Next Sunday will be a special Lord’s Day in the life of our congregation. As most of you know, two weeks ago we elected six men to our officer core—three deacons and three elders. Next Sunday we will have the privilege of ordaining and installing these men to their respective office.
If you’ve never attended an ordination and installation service before, there are several elements of the service that are unique, including a charge, laying on of hands, and public vows. I thought it would be helpful to publish the vows ahead of time, so that you can see the commitments the officers are making to you, the church, and the commitments you, the church, are making to them. These vows are taken directly from our denomination’s Book of Church Order. Please read through, ponder, and prayerfully consider the vows below and come with joy and anticipation next week as we celebrate God’s provision of new officers in our midst.
- Do you believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as originally given, to be the inerrant Word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice?
- Do you sincerely receive and adopt the Confession of Faith and the Catechisms of this Church, as containing the system of doctrine taught in the Holy Scriptures; and do you further promise that if at any time you find yourself out of accord with any of the fundamentals of this system of doctrine, you will, on your own initiative, make known to your Session the change which has taken place in your views since the assumption of this ordination vow?
- Do you approve of the form of government and discipline of the Presbyterian Church in America, in conformity with the general principles of Biblical polity?
- Do you accept the office of ruling elder or deacon in this church, and promise faithfully to perform all the duties thereof, and to endeavor by the grace of God to adorn the profession of the Gospel in your life, and to set a worthy example before the Church of which God has made you an officer?
- Do you promise subjection to your brethren in the Lord?
- Do you promise to strive for the purity, peace, unity and edification of the Church?
- Do you, the members of this church, acknowledge and receive these brothers as ruling elders or deacons, and do you promise to yield him all that honor, encouragement and obedience in the Lord to which his office, according to the Word of God and the Constitution of this Church, entitles him?