Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
August 19, 2007
Worship 10:00 am

"On the Way"
Camp Sunday

      "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith..."
                                               (Hebrews 12:1-2a)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)

  Call to Worship                        Genesis 12:1-2

*Gathering Song                         "Hamba Nathi"

*Opening Prayer

*Hymn                                   "Fairest Lord Jesus"                                      117

  Scripture                          Exodus 13:17-18a, 20-22

  Acting out Scripture

  Song (reprise)                           "Hamba Nathi"
                              (Our younger children, ages 3-7, leave for Sunday School)

  Scripture                                    Ruth 1:15-18

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

  Song                                 "Peace Pilgrim’s Prayer"

  Pastoral Prayer

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings                        Luke 4:1-13

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

  Scripture                                    Acts 3:1-10

  Song                                "I've got peace like a river"

  A Time of Sharing  (camp participants invited to come forward)

  Song                                           "Sanctuary"

  Message                            "The Pioneer Path"
                                                                   (Hebrews 12:1-2)

*Hymn                                       "Guide my feet"                                         546

*Commission                           Matthew 28:16-20

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship
Genesis 12:1-2 (NRSV)

         1 Now the Lord said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."


Opening Prayer

         O God of blessing, come, walk with us this hour. For you have called us to go, like Abraham and Sarah; to step out by faith armed with but your promise. No journey can be undertaken without your help and guidance on the way, so may your Spirit empower us and your Son lead us. Forgive us when we stop depending upon you and start thinking that everything depends upon us. When we do so, we lose our way and our burdens become unbearable. Nudge us to share our burdens and, in so doing, to know your Sabbath rest. Keep prodding us to look to and follow Jesus, and thus walk in the path of your peace. Bless this time of worship that through it we might become equipped for the road ahead.
         This we pray in the name of the One who is the "ruler of all nature" and "Lord of all nations," our "beautiful Savior" and "fairest Lord Jesus." Amen.

(followed by "Fairest Lord Jesus," 117)

Exodus13:17-18a, 20-22 (NRSV)

         "On the Way." That was the curriculum theme this summer at Shepherd’s Spring and Mardela (the two camps our church supports and to which we sent some of our young people this year). ... "On the Way." ...

In Genesis, Abraham and Sarah followed where God led them,
         and blessings overflowed.
In Exodus, after they were set free, the Israelites wandered
         with God and left Egypt.
In the Bible’s ongoing story, Ruth journeyed home with
         her mother-in-law, and God was faithful to them on the way.
In the New Testament, Jesus was himself led by God
         into the wilderness, where his baptism was challenged.
In the book of Acts, a lame man, healed by the apostle Peter,
         used his newfound walking ability as a means
         to rejoice in the Lord.
And before he ascended to heaven, Jesus commissioned
         his disciples (and us) with marching orders to go
         and baptize and make disciples and teach and remember.

         I’ve just alluded to the six scriptures that were at the heart of this summer’s camp theme, "On the Way."    From Sunday through Friday, these Bible stories surrounded each day, one at a time. We’ve already heard from Genesis. Let’s listen to these words from the book of Exodus.

         17 "When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was nearer; for God thought, ‘If the people face war, they may change their minds and return to Egypt.’ 18 So God led the people by the roundabout way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea.... 20 They set out from Succoth, and camped at Etham, on the edge of the wilderness. 21 The Lord went in front of them in a pillar of cloud by day, to lead them along the way, and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light, so that they might travel by day and by night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people."

Acting out Scripture

         As the Spirit leads (and the pastor directs), the whole congregation will "act out" the exodus story (the highlights), with the emphasis upon the Israelites being led by the "pillar of cloud by day" and the "pillar of cloud by night."

Ruth 1:15-18 (NRSV)

         The marvelous story of two women who traveled from bitterness to joy was the third scripture of the week at camp this summer. Stranded in a foreign country following the death of her husbands and sons, desperately hungry in the midst of a famine, Naomi decided to go home. She released her two local daughters-in-law from any responsibility they might have felt to take care of her, but one of these women, Ruth, refused to leave her side. Her promise to Naomi is one of the most moving commitments spoken in the Bible. May we be blessed with a similar desire toward our brothers and sisters in Christ today, as we walk together "on the way" of Jesus. Listen.

         15 So Naomi said, "See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law." 16 But Ruth said,

                    "Do not press me to leave you
                                                 or to turn back from following you!
                               Where you go, I will go;
                                        where you lodge, I will lodge;
                                                 your people shall be my people,
                                                          and your God my God.
                           17 Where you die, I will die; there will I be buried.
                                         May the Lord do thus and so to me,
                                                           and more as well,
                                                  if even death parts me from you!"

         18 When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.

Pastoral Prayer


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


Returning our Tithes and Offerings
Luke 4:1-13 (NRSV)

         With the fourth scripture underlying the theme of camp, we turn the corner from the Old Testament to the New, and shift our focus to Jesus. "On the way" of worship this morning we come to a time of giving. As we do so, however, the following story reminds us that life - real life - is more than power, more than authority or recognition, more than security. We are all tempted to lose our sense of direction by such things as we travel with Jesus on the way. When it comes to such temptation, he walks ahead of us, showing us the way. Listen to this story from Luke’s gospel of what happened after Jesus himself was baptized.

         1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. 3 The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread." 4 Jesus answered him, "It is written, "One does not live by bread alone.’"
         5 Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And the devil said to him, "To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. 7 If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours." 8 Jesus answered him, "It is written,

"Worship the Lord your God,
and serve only him.’"

9 Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written,

"He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,’
11 and
"On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’"

         12 Jesus answered him, "It is said, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’" 13 When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.

         We give our offerings, not as an exercise of worldly power, not because we have earthly authority or crave the recognition others around us, not out of our need for security. Our act of giving just now returns us to God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah on the way - simply that we will be a blessing. Will the ushers come forward and help us do so?

Acts 3:1-10

         In the bulletin every week there are asterisks beside certain parts of our worship order. The note at the bottom reads, "Please stand if you are able." The fifth Bible story at camp involved a person had never been able to stand until the day when Peter and John walked by on the way. This man begged for what he thought was all he could get. Peter offered him more. The rest is a story of how walking led to praising God, and how when we follow Jesus, we go "rejoicing on the way." Listen.

         1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, at three o’clock in the afternoon. 2 And a man lame from birth was being carried in. People would lay him daily at the gate of the temple called the Beautiful Gate so that he could ask for alms from those entering the temple. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them for alms. 4 Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, "Look at us." 5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, "I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk." 7 And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8 Jumping up, he stood and began to walk, and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 All the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and they recognized him as the one who used to sit and ask for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

A Time of Sharing

(camp participants invited to come forward)


Matthew 28:16-20 (NRSV)

         16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

(para traducir a español, presione la bandera de España)


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)


©2007 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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