficult. Humble the strong, for whom “alleluia” may be too easy.  We gather with You as we are, called to be saints and seekers of justice. Remind us of the saints whom You sent before us as teachers and mentors; some whose gifts blessed us and became a part of us in ways we barely noticed, and others whom we find it hard to go on living and loving without. And in Your great wisdom may our lives be a blessing to the many who will do Your work after we are gone.  Creator and Ruler of all, continue to form us into Your new creation, that we might welcome You to more fully become the ruler of our hearts and minds. Through the One who came as a servant, Jesus, our Christ, Amen.

Remembering with Love

Musical Response: “Remember Me”

Holy Scripture Readings

Hebrew: Jeremiah 1: 4-10

Epistle: James 2:14-26

Gospel: John 13: 34-35


Anthem: “Won’t You Let Me Be Your Servant”  (Joint-Church Choir)

Pastoral Prayer with Lord’s Prayer

Invitation to Offering

Offertory Music



*Prayer of Dedication                     


Reading: “The Prophet”, Kahlil Gibran, On Religion

*Hymn: “You Have Come Down to the Lakeshore”

UCC Statement of Faith (insert)

Sharing – Family member sharing call from his/her perspective

The Rite of Ordination

Presentation of Ordinand      

Reception of Ordinand

Exhortation & Covenantal Promises of the Ordinand                                 


Leader: People of God, you have heard the promises XXXXX has made.  What is your will?

People: By the grace of God, she is worthy!  Let us ordain her.  Come, Holy Spirit, come.

Leader: Will you support Sally in the ministry of Christ?

Pastor: We will.

Anthem: “Take My Life, God, Let it Be”  (Clergy Choir)

*Laying on of Hands & Prayer of Ordination

*Declaration of Ordination  & Presentation of Gifts


Hymn: “Let Us Break Bread Together” (Upbeat, fun, celebratory version)

  1. Let us break bread…
  2. Let us share the cup…
  3. Let us praise God…

Reading: Isaiah 55


Words of Institution Sharing the Bread of Life and Cup of Blessing

Communion  Music       

Prayer of Thanksgiving  (unison)  (written by Rev. Sally May) – God of Mystery, it is You who has brought us together in this time and in this place.   May the gratitude, support, and love we both offer and feel in being together today stay with us and move us to offer community wherever two or three are gathered.  We give thanks for Your amazing grace as we experience and celebrate the blessings of joy and the gifts of love that permeate our lives and our living.  Creating and Life-Sustaining God, continue to melt us, mold us, fill us, use us as we lean into the beauty and the challenge of living and loving.   Amen. 

*Hymn:  “In the Midst of New Dimensions”


*Recessional:  “Go Out in Joy (Trees of the Field)”

© Rev. Sally May, 2016

Rev. Sally May is currently serving and acting as Associate Minister at First Congregational Church of Burlington, UCC.   She lives in Jeffersonville, VT.  Ordained ministry is brand new to Sally, while the pursuit to answer this call began in 2001 in the midst of a lifetime career in healthcare, loving and supporting family and children; the children whom are now all adults.  It is to her children, no matter their age, that she will always owe the experience of scales falling from eyes.    Her sense of call is rooted in worship, pastoral care, and social justice.


  1. I am also planning an ordination service. How can I get permission to use the call to worship written by Pastor Laura Cadmus?

    • Diane, greetings and thank you for your request. I connected with Laura Cadmus and she said it is fine to use her call to worship. I will email you more info.

  2. I am currently planning my ordination service and would like to use the Call to Worship written by Pastor Laura Cadmus. How do I go about getting her permission? Thank you for any assistance you can provide.

    • Joyce, congratulations and thank you for your request. Laura’s email address is: You can email her directly and ask.


      • Thank you!

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