Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
November 12, 2006
Worship 10:00 am, Sunday School 11:10 am

      "... for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7b)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)
  Announcements
  Prelude

  Call to Worship                            Psalm 146

*Hymn                         "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty"                         37

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                                 Mark 12:38-40

  For Children                     "Clang, clang, clang"

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory             (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

*Response                        "Grant us, Lord, the grace"                           388

*Dedication

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

  Hymn                       "The care the eagle gives her young"                      590
                         (Our younger children leave for bell practice & Sunday School)

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                 1 Kings 17:8-16

  A Smidgeon of Faith

  Scripture                                     Ruth 3:1-5

  Message                      "Small things, great love"

*Hymn                                "Great is thy faithfulness"                               327

*Benediction


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Opening Prayer

         Creator and Ruler of the Earth, we lift up our voices, our eyes, our hearts, our lives to you in praise. Make us your alleluia people. Uphold the weary, for whom praise may be very difficult. Humble the strong, for whom "alleluia" may be too easy. Creator and Ruler of the Earth, continue to form us into your new creation, that we might welcome you to more fully become the ruler of our hearts and minds. Through him who came as a servant, and who now reigns over all creation, Jesus, our Christ. Amen.

(#c-4)
    
   

For Children
"Clang, clang, clang"
(Mark 12:41-44)

         Mel & Glen, would you bring our offering plates forward? ... Children, this month, Mr. Mel and Mr. Glen are our head ushers. They greet people at the doors to our sanctuary and hand out the bulletins, welcoming everyone. Another important thing they do is to collect our offering, using these plates. I donít know if youíve ever really looked at these metal plates when they were passed down your pew, but letís touch and see them now. What do you notice about them. Theyíre shiny, yes. Made of gold? I donít think so. Maybe itís a metal called brass. I donít know. What else do you see? Yes, there is a circular pad on the bottom. It comes out, see? Why do you think that is there? (Get their answers, one of which may be right - then launch into the story).

         This reminds me of a story about Jesus. One day he was sitting in the Temple near where people came to give their offerings to God. In that place were 13 big metal receptacles which were each shaped sort of like a trumpet. Maybe it looked a bit like this (show my euphonium). I used to play this when I was in school. People would throw their coins in here.

         Now, letís do an experiment. I have a lot of pennies here. Letís see what it sounds like if we drop 10 pennies in. (Listen, then remove them) Okay, how about 20 pennies. (Listen, then remove them) Now 30. (Listen, then remove them) Letís go for the mother-load and see what all these pennies would sound like when throw them in. (Listen, then remove them)

         Now, if you wanted to make a big show of giving money, what do you think you could do? Thatís right. Youíd throw in as many coins as you could. The Temple was a pretty noisy place, with crowds of people praying out loud, and sacrificial sheep and goats and bulls and birds making all their noises, too. Letís redo our experiment. Only this time, letís make noise. Congregation, help us. Some of you baah! like sheep. Others bleat like goats. Some moo like a cow. Others make bird sounds. Everybody else pray the Lordís prayer, but not in unison. While youíre doing this, Iíll throw the coins in, but be ready to stop immediately afterward. Okay, go! (Throw pennies in as loudly as possible, then remove them).

         Quiet. Did that sound catch your attention? It probably would have on that day Jesus sat watching. Folks would have paused, and may maybe said to the person beside them - "that man must be very generous," or "she must really love God," or "he must really be blessed by God to give so much." And the person who gave all those coins, even if they were just pennies and not something bigger, could walk away feeling pretty good about himself.

         On that same day, as Jesus sat there watching and listening, along came this poor woman whose husband had died. She must not have had much money to live on, because all she was able to put in the offering was two small coins. I wonder if anyone would have heard her do it. Letís experiment again. Ready, animal and people sounds? Begin. (Toss in 2 pennies) Okay, stop. Did anyone hear those coins drop in? No? You did? Well, so did Jesus.

         In fact, he gathered his disciples around him, and told them, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. Everyone else gave what they didnít need. But she is very poor and gave everything she had. Now she doesnít have a cent to live on." (Mark 12:43-44 CEV) Thatís what he said.

         Now, why do you think we put this pad in the bottom of our offering plates? Thatís right, so that we wonít be listening for the noise of giving thatís just done to show everyone else that we must be generous or blessed. Sometimes the best offerings canít be heard or seen. But God listens and looks and knows and loves those who risk and give their best.

         Iíve asked the ushers if you could help them take up the offering today. Would you like to do that? Letís split you up into 4 groups and you can go help.
   

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

         "... for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7b)

Okay, ushers, help us to give from the heart and not for show.
   

Dedication

         O God, we offer these gifts and our lives, not for the sake of their appearance, but in gratitude for all you have given to us. Above all, we thank you for the great gift of Jesus, for his selflessness and sacrificial love. May our discipleship possess these same qualities. This we pray in Jesusí name. Amen

by Moira B Laidlaw, from Liturgies Online
   

A Smidgeon of Faith
(from the Stewardís Commission)

         The sign out front of our church presently nudges folks who drive by to "live within your harvest." Itís that time of year, you know. Harvest time, or at least the tail end of it. Harvest. Reaping. Gathering. Storing. You do know what Iím talking about donít you?; or has the supermarketís endless bounty helped you to forget that, as Ecclesiastes said, "to everything there is a season and a time under heaven"? In the Spring of the year we plant. In the Fall we harvest.

         "Live within your harvest." Thatís what the sign says. Once upon a time, the harvest was itself a sign of life or death. If the growing season was not a good one, if the rains stayed in the heavens and the ground became dry and hard, there would no crops to harvest, no grain to store. To live within the harvest would then be a meager existence, or worse. Like the drought that affected the little town of Zarephath in the days of Elijah.

         To say "live within your harvest" to a widow in that village, a woman who was preparing the last earthly meal for herself and her son - would be a cruel statement. She was ready to die within her harvest. How many people in our present world does this describe? Happily, there is more to this Bible story than a last meal. A little oil, a bit of grain, and a smidgeon of faith went a long way. God had another idea.

         For us, though, "live within your harvest," is a reminder that we do not exist on just a little oil and a bit of grain; we are not down to our last two coins as that other widow in the Bible we heard of earlier. We have been blessed by an abundant harvest. God has provided for us richly (even if we donít feel all that wealthy). What is our smidgeon of faith going to do?

         This past week, most of you hopefully received a letter from your Stewards commission here at the Long Green Valley Church asking you to look ahead at how you will be living within your harvest in 2007. We encourage you, if you have not been doing so already, to have a plan - to budget, and to include the church of Jesus Christ in your plan. A benchmark the Bible often lifts up is 10%, or a tithe, of your income. How you figure that out is up to you - whether this is a goal to work for or a place to begin, whether you measure before or after tax, whether you give weekly or every other week or monthly - this all is between you and God. Make it an exercise in faith, not just dollars and cents.

         If you are up to the challenge and ready to make a commitment, next Sunday will be the time to return your pledges for 2007 to the Lord. You can fill out and bring forward the form we attached to the letter we sent you, or you can tear off and use whatís on todayís (and will be also on next weekís) bulletin insert. Only our financial secretary will see your pledge and help you to keep track of your progress. We are not into loud, clanging offerings here. Just simple acts of faith. Thatís all it takes. That and remembering what Elijah said to the widow of Zarephath: "Donít be afraid; go and do what you have said..." (1 Kings 17:13a)
     

Pastoral Prayer

 

written closer to the time (if not at the moment)

 

 

Benediction

Since Godís faithfulness is great,
            and every morning is full of "new mercies,"
                        if only our eyes are open to behold them;
      since the Lord has provided for all we have needed,
                  even when we were most tempted to doubt;

Therefore, step out in faith this week,
            in some small but not unimportant way.
      God, you see, honors those who take a risk for heavenís sake.

Go forth,
      secure in the everlasting love of God
      renewed by the sacrificial love of Jesus
      empowered by the active love of the Holy Spirit

first portion by Pete Haynes,
last section ("Go forth...") by Moira B Laidlaw,
from Liturgies Online
   

(para traducir a espaŮol, presione la bandera de EspaŮa)

 

Interested in Sunday School?
Below is a growing list of possible sites to visit. As you discover others, please let us know.

International Lesson:
Faith and Life Resources
Mennonite Publishing House

International Lesson:
Mennonite Weekly Review

(scroll down on left to "Sunday School lessons)

International Lesson:
Christian Standard
(one week ahead)

International Lesson:
Living Web Sunday School Project

While one of our adult classes follows the International lesson above, using
A Guide for Biblical Studies,
published quarterly by our denomination,
another class often uses one of the
Good Ground series,
also published by Brethren Press.

For children and youth, we use the new
Gather Round curriculum
(developed jointly by the Church of the Brethren and the Mennonite Church)

 

©2006 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)

 

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