Worship Order for
Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
August 31, 2003
Worship 10:00 am Sunday School for all ages 11:15 am
nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but
the things that come out are what defile." (Mark
Morning Praise (9:45 am)
Song of Solomon 2:8-13
Worship "Awake, arise, O sing a new
(unison, then 2-part round, as led)
*Unison Prayer of Confession
(back of bulletin)
Sharing a joy, a concern, a word of testimony or praise
(Pre-school thru 2nd grade children then leave for
"Lord, listen to your
"Lord, I am fondly,
Commissioning our Church Leaders
Responding with our Tithes and
"How clear is our vocation,
#'s are from Hymnal:
A Worship Book
Worship leaders - see basic
to Scripture Reading
In the Song of
Solomon we find a very human love story, words shared between a
man and a woman. Down through the centuries, however, Godís
people have heard in these words echoes of our relationship with
God. If, indeed, we love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and
mind, then God is our "beloved." As we allow
these words of love to lead us into worship this morning, remember
the One whom God sent to redeem us - "This is my Son,"
God said, "the Beloved; with whom I am well pleased"
(Matthew 3:17, 17:5)... Listen and be led to
awake, arise, and sing a new song.
Song of Solomon 2:8-13)
You are our
beloved, O Lord! Yes, you created everything. Yes, you are greater
than all things in heaven and on earth. Yes, you are holy. You are
separate from us. From a distance you watch over your Creation.
You are beyond all human efforts to bring you under control. Even
so, you are our beloved. Out of love for us, you sent your beloved
Son to us. You provide your very presence in the Holy Spirit, that
we might arise and come to you.
Almighty God. Loving God. Early on this morning our song rises to
thee. It is to you that we sing. So, awaken us, that we might rise
to new life in Christ. Amen.
Prayer of Confession
Through your Spirit we are able to see our imperfections and
belligerence, but still we come before you and our neighbors full
of pride and vanity.
You are part of our reality, yet we cling to pride and
self-sufficiency. We resist allowing your Spirit to expose our old
nature and imperfections.
We know that you are Lord and your will must prevail, yet we
find a thousand reasons to justify our warlike behavior.
You teach us to love our neighbor, but we worry about "our
honor" and hold back on forgiveness.
You tell us to visit the widow and the orphan, but, instead, we
wait to be visited.
We are readier to speak of love than to love.
For these sins, we ask your forgiveness, O Lord. And for your
grace, we give you thanks.
Igreja da Irmandade
Church of the Brethren
Church of the Brethren Living Word
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word
away, my beloved children," you call out to us, O Lord. Come
away and behold things as they truly are, not as you have become
so accustomed to seeing them. Come away, and stand upon this very
ground and see it as holy. Come away, and see that which is holy
in you - for I created you. Yes, from the earth you came, dust -
but I shaped and fashioned you, and breathed life into your form.
When you hear the cry of baby, that which you once were, do you
stand in awe? You are on holy ground. When you behold the body of
a loved one, whose spirit has come away to me, that which one day
you will be, do you stand in awe? You are on holy ground.
When you see
this world, so full of violence and anger and war, cheap thrills
and wasted passions; people claiming to follow me engaged in what
I never intended, as well as people denying my existence or - at
best - wondering how things could be this way if I were in charge;
when you look around you, do you see what truly is? For you are
standing on holy ground. Things are not always as they appear. I
am changing what is. A new world is coming. What I am doing now
does not make the headlines, but do not be mistaken - I am. And I
am on the move.
away," O Lord. We seek first your kingdom, your righteousness
- we seek, though our seeking is sometimes half-hearted. We try to
be different in this world, to follow a different drummer, but too
easily we march to the same old beat. We open our eyes to see what
you have created, as well as the "new thing" you are
doing now, but so often we are blind. "I have a dream,"
one of your beloved children shared forty years ago this past
week, a dream inspired by you, and his words set us on fire to
behold our nation in a brand new way. He was branded a traitor, a
lunatic, a heretic by some who claimed to be your people - much
like how your prophets of old were received. And yet, when we hear
his words, even today, we dare to come away and dream your dreams,
and be filled with awe and wonder.
heard, O Lord, what we have shared. You know each one mentioned,
by name. You are on the move in each circumstance we have lifted
up, as well as in all those we have not spoken. We dare to ask for
seemingly impossible possibilities, for you have called us to come
away and dream large, to ask and receive. We believe in you, and
trust in your will - what you are doing, even when we canít see
much beyond the noses on our faces.
Bless now the
speaking of your good news, the story of your beloved Son, who
himself was considered a traitor, a lunatic, a heretic by some who
claimed to be your people. Open our ears that we might hear. Open
our eyes that we might see. Open our hearts that we might be
touched by your transforming fire. This we pray in the name of the
One who said, "Come and see," and "listen
to me." Amen.
our Church Leaders
rings. You answer. Itís someone from the nominating committee of
your church, asking if you would be willing to serve. After
praying about it, and talking with those closest to you, your
answer is "yes." Your name goes on a ballot. Later, when
it meets in council, the church votes and thus calls you to be a
leader in this congregation. If this is, indeed, the body of
Christ then this call is from God. And if God has called you, then
you will be given - by God - what you need to fulfill this call.
"Every good and perfect gift," brother James wrote,
"comes from God."
marks the beginning of another year of service for those whom we
have called to lead. Wednesday evening will be the first meeting
of the new church board. We want to take the time now to
commission this new leadership team, as well as some of the others
who will be working with them. First, however, we want to thank
those who are stepping back from leadership after having served
their term. Teresa Albright & John Ness, we are grateful that
you said "yes" to serve on the church board. And Janet
Bowman, thank you for serving on the nominating committee. We pray
you have felt Godís guidance in your serving. We trust that you
will be used by the Lord in other ways in the coming years.
Called to the
church board this past spring were (would you please stand, and
remain standing, when your name is read) Phil Groves and Jeff Wolf
for a first term, and Charlie Mueller and Chris Breidenbaugh for a
second term. They join Zermain Breidenbaugh, Mel Horst, Sharon
Kagarise, Kay Kearns, Gina Miller, Edna Mueller, Georgia Smith,
and Terri Smyth on the board, with Gary Miller as their chairman.
them are Gayle Miller, our church clerk; David Ricci, our
treasurer; and Jerry Bowman, our financial secretary. Connecting
us with the Mid-Atlantic district of our denomination are Pam
Bryant and Eva Simmons, our elected representatives to District
conference who join our church board chair and myself as
delegates. Our delegate to our denominationís Annual Conference
this year was Gary Miller. Next Yearís delegate, traveling to
Charleston, WV will be chosen this fall.
important part of our leadership team are those who prayerfully
seek out the gifts among us, get busy contacting people on the
phone and face-to-face, and then nominate persons to serve in
leadership. At our spring council meeting, Gail Hanna was called
to join Karen Haynes and Grace Miller on the Nominating Committee.
Now, this is not the whole leadership team of our congregation.
The church board calls many of the rest of you to serve in various
capacities. We were all ordained to ministry when we were baptised.
Other important ministers are our Deacons, whom we will commission
on the World Communion Sunday, October 5th.
Let us pray.
O God, we give thanks for all people here who have
responded to your call in Christ Jesus to be workers
together with you. We are especially grateful for our
brothers and sisters who express their faith and witness
through specific ministries in this congregation.
grace that we may all present our gifts and talents to be
used for your glory and our neighbor s good. Through
Christ our Lord. Amen.
sisters in Christ, God has called you to these ministries in our
congregation. We thank God for each of you and for your willing
response to this call. We believe that God will empower you for
this ministry among us. We invite you to make your commitment by
responding to the questions of commissioning as the congregation
asks them. Since God has called me to work with you, I will join
you in responding.
Do you willingly accept the responsibility to which you have
been called, and do you promise to be faithful in fulfilling that
Will you seek to live a life worthy of this trust,
exemplifying Christian faith and spirit in all that you do?
Will you be creative, redemptive, and cooperative as you work
together in common tasks?
Will you prepare yourself by becoming familiar with
congregational, district, and denominational policies and
ministries? And will you prepare through regular Bible study,
prayer, worship, and sharing in the life of this faith community?
Congregation (now standing):
We, as brothers and sisters in Christ, affirm you as leaders
called to serve in this congregation. We offer to you our
cooperation and confidence, our prayers and support, so that
together we might become "doers of the word and not
hearers only." May God bless you with the wisdom, the
ability, and the power needed for the tasks you face.
As a co-worker in Christ, I declare you installed as leaders,
workers, and delegates of the Long Green Valley Church, in the
name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
prayer and response adapted from
written by Robert Alley, pastor
Bridgewater, VA Church of the Brethren
from For All Who Minister,
©1993, Brethren Press, pp. 326-328.
with our Tithes and Offerings
good and perfect gift," brother James wrote, "comes
from God." What the Lord gives to us, whether it be the
ability to do what we are called to do, or the material resources
with which to do it, all of this comes "from above."
In fact, what we each have been given belongs to God. How we use
what has been so richly provided "from above" is
our response to the grace of God - a response-ability we all
share, not just those who are called to lead.
Will the ushers
come forward to receive a portion of our response.
"Labor Day," time off for most of us. As you step
forward into this week, remember that day of labor long ago when
Jesus died upon the cross and thus accomplished our salvation.
Remember, also, that his labor - like the labor of our two young
mothers expecting this coming month - led to new life. It was a
beginning, not an ending. So, brothers and sisters,
Awake, arise, and sing a new song wherever you
a song of joy and celebration.
A new day has come, bring praise to the Son of God.