Worship Order for
O great Jehovah,
restore our souls as you guide us through this land. Empower us
to follow Jesus now. We depend upon your daily bread. We thirst
for your living water. You give us abundant life in Christ. Yes,
you are great and you are good, and we thank you for what we
will receive this hour.
Just now, turn us aside from the routine that
brought us here, toward the wonder that is you. We are treading
upon holy ground. May your Holy Spirit burn within us! This we
pray in your name. Amen.
written closer to the time (if not at the
our Tithes and Offerings
As you return your
offering this morning, pay attention to the cover of your
bulletin, both front and back. Do you recognize the picture? The
small, white building is a bit of our Brethren story that is
often printed in the American History textbooks in our public
schools. Located on Antietam National Battlefield near
Sharpsburg, MD, it is a recreation of the Mumma meetinghouse of
what is now the Manor Church of the Brethren. On September 17,
1862, this ďLittle
Dunker ChurchĒ was in the middle of the bloodiest single day
in the American Civil War. That battle was fought on fields
belonging to a people who refused to take up arms and fight,
choosing instead the example of Jesus.
Two weeks from
this afternoon there will be a special worship service in that
meetinghouse, remembering that day 146 years ago. Youíre invited
While the plates are passed,
turn to the back of your bulletin and read
what is written there. Then be
prepared to pray in unison the Prayer of
Confession at the bottom, after we sing a few verses of a
hymn. Ushers, please lead us in this time of offering.
Are We Enemies?
Two five-year-old boys, once friends, had become
enemies, using words and actions to match their
feelings about one another.
"I hate you!
Don't ever come to my house again."
play with my toys any more! I hate you too!"
words! What unkind thoughts to come from the mouths
and minds of little boys!
war. Neighboring nations, once friends, are now
enemies. Rhetoric of war - angry, nasty words, acts
of violence and revenge - turns farms and fields
into battlegrounds of war, neighbors into enemies,
and brothers into spies.
cousin remembered an awful childhood day when cannon
fire boomed across their farm's pond to find its
mark in the little country church across the way,
leaving gaping holes in wall and roof.
enemies are hungry, feed them ... for by doing this
you will heap burning coals on their heads. Do not
be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
boys, reaching out to one another, with freshly
baked cookies to share. Feeding hungry enemies can
turn them into friends and neighbors once again.
however, are not so easily transformed.
Unison Prayer of Confession
God of mercy, forgive our tendency to repay evil for
evil. Forgive our failure to trust you to care for
all your children, whether we call them enemy or
friend. May we learn, by your grace, to live
peaceably with all. Let your love enable us to not
be overcome by evil, but rather to overcome evil
with good. In Jesus' name. Amen.
by Harriet W. Finney, retired pastor
Eel River Community Church of the Brethren
North Manchester, Indiana
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word
"Great giver of all good"
click to listen)
Great giver of all good, teach us to give
Ours be the great beatitude of love and service free.
Poor are our offerings, Lord. Yet if
bestowed in love,
No gift shall fail of its reward in larger life above.
In love may we increase by Thy sweet
Till all thatís selfish from us cease, and ill to good give
verses 1, 4, & 5 from 1951 (Red)
Brethren Hymnal #342
author of words is listed as "anonymous"
We have one more
thing to do this morning. Our brother ______ ______ has asked to
be anointed in preparation for his upcoming surgery on Sept. 10th.
Putting oil on the head of another and praying for him, is a
fitting way of bringing to a close a service where we have heard
God's call to place burning coals upon the heads of our enemies
through acts of kindness. No, ______ is anything but an enemy of
ours. He is one of the salt-of-the-earth believers in this
fellowship, in whom the fruit of God's goodness grows in
abundance. Of course, he would probably be the first to say,
"wait a minute, Iím not that good a person."
If the truth be
told, none of us are. As the apostle Paul also wrote in his
letter to the Romans, "while we were enemies (of God),
we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, (and
much more), having been reconciled, we will be
saved by his life" (Romans
5:10). Through the cross, God in Christ heaped those
burning coals upon our heads. These coals have set our heart,
soul, and mind on fire in the Spirit. Through the empty tomb, it
is no longer burning coals upon our heads, but rather the oil of
anointing, as we are commissioned to a greater purpose.
To be anointed
before surgery is to be sent by God into the task of healing. We
are no longer powerless before an illness, or merely a patient
on the receiving end of treatment. God calls us to health or,
better put, to becoming and being well. We have a role to play
in our own recovery, and we are given what we need to be active
in our healing. Even if things donít turn out as we think they
should, God sends us forth empowered with purpose. The kings of
old were anointed to lead Godís people. In Christ Jesus, God's
anointed one (which is what the word "Christ" and "Messiah"
mean), we are anointed to take the lead in our own wellness.
(Invite ______ and any Deacons or others who wish to
come forward. Have a folding chair ready for
And so here we are
to anoint our brother as an act of worship, bringing our time
together to a close. In the book of James it says, "Are any
among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They
should sing songs of praise. Are any among you sick? They should
call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them,
anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of
faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and
anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore
confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so
that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful
and effective" (5:13-16).
______, is there
anything you wish to say before we continue. This may not be the
place to confess things that are best shared in an intimate
setting, but it is certainly a time to let go of our fears and
place our trust in the Lord. ______?
profession of faith, and the faith of this gathered community,
grounded in the goodness of God, I/we anoint you
for the forgiveness of your sin,
for the strengthening of your faith, and
for healing and wholeness according to God's abundant grace and
(All who are up front surrounding him, place hands upon
Let us pray.
(First, the pastor prays as led, then anyone else
who feels led by the Spirit to pray out loud. When
it seems all have spoken, the pastor draws the
congregation into a unison Lordís Prayer. The Amen
is our benediction.)
For more info on this Brethren ordinance, see
or read this sermon on
(para traducir a espaŮol, presione la bandera de EspaŮa)