Worship Order for
Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
March 13, 2005
Worship 10:00 am, Sunday School 11:10 am
The Fifth Sunday of
Antipas, Pontius Pilate the governor, the Gentiles, and
the people of Israel were all united against Jesus, your
holy servant, whom you anointed. In fact, everything they
did occurred according to your eternal will and plan."
(from a prayer of thanksgiving, Acts
Morning Praise (9:45 am)
Responsive Call to Worship
"Praise the Lord, sing
Celebrating and Renewing
there be peace on earth"
Sharing a joy, a concern, a word of testimony or praise
(Pre-schoolers then leave for playful worship)
Returning our Tithes and Offerings
I survey the wondrous cross"
"Pilate - Godís instrument of justice?"
the cross of Christ I glory"
#'s are from Hymnal:
A Worship Book
Worship leaders - see basic
Praise God from the heavens
praise God in the heights;
praise God all you angels;
praise God all you heavenly hosts.
Praise God, sun, and moon;
praise God, all you shining stars.
Praise God, you highest heavens
and you waters above the heavens
Let all praise the name of God,
Who commanded and they were created.
God established them forever and ever
and gave a decree which shall not pass away.
Praise God, all the earth,
you sea monsters and all depths,
fire and hail, snow and frost,
stormy winds that fulfill God's word.
Praise God, you mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,
wild beasts and all tame animals,
creeping things and flying birds.
Let the rulers of the earth and all peoples
and all the judges of the earth -
men and women alike,
old and young together -
let them praise the name of God
whose name alone is exalted;
whose majesty is above the earth and heaven.
and who has raised the fortunes of the people.
May this God be praised by all the faithful ones.
by the children of Israel, the people close to God.
Alleluia! Praise God!
Hymnal #684 - Psalm 148.
Adapted from Psalms Anew,
edited/paraphrased by Nancy Schreck and Maureen Leach,
©1984 Saint Mary's Press, 702 Torrance Heights, Winona, MN 55927.
Also adapted from New Revised Standard Version
God, who is greater than every ruler on this earth, whose power
makes every earthly weapon seem weak and useless, whose wisdom is
more vast than all human intelligence, whose peace passes all
Bless us with your Spirit's presence this hour, as you have
Guide our worship, that we may know more of you;
Help us to release our sin and receive your mercy,
that we may grow in your grace and truth.
This we pray in the
name of the Prince of Peace,
your Son - our Savior, Lord, and Friend: Jesus. Amen
"I believe in God..." Thatís very easy to say,
but not so easy to really mean. Turn in your hymnal to
#712, and letís read together the apostleís creed.
These words grew from the soil of the early church, in
answer to the question, "what do you believe?"
While we, as Brethren, can affirm this statement, we do
not make it (or any other creed) our rule of faith and
practice. For that, we look to the whole New Testament.
Even so, in this moment of worship, letís allow these
old, old words to open our hearts and minds to a faith
which is bigger than us, a faith which goes back to the
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth
I believe in Jesus, God's only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary.
suffered under Pontius Pilate.
was crucified, died, and buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day, he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic*
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Hymnal #713, English translation of The Apostle's Creed,
prepared by the
English Language Liturgical Consultation ELLC, © 1988.
and Renewing Baptismal Vows
conclude our year-long monthly celebration of the day when many of
you said "yes" to God and joined this congregation.
Along the way we have discovered a few mistakes in our records,
and have received some very gracious corrections to them. Thank
you. Let me ask - was it helpful for you to be reminded of when
you said "I do" and "I will" to Jesus and the
people of God? Did you find this opportunity to renew your vows an
aid for your walk with Christ? Now, not everyone could be here on
the chosen Sunday of their particular month. Regardless, I hope
you have heard in these celebrations our affirmation of you.
affirmed, together, an old-old creed of the church, which goes
back to the first few centuries after Jesus walked with the
original disciples. We, as a people, are not big on official
creeds, knowing what has sometimes been done with these statements
of faith down through the centuries. We know that a person can
mouth the words but not reflect what they mean in how they live.
We try to be a people of the open book, looking to the width and
breadth of the New Testament for our rule of faith and practice.
In so doing, we sometimes fall flat on our faces, living far short
of our calling in Christ. For that we need the forgiving power of
Godís grace. On the other hand, by Godís gracious hand, we
also - wonder of wonders - do live up to our calling. Thatís
something worth celebrating.
As I am
speaking, would you who joined this church during the month of
March down through the years (you received a letter, so you know
who you are); would you join me up front. "I believe in God
... in Jesus ... in the Holy Spirit." We just made this
affirmation. Tell me, however, does believing in God simply mean
that in your head you have made it a fact that God exists.
Is that all faith is? I trust not. If I were to say the same about
my children, that I believed in them, would I simply be affirming
that they existed? By the way, we need to say that more to
these persons who are important to us - not that they simply
exist, but that we believe in our children, in our spouses, in our
brothers and sisters in Christ. I know I donít do that enough.
"I believe in you," means that I believe you can do
wonders with your life - for a child - that you can graduate up to
big boy/girl pants, that you can ride a 2-wheeler bike, that you
can pass a test, or shine in playing a sport, or become whatever
you put your heart, mind, and strength toward. You have it in you.
This is called encouragement.
Now, does God
need our encouragement? Probably not, for the Lord is the very
source of our strength. Still, Jesus doesnít merely want people
who can only affirm his existence. He wants the word
"believe" to be a verb, that we dare to follow him in
the adventure of faith. To say that "I believe in Jesus"
means that today I am ready to roll with you, Lord, come what may.
And you know what the Lord says to us, "I believe in you,
that as you follow me - loving with all your heart, soul, and
strength - together, we can move mountains."
of what weíve been trying to do with these monthly celebrations,
to say to one another, that - in Jesus: "we believe in you,
too!" As I look through this cast of characters gathered with
me just now, knowing some of the roads you have traveled recently,
I see a wonder. Amen? Thatís been true every month.
you go and get all humble on me, letís get down to it. Let me
ask again these key questions, whether you first answered them
here in 1959, 1963, 1986, 1988, or 1992. Ready?
still believe that Jesus is Godís Son. 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 freely live according to the example and teachings of
Jesus? If so, say, "I will."
continue to be loyal to the church, upholding these people
through your prayers and your presence, your substance and
your service? If so, say, "I will."
Praise God! In
the letter each of you received was a pledge form, an opportunity
to respond with some vows specific to you, involving your time and
talents. If you have felt moved to pledge in this way, I invite
you to place it in the offering a bit later. For now, let me just
say that you are a blessing to us from God. We believe in you!
written closer to the time (if not at the
our Tithes and Offerings
As you return your offering to God just now,
ponder these words from 1 Chronicles 29:11 -
O LORD, are the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and
the majesty; for all that is in the heavens and on the earth is
yours; yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head
Will the ushers come forward to receive now what
we have to give?
Lord, our gifts are not casually presented. There is sacrifice in
each of them. We have prospered, and our gifts are prayers that your
will may prosper in the hearts of all who worship here today. For
the salvation of the world, we give and pray. Amen.
By Hilbert J. Berger, from Now, Concerning
Discipleship Resources, ©1987, pg. 19.
the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which
you were called and for which you made the good confession in the
presence of many witnesses. In the presence of God, who gives life
to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before
Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep the
commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our
Lord Jesus Christ, which he will bring about at the right time--he
who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of
(1 Timothy 6:12-15, NRSV)