Isaac Wardell (Trinity Pres & Bifrost Arts), Laura Fanucci (Collegeville Inst.) and I hosted a workshop at this years calvin worship symposium entitled “Here Are My Hands: A Practical Workshop on Affirming Vocation in Weekly Worship Practices.”
Below are some of the resources that were shared during our time. It’s a rambling collection but full of gems!
RESOURCES FOR WORSHIPPING COMMUNITIES
 A yearly “Vocation” Sunday – could be labor day, or a sunday in Lent that looks at the life of Jesus.
 Article from Willow Creek’s “The Practice” on Vocation.
 Great list of resources (prayers/songs) from “TheologyofWork.org”
 A simple service for ordination to daily work from ^^.
 Include vocation topics in Sunday “Prayers of the People.”
 Invite your congregation to write prayers they would like the pastoral staff to pray for them in their vocational lives (think broadly – from students, to moms, to recent retirees)
 MUSIC – check your hymnal tags!
 Laura Fanucci – small group curriculum on vocation.
 “To Bless Our Callings” – new book of hymns and prayers on vocation by Laura Fanucci
 Prayer – the BCP has many excellent collects related to themes of vocation. More contemporary collects HERE.
 Worship and Work resources from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.
 “Work in Worship” is a 252-page, comprehensive treasury of prayers, readings, hymns ancient and modern, orders of service and ideas for preaching about work. Originally written by Cameron Butland.
 Create a map in your narthex where people can pin where they work. Gives a sense of a communities geography, and as Eugene Peterson says – all theology is rooted in geography.
 Create a series where individuals from various vocations share how they struggle to live our their faiths.
 Create a visual installation of photos people have taken of their work lives.
 Create a “Christ in the City” series for summers – where various parishioners share their work and how they live out their faith in it.
WAYS WE UNDERMINE VOCATION IN WORSHIP
- Disparaging certain vocations in our communication and preaching
- In our ministry updates only including ‘vocational’ ministries.
- Using language of ‘leave your weekly baggage” at the door of the sanctuary.
WAYS WE CAN AFFIRM VOCATION IN WORSHIP
- Commission and celebrate vocational fruitfulness at every life stage – baptisms/parenting, graduations, retirement, funerals, etc.
- Value the anxiety of parishioners between jobs and vocational stability.
Top 5 Recommended Books for further reading
- Visions of Vocation by Dr. Steven Garber
- Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work by Tim Keller
- Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good by Amy Sherman
- Work Matters: Connecting Sunday Worship to Monday Work by Tom Nelson
- Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling by Andy Crouch
Congregations are the best places for God’s people to be inspired and equipped to live out their callings each day. In the congregation people can be led to find their center in God, as revealed in Jesus Christ. At its best, the congregation can then offer us a safe place in which we can talk about the brokenness, fragmentation, and challenges of our daily lives, and where we can explore how to live our faith in every arena of our lives.
—Jack Fortin, The Centered
(Tune: The Church’s One Foundation)
God, we give thanks this day.
For people, partners, places,
at home, at work, at play.
You gift us for our calls as
you make the world’s needs known.
Bless us with strength and courage
to serve where we are shown.For those who need our work, God,
the ones that we’re called for.
We strive each day to serve them,
to give and love them more.
Vocation is for others,
lives given in exchange—
the good of all your children,
our common hopes and dreams.For all that we are called from,
transitions we must face.
When journeys end or change course,
and we must turn away.
The old and new both challenge;
we question though you guide.
Be with us through our leaving,
lead to the other side.
The people we are called as,
diverse and none the same.
Created for vocation,
baptized and called by name.
To witness as disciples,
our universal call
Yet each uniquely serving
the God who cares for all.
To You, God, we sing praises,
the One who calls each one.
Transforming and inviting,
you call and we respond.
Creator and Redeemer,
the Spirit’s stirring song—
Your Trinity uniting
to call our whole life long.
© Text: Laura Kelly Fanucci (For permission to reprint “A Hymn of
Calling,” please contact Laura Kelly Fanucci at
24. For Vocation in Daily Work
Selections from The Book of Common Prayer:
(from The Collects: Contemporary, Various Occasions)
Almighty God our heavenly Father, you declare your glory and show forth your handiwork in the heavens and in the earth: Deliver us in our various occupations from the service of self alone, that we may do the work you give us to do in truth and beauty and for the common good; for the sake of him who came among us as one who serves, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect for Work – Steven Garber
God of heaven and earth, you promise to make your blessings known as far as the curse is found. We pray for that, and we live for that. In our vocations and occupations, give us the wisdom and grace and skill to keep on keeping on, that the work of our hands will be integral to that blessing in the worlds of business and banking, politics and the arts, education and the law, health care and international development, at home and all over the world– as far as the curse is found. Amen and amen.