Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
December 1, 2002
Worship 10:00 am Sunday School for all ages 11:15 am

First Sunday in Advent

      "Therefore, keep awake--for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly."
                                 (Mark 13:35-36)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)
  Announcements
  Prelude

  Call to Worship

*Hymn                           "O come, O come, Immanuel"                               172

*Lighting the first Advent Candle

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                               1 Corinthians 1:3-9

  Sharing a joy, a concern, a word of testimony or praise

  Hymn                       (vs. 1-2) "It came upon a midnight clear"                      195

  Pastoral Prayer

  Hymn                       (vs. 3-4) "It came upon a midnight clear"                      195

  Mentoring Moments

  A Response - "Southern Africa Appeal"

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory

*Response                 (vs. 5) "It came upon a midnight clear"                         195
                        (children then leave for choir practice or pre-school play)

*Dedication Prayer

  Scripture                                 Mark 13:24-37

  Message                                "Keep Awake"

*Hymn                         "Christ is coming! Let creation"                                295

*Benediction


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship
Psalm 80:1-7 (NRSV)

preface to reading:

         Advent is a season full of anticipation. For some, there is excitement in looking forward to Christmas, as well as to what lies ahead just over the next horizon. For others, the expectation of this month may come in the form of sadness - remembering happier times, wondering what tomorrow may bring - will it be good news or bad?
         We begin worship this morning with a Psalm of anticipation. Some of the words in it lift our eyes to the throne of the Shepherd of Israel, and the wonder of what the Lord can do. Other portions of it reveal a downcast heart, and a plea for God to save. Both sadness and gladness are part of our daily walk. So, letís bring both with us to the One who is our Immanuel, which means "God with us."
         As we are called into worship by Godís Word, please stand and read with me:

One: Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your might, and come to save us!

All: Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

One: O LORD God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people's prayers? You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure. You make us the scorn of our neighbors; our enemies laugh among themselves.

All: Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

         

Opening Prayer

God of light and glory,
give us eyes to see your smile,
ears to hear your laughter,
and hearts melting to the warmth of your love.

Shine forth! Come to save us!
Convince us anew that life is good
and well worth the living.

Prepare our hearts for your coming.
Smile up at us from the manger;
wrap us around your little finger.

Restore us, 0 God!
Let your face shine, that we may be saved.

by Dan Petry, pastor
Middlebury, IN Church of the Brethren
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"

Mentoring Moments

         Junior youth Shawn will briefly speak before the congregation with his church mentor, Darren, about an incident that happened at his Middle School. Another student, who doesn't believe, asked him, "If there is a God, why are people starving in Africa?" Shawn takes his growing faith seriously, and he wants to respond in some way but is struggling with how. As an older friend in the faith, Darren listens, and ponders with Shawn some possibilities.                            (This is not a fictional drama). 

       

A Response - "Southern Africa Appeal"

         If you read the most recent issue of Messenger, you may be aware that our denomination has committed $100,000 to address food shortages resulting from drought conditions in the southern African nations of Zambia, Lesotho, Malawi, and Zimbabwe.

         We have experienced drought in our area in recent years, but nowhere close to what is happening there. According to Church World Service, this southern Africa crisis is the most severe and urgent dilemma facing the international community at this moment. About 13 million people are estimated to be at risk of starvation this winter. One aid worker recently wrote that "you can ride through miles and miles of countryside and see everything has died."

         Shawn was asked, "If there is a God, why are people starving in Africa?" While we struggle to answer that question, as people of faith we know an important truth. We have been blessed with the ability to respond to suffering. We can help.

         You are invited to participate in a special offering to be taken on the next two Sundays in Advent, December 8th and 16th. Perhaps you might consider contributing a portion of what you spend on food in the next week or so, possibly giving up a meal so that others might eat. If you look at the insert in your bulletin, you'll see that "every $1.14 provides a daily fortified meal for a child;" and that "every $75 purchases 150 pounds of drought-resistant seed;" and that every $348 buys a ton of grain from a neighboring country." Perhaps these figures can serve as guides for your response - aiming toward giving a certain number of meals, or providing so many pounds of seed or grain. How you respond to this appeal is up to you.

         We will send this special offering to our denomination, to replenish both the "Global Food Crisis Fund" and the "Emergency Disaster Fund," from which the Church of the Brethren allocated that $100,000 for the Church World Service Southern Africa Appeal.

    

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

         "Let your light shine before others," Jesus said, "so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)

Will the ushers come forward to serve?
    

Dedication Prayer

         Lord, thank you for the abundance with which you have blessed us. Thank you, as our sister shared last week during joys and concerns, that we have at least two shoes on our feet. Thank you that we are not physically hungry, at the point of starvation. Thank you for our daily bread. May others receive theirs.
         Just now, create in us a deeper yearning for your Word, and for your "peace on earth," your coming "age of gold," "your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." This we pray, in Jesus' name. Amen.

 

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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