Below are several charges + benedictions that may be fitting for various worship services – some for general or joyful services, and others for services that focus on lament or solidarity with the oppressed.
The Triune God whose self-sustaining love overflows into all Creation,
who whirls into our lives and sweeps us up in Their lively dance,
now sends us dancing out into Their world
to fill its empty aching with God’s love,
to subdue its pain with Their peace,
to make Their good news known far and wide
in what we say and what we do.
So let us go, glorifying the Source of life in all we do
and growing in Their love.
Let us go, following after the Redeemer of life
and striving to follow the example He set through His ministry.
Let us go, hand in hand with the Sustainer of life
allowing Her to use our hands to transform death
into new, radiant, abundant life for all creation.
[referencing protests and activism]
Siblings in Christ,
Nourished by song and by scripture, by God’s Word proclaimed and Christ’s Body shared, it is time for us to go and be a nourishment to others. Whether at home or at work, at the park or at a protest, let us live out God’s good news of liberation and community for the world.
Go in peace, go with courage, in the name of the One who creates, sustains, and redeems you.
[drawing loosely from Exodus 17:1-7]
How can we thank God for the abundance that Xe has lavished upon us here? Only by responding in kind, by feeding one another as God has fed us.
So let us go now, encouraged by the knowledge that we do not go alone:
we have each other;
and the one who Creates, Sustains, and Redeems us is in our midst,
blessing and empowering us for the work ahead.
[drawing from Psalm 23]
We have worshiped you and praised you for gathering us,
diverse as we are, into one flock.
Now, it is time for us to enter back into the world.
Lead us forth, guiding us through valleys and shadows,
protecting us as we dine not only with friends
but also with foes,
in the hopes of becoming one with them too.
Help us to be shepherds as well as your sheep,
guiding one another through valleys of shadow
to food, to water, to rest.
The way is not easy, but we rejoice,
because you guide us always
and because you give us to one another
to serve you and to be your church together.
[suitable for services of lament / that address suffering, anger, etc.]
Comrades in Christ,
Here we have received good reason to believe
that the God of the Oppressed is with us in solidarity
– not only when we are content or joyful
but also when we are grieving,
when we are enraged,
when we feel disappointed in God,
when we cannot feel God.
Assured of God’s steadfast presence, let us go out
into a world full of grief and disappointment,
full of downtrodden spirits and tortured bodies,
and join God in Their solidarity with all who cry out for justice.