Worship Order for Sunday

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

Camp Sunday


      "Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain." (Psalm 127:1)

      "For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God." (Hebrews 3:4)

 

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)
  Announcements
  Prelude

  The Foundation of our Faith           Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Matthew 22:37-39

*Song                            "Lord, I lift your name on high"                     (see insert)

*Opening Prayer

  Camp Discoveries, part 1

  Song                                          "Thy Word"                                   (see insert)

  Camp Discoveries, part 2

  Song                             "What does the Lord require"                      (see insert)

  Camp Discoveries, part 3

  Song                                            "Beloved"                                    (see insert)
                                                                (lyrics/chords, midi)

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

  Pastoral Prayer and Lordís Prayer

  Camp Discoveries, part 4

  Drama                                "Marvin and Malcolm"

  Song                        "He's my rock, my sword, my shield"                (see insert)
                           (campers & volunteers are invited forward to lead this song)

  Sharing the Joy                     (campers & volunteers)

  Scripture                                Matthew 28:16-20

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory                      "That where I am, there you..."                     (see insert)
                                                               (lyrics, chords, midi)

*Song                                          "Sanctuary"                                    (see insert)

*Benediction


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

The Foundation of our Faith

         "Hear, 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 mindThis is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ĎYou shall love your neighbor as yourself.í" (Matthew 22:37-39)

         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 Lord.

sing "Lord, I lift your name on high"
     

Opening Prayer

         Standing upon 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.
     

Camp Discoveries, part 1

         This summer, 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 roof."

         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."

         This yearís 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.

         The first 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.

sing "Thy Word"
     

Camp 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 it.

sing "What does the Lord require"
       

Camp 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, midi)
      

Pastoral Prayer & Lord's Prayer

 

prayed at the moment

 

Camp 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, "Marvin and Malcolm."
     

Sharing the Joy

         Itís become 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 stretched.

         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.
      

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

         Those words 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 a promise!

         Think about 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..."  (lyrics, chords, midi)
      

Benediction

Under Godís roof, this house -
         not just this meeting place, but every place:
                  our homes,
                  our schools,
                  our factories,
                  our office buildings,
                  our vehicles,                   you name it;
Under Godís roof, this house becomes a sanctuary.

Remember what he said,
         "I am with you always, to the end of the age."
                  Go forth and live as if that were so.
                           Amen.
     

 

Interested in Sunday School?
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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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