Worship Order for
2008 is a
significant year for a number of reasons. First of all, a we
remembered last week during the children’s story, during the
summer of 1708 eight persons – after much Bible study and prayer
– quietly gathered on the bank of the Eder river in Schwarzenau,
Germany and baptized one another, thus beginning what we now
know as the Church of the Brethren. This is our denomination’s
Secondly, on October 25th,
1908, the Brethren here in this long green valley, dedicated
their first meetinghouse. Because of that, this year we are
celebrating the 100th anniversary of our
congregation. Please set aside the weekend of Oct. 25-26 on your
calendar for our Homecoming celebration.
1908 was an
interesting year for another reason. In January of that year, a
group of then Protestant Episcopal priests in New Year gathered
to pray for the unity of the church, that this splintering of
the body of Christ into Protestants and Catholics might come to
an end. Every year since then a
week in January has been set
aside for Christians to echo Jesus’ own prayer that his
followers “might be one” (John 17:11). It is not an easy
prayer, for Protestants and Catholics have different
understandings of what constitutes “the church.” However, if
unity was important for our Lord, it must be important for us –
and unity begins with prayer. On this day we join with other
churches of various denominations to “pray without ceasing,”
which is the theme of our worship this morning. As the organ
draws us toward God, please take these moments to quietly
prepare yourself through your own personal prayer.
you rule the world from end to end
and for all time.
You alone are God. In you alone we hope.
Forgive our sins.
Heal our diseases.
Save our lives from destruction.
We repent of our stubbornness and pride.
We desire to yield ourselves more fully to your will.
Keep us in your presence
that we might serve and witness in
through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Hymnal #692 - written by Ernest
adapted from A Book of Pastoral Prayers,
Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, New York and Nashville, © 1951
Dear children, I have often
And felt an anxious care,
Lest you in pleasure’s shrine be caught,
In earth’s bewitching snare…
So began the poem “Lines
to the Young,” written by Isaiah G. Harley of Philadelphia, for
the first issue of The Pious Youth, the first Brethren
magazine for youth. It was published by Henry Holsinger, an
innovator in so many things, who saw the need to compete with
the many secular publications that were designed specifically
for the younger market. It cost a dollar a year and was,
according to its masthead “Designed to promote the welfare, and
enlarge the number of the class of persons whose name it bears”.
In the first issue S. B. Furry
of Martinsburg, PA, invited children to open their bibles to
Exodus 20:12 to “see what God demands of you,” namely to honor
father and mother. Another contributor told a story about a
child who did the math and realized that if his mother asked for
payment for what it cost to care for him he would owe her
$1,525. And finally, J.A. Sell of Tyrone, PA, warned of the
danger of doing things “Just for Fun,” telling what may have
been the equivalent of a 19th century urban myth.
Sell related the story of a young girl who decided to run across
the railway tracks to grab a pair of gloves “just for fun”
despite the warning of her friends.
‘The engine was so close that
she feels his red-hot breath, but her foot passes beyond the
farther rail. Is she safe? Oh no! Her dress is caught; she is
dragged under the wheels of the iron horse and crushed into a
shapeless mass. A young, joyous, useful life thrown away “just
The publication lasted only a
couple of years. However it laid the groundwork for continuing
interest and emphasis in Sunday School curriculum, best
exemplified by today’s Gather ‘Round.
And that’s the
Tercentennial Minute for January 20, 2008.
by Frank Ramirez, pastor of the Everett, PA
Church of the Brethren
posted by permission
The Everett church
graciously makes available these weekly vignettes from Brethren
to all who are interested during this
anniversary year of our denomination.
Frank will be the guest preacher for our Homecoming on October
(this is our congregation's 100th anniversary year)
written closer to the time (if not at the
our Tithes and Offerings
“Give us this day our daily bread.”
That’s what followers of Jesus
pray all around the world,
no matter what language they use,
no matter what denomination they claim.
“El pan nuestro de cada día, dánoslo hoy.”
Bread unites us,
the bread which feeds our bodies,
the bread that feeds our spirits.
You are invited, just now, to respond to what you have heard
Allow your offering to be like breathing.
We have gathered to breathe in
God’s goodness and mercy.
May your giving be a prayer,
breathing out what God is doing in you.
This is your daily bread.
(para traducir a español, presione la bandera de España)