Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
February 28, 2010
Worship 10:00 am              Sunday School 11:10am

Second Sunday of Lent 

      Then (God) took him outside and said, "Look at the sky. Count the stars. Can you do it? Count your descendants! You're going to have a big family, Abram!" And he believed! Believed God! God declared him "Set-Right-with-God."  (Genesis 15:5-6)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)
  Prelude                          "Beneath the Cross of Jesus"                     arr. Elmore

  Call to Worship                   "The Lord is my light"                           (see insert)

  Responsive Scripture Reading

*Hymn                         "Unto thy temple, Lord, we come"                               4

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                              Genesis 11:27 - 12:4

  A Time with Children

  Scripture                                  Romans 4:1-14
                                                      (Contemporary English Version)

  Sharing a joy, a concern, a word of testimony or praise
                                 (please be brief, and aware of God's listening presence)

  Prayer Hymn                        "I am thine, O Lord"                                      505

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                Hebrews 11:8-12

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory                                  "The Promises"                                Panchenko
                                        (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

  Scripture                                Genesis 15:1-18a

  Message                           "Cutting your teeth" (mp3)

*Hymn                             "Beneath the cross of Jesus"                                 250


*Postlude                               "God Be With You"                                Williams

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship


Responsive Scripture Reading
Psalm 27 

Each pew has 2 Bibles located in the rack with the hymnals. I invite you to draw closer to one another and share, as together we draw near to the Lord through a responsive reading of Psalm 27. Please turn there now. It begins on page 477. This Revised Standard Version of the Psalm is divided into 10 sections, each being a verse – until we reach the 7th verse, when the sections begin including more than one verse. We will take turns reading, starting with the left side of the sanctuary; your left, not mine. The right side will then read the second section, the left reading the third, the right the fourth, etc.

Please rise in body or spirit, and let us worship with a psalm of David.

1The LORD is my light and my salvation;
       whom shall I fear?
  The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
       of whom shall I be afraid?

2When evildoers assail me
       uttering slanders against me,
  my adversaries and foes,
       they shall stumble and fall.

3Though an army encamp against me,
       my heart shall not fear;
   though war arise against me,
       yet I will be confident.

4One thing have I asked of the LORD,
       that will I seek after:
  that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
       all the days of my life,
  to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
       and to inquire in his temple.

5For he will hide me in his shelter
       in the day of trouble;
  he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
       he will lift me high upon a rock.

6And now my head shall be lifted up
       above my enemies around about me,
  and I will offer in his tent
       sacrifices with shouts of joy;
  I will sing and make melody to the LORD.

7Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud,
       be gracious to me and answer me!
8Thou hast said, "Seek ye my face.
           My heart says to thee,
      "Thy face, LORD, do I seek."
Hide not your face from me.

   Turn not thy servant away in anger,
       thou who hast been my help.
   Cast me not off; forsake me not,
       O God of my salvation!
10For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
       but the LORD will take me up.

11Teach me your way, O LORD,
       and lead me on a level path
       because of my enemies.
12Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
       for false witnesses have risen against me,
       and they breathe out violence.

13I believe that I shall see the goodness of the LORD
       in the land of the living!
14Wait for the LORD;
       be strong, and let your heart take courage;
       yea, wait for the LORD!


Opening Prayer

            We come to worship you, O God, seeking signs of your presence to strengthen us in our journey through life. We wonder how prepared we are to journey, like Abraham, into the unknown of your future.  He looked for signs of your presence and journeyed on in hope, confident that your presence was there to protect and guide him. How much more fortunate are we, blessed as we are with your presence with us in Jesus.  He undertook his journey towards the cross with a heavy heart, and in dying, revealed his undying love for all - blessing lives forever with his life and your love.  We approach you, O God, with hearts filled with awe over  such undeserved gifts and we pray that this time of worship will reveal the depth of our gratitude and praise.  This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen

by Rev Moira Laidlaw,
Uniting Church in Australia,
from Liturgies Online


A Time with Children

            Our resident storyteller, "Mr. Ed," will share some time with our little ones.


Pastoral Prayer


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


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

Please pray with me.

Lord God, this whole “living by faith” business always seems to be a bit over our heads. We know, for instance, that the offerings we return just now don’t earn us a thing with you. With this money we’re not paying for our ticket to heaven. Even so, what we do with our finances – along with every other aspect of our lives - does matter to you. If our giving is only is out of what we think we have to spare, stretch us that we might grow in living larger than we think possible. Nudge us out of our comfort zones and push or pull us toward your promises that we, like Abraham and Sarah (and all the other cast of characters in your book), might live by faith this journey you have set before us. This we pray, looking to Jesus. Amen.



Genesis 15:1-18a
(a reading for 3 persons)

[Reader 1 stands at podium. Reader 2 uses microphone from balcony. Reader 3 wanders. DO NOT RUSH ! Use creative pauses.]

1 - We turn now to the 15th chapter of Genesis, where we discover an ancient story of a twilight covenant made between God and the wandering Aramean named Abraham. At this point in the narrative, he still goes by “Abram.” At God’s direction, he and his wife and family have left the comfort of home and headed out into the unknown, armed only with a promise – a promise which seems very far from being realized, if ever.
            In your mind’s eye, picture a tent pitched out in the middle of nowhere. The campfire is but embers, and everyone else is asleep. A restless soul is still awake in his tent, wondering about his wandering. He is old and already tired of this journey which has only just begun. Listen….


1 - After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision,

2 - “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”

1 - But Abram said,

3 - “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless. What’s to become of my family?”   (pause)    “You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.”

1 - But the word of the Lord came to him,

2 - “This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.”

1 - He brought him outside (pause as 3 moves) and said,

2 - “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.”  (pause as Abram looks up and around in awe)  “So shall your descendants be.”

1 – (pause, allowing the words to sink in) And he believed the Lord; and this faith, this trust, set the relationship between these two right in God’s eyes. Then he said to him,

2 - “I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess.”

1 - But he said,

3 - “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?”

1 - He said to him,

2 - “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”

1 - Abram brought him all these and cut them in two, laying each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away. (pause) As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, (3 lays down) and a deep and terrifying darkness descended upon him. Then the Lord said to Abram,

2 - “Know this for certain, that your offspring shall be aliens in a land that is not theirs, and shall be slaves there, and they shall be oppressed for four hundred years; but I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. As for yourself, you shall go to your ancestors in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. And they shall come back here in the fourth generation; for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”

1 - When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram….

text adapted from The New Revised Standard Version,
copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.


Go now, trusting in God’s promises.
Seek the presence of the Lord
and abandon yourself to prayer.
Follow those who are faithful to God,
stand firm against evil and seek healing for all.

And may God be your saving light and fortress;
May Christ Jesus gather you into the safe wings of mercy;
And may the Holy Spirit make you citizens of heaven.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net

(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

International Lesson:
Adult Bible Studies
from The United Methodist Publishing House
(click "supplemental resources" and "current events supplement" under both the "Student" and "Teacher" sections in the left hand column)

While one of our adult classes follows the International lesson above (see also), 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)


©2010 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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