Worship Order for
Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
January 7, 2007
Worship 10:00 am, Sunday School 11:10 am
our Lord Sunday
(the first Sunday after Epiphany)
and John laid their hands on them, and they received the
Holy Spirit." (Acts 8:17)
Morning Praise (9:45 am)
Call to Worship
praise thee, O God"
*Responsive Prayer (spoken, not
vs. 1 - Worship Leader
vs. 2 - Left side of congregation
vs. 3 - Right side of congregation
vs. 4 - All
vs. 5 - Worship Leader
Sharing a joy, a concern, a word of testimony or praise
Introduction and Baptismal vows
needed) "I believe in you, Lord Jesus"
"Here I am,
(Our younger children then leave for bell
practice & Sunday School)
Returning our Tithes and Offerings
(Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)
with gladness men of old"
(stand on verse 3)
"And they received the Holy
"O Holy Spirit, making
#'s are from Hymnal:
A Worship Book
Worship leaders - see basic
Luke 3:15-17, NRSV
(On the worship table, in front of the cross and
the candles, are two small baskets - one filled with grain,
the other with straw. Elevate the back of each so that the contents
are visible to the congregation)
Worship Leader - We begin remembering events down by the
Jordan river, where crowds were drawn to the preaching of John the
Baptist, who was like a voice crying out in the wilderness,
preparing the way of the Lord. As you Listen, make a straight path
for God to travel to your heart. (pause)
As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning
in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah,
John answered all of them by saying,
Voice (out of sight) - "I
baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is
coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will
baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in
his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into
his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."
(As the Voice cries out, "He
will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire," the
acolyte lights to candles on the worship table.)
Worship Leader - Please turn in your hymnal
to #129, the words to which we will read, instead of sing, as a
prayer. I will pray the first and last verse. The people of my
right, your left, will pray the second verse. Those on my left,
your right, will pray the third. All our voices will join together
on the fourth verse. Letís pray together...
Worship Leader - Fire of God, undying Flame,
Spirit who in splendor came,
let your heat my soul refine,
till it glows with love divine.
Left side of congregation - Breath of God, that swept in
in the Pentecostal hour,
holy Breath, be now in me
source of vital energy.
Right side of congregation - Strength of God, your might
conquers sorrow, pain and sin.
Fortify from evil's art
all the gateways of my heart.
All - Truth of God, your piercing rays
penetrate my secret
May the light that
shames my sin
guide me holier
paths to win.
Worship Leader - Love of God, your grace profound
knows not either age or bound.
Come, my heart's own guest to be;
dwell forevermore in me.
Hymn #129 - "Fire of God, undying Flame"
written closer to the time (if not at the
and Baptismal vows
In its worship
life, the early church remembered and celebrated the baptism of
Jesus as a major event, perhaps even more important (at that point
in time) than his birth. This, after all, was the first action of
our Lord as an adult thatís recorded in the Bible. Itís in
these gospel accounts that we first hear God say that Jesus was
"my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
Significant, also, is the mention of the Holy Spirit descending
upon him "like a dove," as the heavens opened
during prayer following his baptism. In those moments, he was
being anointed for the road ahead - his healing, his teaching, and
what he did upon the cross.
In the church
calendar, this first Sunday after Epiphany is called Baptism of
our Lord day. What an appropriate way of starting 2007. We
have been through a time of preparation for the coming of Christ,
as well as the celebration of his incarnation. Today is about
steps of faith. How fitting that we have a young man in our
fellowship who is ready on this day to officially begin his walk
with Jesus by a confessing his faith and being baptized.
proceed, however, letís be clear about some things. What we do
in presenting ourselves to be baptized has little to do with our
own righteousness and everything to do with Godís graciousness.
We donít have it all together when we step into the water. We
havenít got this "faith" business down pat. Baptism
doesnít mean that we are now "holier than thou." Far
from it. If anything, as we come to this juncture, we recognize
our need for God, as we follow where Jesus leads. Baptism, you
see, is about what God is doing. There is transforming forgiveness
all along the way, and refining fire ahead. More on that later.
For now, we
have a young man ready to be baptized. _________, please come
forward at this time, along with your friend ____ ______, who
wants to share a few things with us about you.
(After he is
"introduced" to the congregation by this member)
you have been a part of this church family from an early age,
Nathan, today you are being received as a full member of this
community of faith and fully entering into the Church of the
Brethren. As part of the whole church of Jesus Christ, we offer
you our rich heritage and invite you to share fully in our life
ourselves to be for you a loving fellowship, to be a means of
grace in your life, and to offer opportunities for worship, study,
and service, as you seek out what your calling is as a disciple of
Christ. One of the happiest times in our life as a church is when
person choose to follow Jesus. We welcome you with joy. First,
though, some questions.
Do you believe that Jesus is God's Son and do you receive and trust him as your Savior and Lord?
Will you turn away from all sin and will you endeavor by God's grace to live according to the example and teachings of Jesus?
Will you be loyal to the church, upholding it by your prayers and your presence, your substance and your service?
from For All Who Minister,
©1993, Brethren Press, p.135-137.
the rest of us, if you are ready and willing to receive this brother
more deeply into our fellowship, would you please stand and join me
in the congregational response found on page 778 of your hymnal.
Leader: Through baptism we are united to Jesus Christ
and given part in Christ's ministry of reconciliation.
Baptism is the visible sign of an invisible event:
the reconciliation of people to God.
Baptism shows the death of the old self and the rising to life of
a new self.
It shows also the pouring out of the Holy Spirit
on those whom God has chosen.
Baptism declares God's forgiveness;
it seals the gift of the Spirit
and joins the believer to the body of Christ.
People: This is the water of baptism.
Out of this water we rise with new life,
forgiven of sin,
and one in Christ,
members of Christ's body.
(#778 in Hymnal,
Adapted from Book of Worship United Church of Christ, ©1986)
you have confessed here your faith in God and your desire to be
recognized as a member of the body of Christ. Upon this confession
of faith I now baptize you:
In the name of the God who created and loves you;
In the name of Christ who forgives and heals you;
In the name of the Holy Spirit who renews and empowers you.
from For All Who Minister, ©1993, Brethren Press,
O God, we are
thankful for the commitment made today by _______. May (she/he)
experience your forgiveness, acceptance, and peace. Send your Holy
Spirit upon (her/him) to guide and to empower. Enable (her/him) to
walk in newness of life, using (her/his) gifts in praise to you
and in service to others. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Carol A. Wise
from For All Who Minister, ©1993, Brethren Press,
our Tithes and Offerings
After Jesus was
baptized, he spent 40 days in the wilderness where even he faced a
time of trial, being tempted by the devil. After we say
"yes" to God and step forward by faith into the waters of
baptism, we are not immune to temptation. Sometimes thatís right
when we face it the most. But trials are something we encounter all
along the way. Therefore, Godís promise through the voice of
Isaiah, is very appropriate:
be afraid, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name,
you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with
you... Because you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I
love you... Do not fear, for I am with you..."
How many times
should we repeat those words before they sink in? Ponder them in
your heart as you return your offering just now. And remember those
"offspring" who came "from the east"
to find the Christ-child, wise men bearing gifts. The day of
Epiphany - which was yesterday - revolves around the story of their
visit. May your offerings this morning flow from the same gladness,
for you are precious in Godís sight.
With eyes looking up to the source of our strength and hope on this
first Sunday of a brand new year, we gladly bring our gifts to you,
O Lord. Help us to learn how best to put them to use as we walk with
Jesus toward your "heavenly country bright." Amen.
Go now, confident that you are Godís
........precious and pleasing children.
Trust in God and do not fear.
Accept the Word of God
and point others to the one who baptizes with Spirit and fire.
And may God be your protection and your strength;
May Christ baptize you with his Holy Spirit.
And may the Spirit be with you
........to empower you and give you peace.
adapted from www.laughingbird.net
©2001 Nathan Nettleton
(para traducir a espaŮol, presione la bandera de EspaŮa)