BETHEL COLLEGE MENNONITE CHURCH
Epiphany Sunday, January 2, 2022
Prelude—People Look East (Wold)—Rise Up, Shepherd (Osterland)—Verlene Garber, organ
Introit—Come Away from Rush and Hurry [VT 9]–Chancel Choir; William Eash, director; Verlene Garber, accompanist
Land Acknowledgment—Dale Schrag
Welcome and Prayer
*Immortal, Invisible God Only Wise—VT 98—(Verse 4 in unison)
Scripture reading—Isaiah 60:1-3—Dale Schrag
*Arise, Your Light is Come!—VT 273
Children’s Conversation— Matthew 2:1-12—Doug and Dawn Yoder Harms and others
Reflection—Seeking the Light—Dawn Yoder Harms
*Beautiful Star of Bethlehem—VT 275
Litany of Blessing and Release—Elizabeth Schmidt, Ada Schmidt-Tieszen, BCMC Church Board
Kathy Neufeld Dunn, Western District Conference
Dawn Yoder Harms, Pastor
This Day We Say Grateful (Jan Richardson)—Ada Schmidt-Tieszen
Prayers of God’s people—Dale Schrag
Go, My Friends, in Grace—VT 810
Blessing—Dawn Yoder Harms
Choral Blessing— Gaelic Blessing (John Rutter)—Chancel Choir
Postlude—God of Grace (Manz)—Verlene Garber
VT = Voices Together
Worship visuals—Worship Visuals Committee
Audio visual—Ben Lichti
Pastors—Renee Reimer, Nathan Koontz, Dawn Yoder Harms
Litany of Release and Blessing
Congregational Moderator: As the family of faith at Bethel College Mennonite Church, today we give thanks, Dawn, for your five years of ministry among us. We bid you farewell, and we ask God to bless our journeys ahead – yours and this congregation’s work to move forward.
Congregation: All praise be to our God. In God there is one Body, one Spirit. There is one hope in God’s call to us all.
Dawn: We have shared worship and work, laughter and learning through both difficult and joy-filled times. We have met over coffee, at the hospital, over Zoom, and under the oak tree on the BCMC lawn. We have shared many sacred life moments together.
Incoming Congregational Moderator: This is a time of mixed emotions: sadness, joy, loss, and thankfulness. As we say goodbyes, we acknowledge with gratitude that we have accomplished much during our years together. We give God thanks and praise for you and your fruitful ministry.
Dawn: I leave as your pastor with cherished memories of our times together. You have helped me see and seek God’s presence in our lives and in the world around us. Our experiences together have helped reshape my faith. Thank you for your care, your creativity, your encouragement, and your hope along the way.
Congregation: God has blessed us richly through your ministry. We now bless you as you begin a new chapter in your life and ministry journey.
Conference Minister: As you, the people of Bethel College Mennonite Church, bless Dawn as she leaves this congregation, do you now release her from her pastoral responsibilities and relationships?
Congregation: With the help of God, we do. We give thanks for Dawn’s faithful leadership and now acknowledge this transition in the life of our congregation. We will pray for God’s continued guidance in her life.
Conference Minister: Dawn, do you release the congregation from its loyalty to you as their pastor? Do you release the members from turning to you and depending on you to provide the pastoral ministries they seek?
Dawn: With the help of God, I do. When we meet in the future, we will be neighbors, not pastor and church members. I will hold this congregation and its ministries in my prayers.
Conference Minister: Dawn, may God bless and guide you on the next steps of your journey. May you ultimately form new, caring relationships in a new and beloved community, wherever that may be. May God bless the rest that you seek and the work you will undertake next. May God bless and guide this congregation into a hopeful future as it continues kingdom work and seeks new leadership. May God bless and guide each of us in the new relationship that we now will share. Amen.