Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
March 30, 2003
Worship 10:00 am Sunday School for all ages 11:15 am

Fourth Sunday of Lent

      "Thus says the LORD: Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is my resting place?" (Isaiah 66:1)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)

*Call to worship

*Hymn                                  "Morning has broken"                                     648

*Opening Prayer  (c-8)

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


  Creation Litany

  For Children                 "Can you hear me now?"
                               (children then leave for choir practice or pre-school play)

  Hymn                           "All things bright and beautiful"                               156

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings


*Doxology (119a) and Prayer (off-a-5)

  Scripture reading                       Acts 7:48-50

  Message              "Putting theoutdoorin ministry"            (not online)
                         Ann Cornell, administrator of Shepherd's Spring

*Hymn                             "In the bulb there is a flower"                               614


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to worship

         On the seventh day God rested from all his work and made it holy. Let us worship God on this day.

(after "Joys & Concerns" are shared)

         Lord God, we confess that we have fallen short of what you created us to be. Sin has taken its toll - not only upon those whom you created in your image, but also upon this good earth. We have not taken care of what you have entrusted into our hands. Thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus - for saving this world through him. Forgive us our sins, and help us to live out of the new creation he proclaimed and made possible upon the cross.

         We continue our prayers over what is happening in Iraq. Comfort the afflicted, afflict the comfortable - no matter which side of the battle lines they stand. We are more familiar with the faces shown in our media of young men and women our country has sent to fight. We pray for their protection, and that you would watch over the loved ones they have left behind. Bless those who grieve... 

         There are other faces, though, Lord - persons you know just as well as you know us - persons with strange sounding names and tongues to our eyes and ears; some of whom we might call "enemy." We pray for them, also - those caught in the middle, as well as those engaged against our soldiers. May your hand prevent atrocities from happening, for this world has seen more than its share.

         We pray for our President and those who advise him, regardless of our political persuasion. We pray, also, for other leaders - for your wisdom amid the foolishness of war.

         Closer to home, you have heard what we have just shared. You know full well what each needs. Continue your work in every situation we have lifted up this hour. You are not finished with anyone. We trust in the promise,  "that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion..." (Philippians 1:6). Fulfill that promise even now, blessing those who seek to bring a good word through the children's story or the sermon. However, through your Holy Spirit help us to complete the message by living it.

         This we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

Creation Litany
based on Genesis 1

One - In the beginning God created the Heavens and the earth. And God said, "Let there be light" and there was light.

All - And God saw that it was good.

One - And God said, "Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water. God called the expanse "sky".

All - And God saw that it was good.

One - And God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered together in one place, and let dry ground appear. God called the dry ground "land " and the gathered waters he called "seas".

All - And God saw that it was good.

One - Then God said " Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds. And it was so.

All - And God saw that it was good.

One - And God said, "Let there be lights in the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years. God made two lights, the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night and also the stars.

All - And God saw that it was good.

One - And God said, "Let the water team with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the sky.

All - And God saw that it was good.

One - And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground and wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so.

All - And God saw that it was good.

One - Then God said, " Let us make man in our image, and let them rule over the fish of the sea, and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground..

All - God saw all that he had made, and it was VERY GOOD.


For Children
"Can you hear me now?"

         Have any of you seen a commercial on television in which a man walks around with a phone asking the person on the other end, every few steps, "can you hear me now?" Does anyone remember what he says next? That's right, he says "good!" Why do you suppose he is saying "good!"? Is it because the person on the other end can hear him? When he asks,  "can you hear me now?" they are answering "Yes." And that's good. It means the telephone works, I guess.

         Were you listening just now to the "Creation Litany" we all read together? The words came from the beginning of the Bible, the very first chapter. In the beginning God made everything. That's what it says. After remembering each thing that God created in the beginning, the Bible says what? Do you remember the line everybody said together?
                                  "And God saw that it was good.

         As we listen to this story of God creating the world, it's almost like God is asking us, "Do you hear me now? Do you see what I created? Do you agree that what I made is good?" And what do you suppose we should say back to God? "Yes!" Meaning "Yes, what you made is good. Yes, we see what you created. Yes, we hear you now." Whenever we say "Yes" to God like that, I imagine God then says, "Good!"

         Right now, I want you to stand up and together we're going to have our own kid's creation litany. I'll have you think of something, and then I'll ask (as if I'm God asking), "Can you hear me now?" What will you answer? That's right. You'll answer, loud and clear, "Yes!" And, for God I'll reply, "Good!" [You big people out there can do it also if you want]. Let's practice once before we begin.  ... "Can you hear me now?"  ... "Yes!" ... "Good!"

         Close your eyes tight, and then cover your eyes with your hands, so that it gets really dark on the inside. (pause) Now, quick pull your hands away and open your eyes... Isn't the light God gave us wonderful? ... "Can you hear me now?"  ... "Yes!" ... "Good!"

         Now, blow out all your air, and then take in a deep, deep breath of fresh air...  Isn't the air God gave us wonderful? ... "Can you hear me now?"  ... "Yes!" ... "Good!"

         Okay, next spin around and around and around until you fall onto the ground dizzy... Isn't the ground God gave us wonderful? ... "Can you hear me now?"  ... "Yes!" ... "Good!"

         Everybody close your eyes again. No peeking. (bring out an aromatic flower and place under each nose). Do you like how this smells? (when done) Now open your eyes and look. Isn't this flower God gave us wonderful? ... "Can you hear me now?"  ... "Yes!" ... "Good!"

         Now stand up and do jumping jacks. Now run in place. Now hug yourself. Aren't these bodies God gave us wonderful? ... "Can you hear me now?"  ... "Yes!" ... "Good!"

         This week, at home or at school or wherever you are when you remember, look around at everything God has made. As you look, listen. "Can you hear me now?" God says to us every day. And how do we respond? "Yes!" And what do you suppose God then says when we say "Yes!" to him? - "Good!"

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

         Listen to these familiar words from the gospel of John. As you do, take notice of the "outdoor ministry" in this passage:

         "And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life." (John 3:14-16)

         Did I say "outdoor ministry?" What do you call the wilderness through which Moses led the children of Israel? It was the training ground for God’s people. And the hill upon which our Lord died upon a cross - it was outside the city, an "outdoor ministry" that saved the world.

         As you return your offering just now, recall all the ways and places God has ministered in your life outdoors. Be thankful! Will the ushers come and receive our offerings.


And now may the courage of the early morning’s dawning,
               And the strength of the eternal hills at noontime,
               And the peace of the open spaces at evening’s ending,
               And the love of God,
       Abide in your hearts now and forever. Amen.

Author unknown, adapted by Harry K. Zeller, jr.
taken from pg. 122-123,
For All Who Minister, ©1993, Brethren Press


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International Lesson thoughts
from the
Mennonite Publishing House

International Lesson
Commentary by
Richard Hughes
(posted on Saturday)

International Lesson
Commentary by
Edwin Elliott


©2003 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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