Peace Corps Blessing

March 1, 2011 marked the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps. Shepard Fairey created this piece in celebration of the milestone. The print is based on a 2009 photograph of a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, and is symbolic of the work of more than 200,000 Peace Corps volunteers who have served in 139 countries since 1961.

A pastor friend contacted me looking for a liturgy or blessing for a person entering the Peace Corps. I did a quick internet search and couldn’t find one, so God and I came up with this. This short blessing/commissioning combines the beautiful Latin hymn Lord, You Have Come to the Lakeshore (United Methodist Hymnal #344) with three short scriptures and some original prayers. I love projects like this, so feel free to contact me when a worship need arises. – Lisa <>< 

Peace Corps Blessing
ALL SINGING:
Lord, you have come to the lakeshore
Looking neither for wealthy nor wise ones
You only asked me to follow humbly
O Lord, with your eyes you have searched me
And while smiling, have spoken my name
Now my boat’s left on the shoreline behind me
By your side I will seek other seas

ONE VOICE:
When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:36-38)

PERSONS BEING COMMISSIONED:
I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
“Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I; send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)

ALL SINGING:
You know so well my possessions
My boat carries no gold and no weapons
You will find there my nets and labor
O Lord, with your eyes you have searched me
And while smiling, have spoken my name
Now my boat’s left on the shoreline behind me
By your side I will seek other seas

You need my hands full of caring
Through my labors to give others rest
And constant love that keeps on loving
O Lord, with your eyes you have searched me
And while smiling, have spoken my name
Now my boat’s left on the shoreline behind me
By your side I will seek other seas

ONE VOICE:
Jesus said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8)

PERSONS BEING COMMISSIONED:
Holy Spirit, you opened my ears to hear Jesus calling me to serve with the Peace Corps.
You opened my step to the path now set before me.
Continue to open me.
Open my mind to the changes I must make,
Open my arms to the new culture I will embrace,
Open my hands to those I will partner with in service,
Open my eyes to the resources, answers and grace you will provide,
Open my mouth with your love, truth and wisdom,
Open my heart and fill it again and again with the courage to follow faithfully,
Amen.

ALL:
Merciful God, bless those who are leaving us to follow you into places of deep need. We are so proud of them and thankful for them. We entrust them to your care, recognizing the sacrifices, hardships and dangers they may face. Shield them and defend them. Deepen their love and trust of you. Anoint them with your Holy Spirit that their faith would shine forth in Godly influence. Strengthen them and empower them, that their words and work would bring you honor and glory. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

ALL SINGING:
You, who have fished other oceans,
Ever longed-for by souls who are waiting,
My loving friend, as thus you call me.
O Lord, with your eyes you have searched me
And while smiling, have spoken my name
Now my boat’s left on the shoreline behind me
By your side I will seek other seas

Compilation and Original Prayers © 2011 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. 
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

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