Worship Order for
Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
August 24, 2003
Worship 10:00 am Sunday School for all ages 11:15 am
"Unless the LORD builds the
house, those who build it labor in vain." (Psalm
"For every house is
built by someone, but the builder of all things is God." (Hebrews
Morning Praise (9:45 am)
The Foundation of our Faith
Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Matthew 22:37-39
"Lord, I lift your name on high"
Camp Discoveries, part 1
Camp Discoveries, part 2
the Lord require"
Camp Discoveries, part 3
Sharing a joy, a concern, a word of testimony or praise
Pastoral Prayer and Lordís Prayer
Camp Discoveries, part 4
"He's my rock, my
sword, my shield"
(campers & volunteers are invited forward to lead this song)
Sharing the Joy
(campers & volunteers)
Returning our Tithes and Offerings
"That where I am, there
#'s are from Hymnal:
A Worship Book
Worship leaders - see basic
Foundation of our Faith
O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. You shall love the
LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and
with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you
today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about
them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down
and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as
an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of
your house and on your gates." (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
In response to
a question about which commandment in the law of Moses was the
greatest?, Jesus repeated these words. They are the foundation of
our faith: "ĎYou shall love the Lord your God with all
your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.í
This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is
like it: ĎYou shall love your neighbor as yourself.í"
Let us stand
upon this foundation and worship the Lord our God. Let us lift up
the name which is above every name, and sing our praise. Let us
allow Godís Holy Spirit to be like a campfire within, burning
upon our heart, soul, and mind the love of God in Christ Jesus our
sing "Lord, I lift your name on high"
the foundation that "you are God, you alone," we lift up
your name, O Lord. Not only do we love to sing your praises, but
we seek to build your praise into our lives. Not just with our
words, but with all of our heart, soul, and mind do we long to
love you. So, God, weave your Holy Spirit into the fabric of our
everyday existence, just as you have said you would, and help us
to keep remembering your Word, to continue sharing your good news
in Jesus Christ, to wrap your commandments and your promises
around our wrists to guide our actions and our heads to inform our
thinking. May your love in us - reaching back to you - overflow
into where we live and work, that it may reach our neighbors as
well as our enemies. It is by the blood of the lamb, Jesus Christ,
painted upon the entryway of our homes, upon the doorpost of this
house of faith, that we are saved - and it is by his resurrection
that we live.
Just now, O
God, thank you for the outdoor ministry of our camps, and for
those who have experienced the spark of your fire there. Bless
this time of remembering. May we hear you speak through even the
simplest words shared. In so doing, may this become your hour of
power. In Jesusí name we pray. Amen.
Discoveries, part 1
24 children and youth from our congregation had the privilege of
spending a week at one of our districtís camps - Shepherdís
Spring or Mardela. Alongside them went 9 older volunteers, who
served as counselors, nurse, staff assistant, cook or directors...
"Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your
heart," it says in Deuteronomy, chapter 6. "Recite
them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and
when you are away..." Camp is like a home away from
home, a place where we grow as disciples of Jesus in a different
environment. There, like here, we are "under Godís
That, by the
way, was the theme of this summer at both Shepherdís Spring and
Camp Mardela - "Under Godís Roof." For some children,
and their parents, who were experiencing this "when you
are away" for perhaps the first time, it wasnít easy.
As always, we had our share of homesick youngsters - at least at
my week we did. But they, and hopefully their parents also, grew.
And we learned that no matter where we are, we are always
"under Godís roof."
camp curriculum involved six "discoveries." Now, each
week of camp built on these "discoveries" in their own
way. I know the younger age groups, such as the week I led with my
co-director, used memory verses to go along with each discovery.
Why donít we walk through these six discoveries, remembering
some of the scriptures attached to each, and allow them to guide
our worship this morning.
discovery was this: "Under Godís Roof, There Is a Strong
Foundation." We already touched on this as we began worship.
Any structure that is built needs to rest upon a solid foundation,
otherwise it will fall. The memory verse for my week of camp,
perhaps it was for some other weeks also, came from the mouth of
Jesus, who repeated the first and great commandment about loving
the Lord with heart, soul, and mind, followed by loving your
neighbor as yourself. I know of another foundational verse used by
another week for this discovery. It comes from Psalm 119, and
speaks of Godís Word being like a lamp which guides our feet.
The chorus to a song many campers learned was a way of remembering
this foundational truth. Wonít you join in singing it as you
catch the simple tune.
Discoveries, part 2
One of the
great things about camp is that when youíre there you canít
miss making an important connection - Godís roof covers nature,
also. In our society, we are becoming more distant from Godís
Creation. The heat, the bugs, and everything else, we try to
shelter ourselves from behind closed windows, in air conditioned
houses. God, however, has provided another kind of air
conditioning. "Under Godís Roof, All Creation Lives
Together." That was the second discovery at camp. Now, the
curriculum suggested a Bible verse from the prophet Micah to go
with this day. Itís not a scripture about Creation, but it does
remind us about our responsibility to our Creator, who has shown
us what is good. My week learned Micah 6:8 through a song. Letís
sing "What does
the Lord require"
Discoveries, part 3
The next three
discoveries have to do with relationships, and learning how to
love in the way that God wants us to love. You see, Jesus had a
different idea about what "family" is all about. Our
very name as "Brethren" emphasizes the fact that it is
not genetics that defines who belongs in our family. No matter who
our earthly mother or father may be, we are all brothers and
sisters in Jesus Christ. In fact, Jesus once said (and here was a
memory verse for my week), "my mother and brothers are
those who hear the word of God and do it" (Luke
8:21). "Under Godís Roof, We Are All Family."
Not only that,
but (and hereís the fourth discovery) "Under Godís Roof,
We Are Friends Together." Jesus said, "This is my
commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you,"
(John 15:12). I think that sounds even
tougher than "loving your neighbor as yourself."
The Jesus way of loving involves more than treating others as we
would like to be treated - which sometimes can be translated as
"doing things my way," as I would like
them done. Our Lord reminds us that this is not what the second
commandment really means. "Love one another as I have
loved you," he said. And to further clarify it, he went
on, "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's
life for one's friends" (John 15:13).
That is Godís way of loving. Some weeks of camp learned a song
to go with this, which helped them memorize a similar statement
from the first epistle of John. Letís sing it.
sing "Beloved" (lyrics/chords,
Pastoral Prayer & Lord's Prayer
prayed at the moment
Discoveries, part 4
With a theme
that speaks of being "Under Godís Roof," it makes
sense that the special project to which our young people were
invited to contribute this summer was Habitat for Humanity.
This grassroots ministry simply brings strangers together to help
someone build themselves a house, sort of like the old Amish
barn-raising. For my week, I wrote a little skit to go along with
this project, as well as with the fifth discovery: "Under Godís
Roof, Strangers Are Welcome." Itís entitled,
our practice every year on this Sunday to give you who enjoyed
your time at camp the opportunity to share with the rest of us
just a bit of what you experienced. When I sent all of you a card
reminding you about today, in it I encouraged you to be thinking
about how God may have touched you at camp. Thatís a different
question than "what was your favorite experience?" It
may be a harder question for some of you to answer. Sometimes itís
through our favorite things that God touches us. But not always. I
remember one girl during my week at camp who shared with everyone
that it was when she was feeling homesick that she realized that
Jesus was right there with her. For some campers (and counselors),
a bit of "stretching" happened as they were nudged into
things they had never before tried. To grow in Christ is to be
We are in this
place today to worship God, to celebrate what the Lord has done in
our lives, to trust in God as we look ahead to tomorrow. We want
the things we share to somehow connect us with God, to remind us
of the important "stuff" we need as we begin a new week
- which for many of you means your first week of school. So, what
from your time at camp are you going to take with you? What
memories still excite you? What you share doesnít have to be all
polished and sound too good to be true. What you say, though, let
it come from your heart. Weíll pass the microphone around.
our Tithes and Offerings
have been called "the Great Commission." They remind us
that we are called to share what we have received from God. Not
just here in this meetinghouse, but wherever we go. Yes, we share
our material goods. After all, according to the Bible, everything
we possess is under Godís roof, it all belongs to God. In a
minute, weíll take up an offering. Thatís a form of sharing,
passing on what we have received. But weíre also called to show
and tell others about Jesus and Godís house (which is sometimes
called the "kingdom of God").
What we share
is what we have received, with our own actions and our own words
showing and telling how God has touched us. Thatís our mission
as followers of Jesus. This "Great Commission" ends with
a fantastic reminder. Did you hear it? Jesus said, "remember,
I am with you always, to the end of the age." Wow! As the
last discovery of camp this year put it, "Under Godís Roof,
God Is at Home in Us!" Always! If we get scared about doing
what God calls us to do, never fear, God is near, and will supply
us with whatever it is we need to do what God want us to do. Thatís
this promise as you respond to Godís goodness with your
offering. Let it grow in you until this commission and this
promise is just so big that any fear you may have about living it
out becomes very small. "I am with you always," Jesus
says, "to the end of the age." Itís time for the
ushers to do their part. As they receive our offerings, a few of
us will sing a song about Godís house. If you catch the tune to
the chorus, youíre welcome to join in.
"That where I am, there you..."
Under Godís roof, this house -
not just this
meeting place, but every place:
our office buildings,
you name it;
Under Godís roof, this house becomes a sanctuary.
Remember what he said,
with you always, to the end of the age."
Go forth and live as if that were so.