Worship Order for
Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
May 16, 2004
Worship 10:00 am Sunday School for all ages 11:15 am
Sixth Sunday of Easter
angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as
crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb
through the middle of the street of the city. On either
side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve
kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the
leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations."
Morning Praise (9:45 am)
"Praise, I will
praise you, Lord"
"As natural as swallowing"
(Pre-schoolers then leave for playful worship)
Sharing a joy, a concern, a word of testimony or praise
peace, like a river"
Returning our Tithes and
canít swim without getting wet"
(vs. 1) "Shall we gather at the river"
Celebrating and Renewing Baptismal Vows
"Shall we gather at the river"
#'s are from Hymnal:
A Worship Book
Worship leaders - see basic
"As natural as
Well, I have something refreshing here today. Who would like to
take a drink of this? (Pour drink into cup, give it to a
child.) There, you did that well. Did you have to think very
much about drinking when you did that? .
. . No, I didn't think so, but
drinking involves doing quite a bit. You held the cup in your hand
and didn't drop it. You moved it right to your mouth and didn't
miss. Then you poured the drink into your mouth and you swallowed
it. All those muscles moved and you never had to think about it.
It's a funny thing, when we have to think about something like
swallowing, it becomes hard to do. Do you remember ~times when you
bad to swallow a pill and the pill wouldn't go down? You get the
pill in your mouth, and you try to think what to do, and the pill
seems to go everywhere but down your throat. It is best not to
think about swallowing.
It s not only swallowing that is best done without trying to
figure it out. There are times when God tells us to do things that
we could never figure out why it
works. Why are people happier
when we love them? Love isn't something you think about. You just
love. Or being patient, why is it
that waiting is sometimes a
good thing even though it
is hard to do?
This man in our lesson was sick for 36 years and he kept trying to
figure out a way to get better. Then Jesus came and he didn't ask
him to think about it,
he just told the man to get
up. He didn't look for explanations, he just told him to act like
someone who was healed. For once the man didn't think about it, he
got up and walked.
That's the way
it is when we trust God. You don t need to know why or how things
work, you can just do themólike swallowing. You can love. You
can be patient. You can be kind or good or gentle or anything God
says you should do. When God says it s time to do it, we believe
him and do it. Living
like a Christian is natural when we believe God.
from Good News from John: Visual
Messages for Children
by Harold J. Uhl, pp. 34-35
written closer to the time (if not at the
our Tithes and Offerings
(refers to Acts
Along the shore
of what is now the nation of Turkey, the apostle Paul had a dream.
In it, he heard the call of someone standing on the other side of
the Aegean sea, saying "Come over to Macedonia (in what
is now the country of Greece) and help us." Acting upon
this vision, Paul and his friends got in a boat and crossed over
from east to west and shared the good news of Jesus for the first
time in Europe. It all began outside the city of Philippi, gathering
beside a river with a group of women who went there to pray on the
Sabbath. From that day, the first person to step into the waters of
baptism was a businesswoman named Lydia, along with the rest of her
Toward the end
of worship this morning, we will celebrate similar beginnings in the
lives of those who joined this church during the month of May down
through the years. Along the way, these persons will be given the
opportunity to renew their own baptismal vows, to begin a new year
of involvement in the church of Jesus Christ...
Thinking back to
the story of the apostle Paul. Is God planting a dream in you?
It may not as grand as his - crossing an ocean and beginning some
new mission or service project in a distant land. Your dream may be
closer to home, some way in which Godís good news becomes real in
your own neighborhood. Is there a dream in you? Ponder this as you
return your offering just now. Pray with me.
Lord, you have provided for our needs in a multitude of
ways. Even when we cannot see every good and perfect gift
from you, we know that you are faithful and true -
yesterday, today, and tomorrow. With these offerings, we are
stepping into your boat to set sail toward where you are
leading. On the wings of your dream, by the wind of your
Holy Spirit, send us. Amen.
Celebrating and Renewing Baptismal Vows
If our records
are right, and all fifteen active members we want to recognize are
here today, they altogether represent 423 years of faithful service,
following Jesus in this congregation. That is something to
We thank God
that you are a part of our fellowship! On behalf of this
congregation, let me say that you are important to us. Through you,
God blesses us. We pray that we have been a blessing to you in
return. Iím sure for some of you, there have been moments when you
wondered about this commitment you made a while back. Maybe there
were times when you felt you were in over your head, whether in
regard to church life here, or in those places to which you have
felt Godís call beyond these walls.
when Jesus says, "follow me," and you step forth, you arenít
walking alone. Where God leads, Jesus goes ahead of you. The Holy
Spirit is your strength, providing what you need to fulfill your
calling in Christ. And the church - all of us - weíre part of the
bigger picture. Thanks for stepping into this water, too. In this
case, itís a good thing to say that weíre all wet. Sometimes
thatís our tears, other times itís our sweat, as we try to
"bear one anotherís burdens and thus fulfill the law of
Christ" (Galatians 6:2), working with
each other, sometimes through conflict. Weíre "people,"
This is a time
to celebrate, and a time to recommit. Traditionally, there are three
questions asked on the day of our baptism. If you will, letís
return to them, and give those of you who are up front just now the
opportunity to renew your vows.
Do you still
believe that Jesus is Godís Son. Does your door remain open to
him that you may receive him, willing to "get wet,"
every day? Do you still trust him as your Savior and Lord? If
so, say, "I do."
turn away from all sin and endeavor by Godís grace - today! -
to live according to the example and teachings of Jesus? If so,
say, "I will."
continue to be loyal to the church (i.e. step into the water of
our life together), upholding these people through your prayers
and your presence, your substance and your service? If so, say,
Praise God! Each
of you received a letter which included a pledge form, an
opportunity to respond with some vows specific to you, involving
your time and talents, as well as your substance. If you have felt
moved to pledge in this way, I invite you to place it in the basket
on the worship table, then return to where you were sitting, while
we sing all four verses of our final hymn. "Shall we gather at the river,"
brothers and sisters? #615.
our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore
we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the
mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and
foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. There is a river
whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the
Most High." (Psalms 46:1-4)
Therefore, brothers and sisters, donít be
Go and get wet.