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Option 1

O God of Abraham and Sarah, you have led your people in the past; lead us now.

Grant us the courage of Ruth to leave behind the old and familiar, the courage of Noah to risk laughter and scorn, the hope of Jeremiah to invest in the future, and the unselfishness of Esther to take risks on the behalf of others. 

Oh God of Moses and Miriam, you delivered your people and led them through the wilderness, giving them food, protection, and guidance.

In the words of Miriam, we praise you: “I will sing to Yahweh, who has triumphed gloriously!” 

From the words of your prophets we have learned justice and mercy.

Help us to say, with Isaiah, “Here I am, send me.”

O God of James and John and Mary Magdalene, you have called us to follow Jesus.

Teach us how to work together in mutual responsibility, side-by-side, neither tagging behind nor shoving to the front.

O God of paul and Priscilla and Aquila, who risked their lives for the sake of spreading your church, fill us with enthusiasm for your church.

Use us in the spreading of the church, in the building up of its parts, in the joining together of its various congregations, and in ministry to the whole world.

O God of our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself in love for the whole world, teach us so to love.

Grant us the spirit of Christ, who came not to be served, but to serve. Amen.

from 1988 dedication of San Joaquin Valley College, Woodbridge, California as an Historic Site of the California-Nevada Annual Conference

Option 2

Today we come to this place made holy by the faith and witness of [appropriate denomination, e.g. United Brethren] Christians ____ years ago.

We remember with gratitude.

Our mothers and fathers in the faith brought the word of God to this place. By their courage and commitment the church here was gathered and given life.

We remember with gratitude. 

Let us not forget these exemplars of Christian witness.

We remember with gratitude. 

Remembering those Christians who have gone before us, let us follow as they followed in the way, the truth, and the life of Jesus Christ.

We dedicate ourselves anew to the faith that is Jesus Christ. 

Knowing that God has made the Church God’s instrument to minister to the world in all generations,

We dedicate ourselves anew to witness to Jesus Christ. 

Trusting that God will continue to speak God’s love for all people and that God will look to the Church today,

We dedicate ourselves anew to being the Church, as we make bold to pray as our Lord has taught,[here the Lord’s Prayer is prayed].

from 1991 service marking 225th anniversary of the deed to the Old Stone Church, Leesburg, Virginia

**Text in bold spoken by all