Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
April 28, 2002
Worship 10:00 am Sunday School for all ages 11:15 am

Fifth Sunday of Easter

      "Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God's sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."
                                 (1 Peter 2:4-5)

*Responsive Call to Worship                                                                        858

*Hymn                               "Christ is our cornerstone"                                    43

*Opening Prayer

  Sharing a joy, a concern, a word of testimony or praise
                              (children then leave for choir or pre-school play )

  Prayer of Confession                                                               (back of bulletin)

  Hymn                   (vs. 1-2) "What wondrous love is this"                               530

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                      Acts 7:55-60

  Message                             "Gazing into heaven"

  Introductions and Vows

  Congregational Welcome

  Responding with our Tithes and Offerings


  Hymn                   (vs. 3-4) "What wondrous love is this"                               530


*Hymn                                "New earth, heavens new"                                 299

*Responsive Benediction                                                                              764

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Responsive Call to Worship
1 Peter 2:4-5, 9-10


Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God's sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Once you were not a people,
but now you are God's people;
once you had not received mercy,
but now you have received mercy.

Hymnal #859, New Revised Standard Version

Opening Prayer

         O Lord, you are the firm foundation upon which our lives depend; you are the rock of our salvation; you are the cornerstone so important to the building - the construction, the growth - of this congregation, and of each person and family gathered here. May the words we speak and sing this hour, as well as our thoughts and feelings, be pleasing to you. We have been drawn to this place and time by your Holy Spirit, and in the name of your Son, Jesus - our Christ, we pray. Amen.

Prayer of Confession

One: Lord, we often find our security in the possessions and the safety of our lives.

All: We want to be comfortable, but you call us out of our comfort zone.

One: You call us to live on the edge of our faith, to take risks and to risk persecution.

All: We confess that we do not want to face persecution. We also hesitate to witness—to tell the story of our faith or reflect your forgiveness.

One: Lord, you have gone before us and, like Stephen the Martyr, have led the way.

All: Jesus, give us the courage to answer your call, even if it means giving up our comfort and our safety. Forgive us our sins and empower us to forgive others. In your name we pray, Amen.

Leah Oxley Harness, pastor
Newton Church of the Brethren
Newton, Kansas
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin

Baptismal Vows
(After candidate is introduced to the congregation by a member)

         Today you are being received into this community of faith and into the Church of the Brethren. As part of the whole church of Jesus Christ, we offer you our rich heritage and invite you to share fully in our life and mission.
         As you are received into the Long Green Valley Church , we intend to be a true family of faith to you. We commit ourselves to be for you a loving fellowship, to be a means of grace in your life, and to offer opportunities for worship, study, and service. One of the happiest times in our life as a church is when new people choose to become members. We welcome you with joy.

Do you believe that Jesus is God's Son and do you receive and trust him as your Savior and Lord?

I do.

Will you turn away from all sin and will you endeavor by God's grace to live according to the example and teachings of Jesus?

I will.

Will you be loyal to the church, upholding it by your prayers and your presence, your substance and your service?

I will.

from For All Who Minister, ©1993, Brethren Press, p.135-137.

Congregational Welcome

         With joy we receive you as part of thus congregation. With you we renew and reaffirm our vows of faith. We promise to surround you with the love and encouragement that will enable you to grow strong in compassion, vigorous in service, and sure in the way of Christ.

from For All Who Minister, ©1993, Brethren Press, p.138.

Responding with our Tithes and Offerings

         Recall what Jesus once said to his disciples: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places... I go to prepare a place for you... I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also." (John 14:1-3)

         (pause) Vows of faith have just been spoken. Once again we all have been given the opportunity to reaffirm our own faith, as a brother-in-the-Lord is stepping forth with God. "Don’t be afraid to really live now, fully aware of your heavenly home," Jesus tells us. "Just believe."
         He also added something we something we might want to chew on as we return our tithes and offerings just now. Listen:
         "Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it." (John 14:12-14)
         As the ushers come forward, and the plates are passed, ponder and pray in your own way. May God be glorified. Amen!



          ___________, upon your confession of faith made before God and these people, you are baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
         As each name of the Trinity is spoken, the minister shall immerse the candidate forward, pushing the head gently and fully into the water. Then, laying both hands upon the head of the kneeling person, the minister shall pray:
          O God, we are thankful for the commitment made today by (name) May (she/he) experience your forgiveness, acceptance, and peace. Send your Holy Spirit upon (her/him) to guide and to empower. Enable (her/him) to walk in newness of life, using (her/his) gifts in praise to you and in service to others. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
         Then the minister shall help the baptized person rise, extend the hand of Christian fellowship, speak a word of blessing, and assist the person in leaving the water.

from For All Who Minister, ©1993, Brethren Press, p.137-138.

Responsive Benediction

 Leader: Go in love,
People: for love alone endures.
 Leader: Go in peace,
People: for it is the gift of God.
 Leader: Go in safety,
People: for we cannot go where God is not.

Hymnal #764, by Earle W. Fike, Jr.,
Book of Worship, © 1964 Brethren Press.


Interested in Sunday School?
Below is a growing list of possible sites to visit. As you discover others, please let us know.

International Lesson thoughts
from the
Mennonite Publishing House

International Lesson
Commentary by
Richard Hughes
(posted on Saturday)

International Lesson
Commentary by
Edwin Elliott


©2002 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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