Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
March 6, 2011
Worship 10:00 am              Sunday School 11:10am

Transfiguration Sunday 

      And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white.”  (Matthew 17:2)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)          "Christ upon the mountain peak"          232

*Responsive Call to Worship

*Hymn                        "Immortal, invisible, God only wise"                             70

*Opening Prayer

  Climbing the Mountain             Exodus 24:12-18

  Chorus                                   "Thy Word" (vs. 1)

  Descending the Mountain         Exodus 34:29-35

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

  Chorus                                   "Thy Word" (vs. 2)

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                  1 Peter 1:16-21

  For Children                                  "Fiona"

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

  Hymn                          "Christ upon the mountain peak"                              232

  Scripture                                  Matthew 17:1-9

  Message                              "Mountain Men" (mp3)

*Hymn                                   "Move in Our Midst"                                      418



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship
Psalm 99

   One -   Our LORD, you are King!

    All -    You rule from your throne above the winged creatures, as people tremble and the earth shakes.

   Left -    You are praised in Zion, and you control all nations.

    All -    Only you are God!

Right -    And your power alone, so great and fearsome, is worthy of praise.

   One -   You are our mighty King, a lover of fairness, who sees that justice is done everywhere in Israel.

    All -    Our LORD and our God, we praise you and kneel down to worship you, the God of holiness!

   One -   Moses and Aaron were two of your priests. Samuel was also one of those who prayed in your name, and you, our LORD, answered their prayers.

   Left -    You spoke to them from a thick cloud, and they obeyed your laws.

    All -    Our LORD and our God,

Right -    you answered their prayers and forgave their sins, but when they did wrong, you punished them.

    All -    We praise you, LORD God, and we worship you at your sacred mountain. Only you are God!

from the Contemporary English Version,
Copyright © 1995 by the American Bible Society

Opening Prayer

Immortal God,
      You are the firm foundation beneath us -
            as we stand, fear falls away.
      You are the sun which rises every morning -
            when we open our eyes, hope colors our world.
      You are the wind which blows across our land -
            with every breath, there is renewed strength and vigor.

Invisible God,
      We trust in your presence
            even when the ground beneath us shakes.
      We hope in your coming kingdom
            even amid signs of despair.
      We act upon our convictions
            even as we wonder how it will all work out.

God only wise,
      In this brief hour of worship
            help us to pay less attention to the ticking of our clocks
                           and more attention to the beating of your heart.
      Within the words spoken or unsaid,
                  the silences and the sounds,
            help us to hear your Word.
      And after we have descended the mountain
                              of this momentary wonder,
            move us through our days with purpose and power.

This we pray in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.


            You may be seated… In the church year, today marks the boundary between seasons. During Epiphany, we have kept our eyes open for where God might be on the move. In these past two months we have seen world-changing events. A shooting in Arizona transfixed our nation, and for a moment transfigured our public discourse from incivility to respect. Demonstrations in the middle east have toppled long-standing rulers and are in the middle of transforming nations, whether for better or for worse remains to be seen. We have not liked some of the more personal news – from cancer to aneurysms to fractured hips - yet even here we have seen evidence of God’s grace and glory. Now we turn toward Easter.

            Next weekend is the first Sunday of the Season of Lent. How appropriate that the onset of daylight savings time will change our clocks and push us ahead. We will lose an hour of sleep next Saturday night. What else might we consider “losing” that we might “gain” real life? What might we turn from in order to turn toward God? What might we die to that we might rise with Christ? Those are some of the questions that are posed during the season of Lent.

            Today is Transfiguration Sunday, which revolves around the story of Jesus and a few of his disciples climbing a mountain. What was seen there was confusing for Peter, James, and John – just like what we behold around us today makes us wonder what is going on. Even so, change was in the wind then, like it still is today.

            However, before we turn to that gospel story, let’s listen to another. On Mt. Sinai, Moses received the Torah of God. In order to do so he needed to ascend to the heights. Later he came back down with the tablets. We first hear of him climbing the mountain. Later, we’ll pay attention to his descent. Listen.

Climbing the Mountain
Exodus 24:12-18

(reader 1 is the worship leader, reader 2 is unseen from the back, reader 3 is the pastor)

1 - The Lord said to Moses,

2 - “Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there; and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.”

1 - So Moses set out with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God. To the elders he had said,

3 - “Wait here for us, until we come to you again; for Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a dispute may go to them.”

1 - Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the cloud. Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. Moses entered the cloud, and went up on the mountain. Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.

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.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Pastoral Prayer

When you could stay
hidden behind your glory,
you send Jesus,
to show us your heart.
When you could
remain silent for all time,
you whisper your hopes
to us in every moment.
When you could remain
on the pinnacle of our praises,
you enter the depths
of our shadowed lives.
Splendor's glory:
You are holy!

When we bump along
over the potholes of impatience,
you smooth out our lives
with your wisdom.
When we live in
the hollows of hopelessness,
you would transfigure us
with your joy.
When we wander the lone
valleys of grief and death,
you are beside us,
holding our hearts.
Humility's Lover -
You are holy!

You transform every day events
into miracles of awe;
you text message joy
onto the emptiness of our souls;
you enter the fog
of our feeble, fear-filled faith,
to reveal to us
the morning star of hope.
Glory's Mystery -
You are holy!

God in Community, Holy in One,
you are the glory of our mountaintops
and the comfort of our valleys,
even as we pray, saying,
Our Father...

by Thom M. Shuman, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), from Lectionary Liturgies.

For Children

There’s a movie I’m thinking of about an ogre who rescues a princess. You’re right, it’s “Shrek.” What was the name of the princess? Fiona. There was a secret about Fiona, wasn’t there? During the day she was a beautiful princess, but at night something happened. What was it? Yes, she changed into something else. It was a curse, which went:

By night one way
By day another.
This shall be the norm
Until you find true love's first kiss
And then take love's true form.

She didn’t think anyone could love her looking like she did at night, even someone like Shrek, who looked like, well, an ogre.

            Well, you know the story. At the end there was a wedding between her and Lord Farquaad. Do you remember what happened? That’s right, the sun set and she changed into something that Lord Farquaad thought was ugly. He didn’t like what he saw, but Shrek did. Shrek confessed his love for Fiona (“Really?” … “Really, really!”), and they kissed. Then something happened, do you remember what? The curse became a prophecy. Tell me about what you saw. Yes, she changed, but she didn’t. Maybe what changed was how she saw herself. She was beautiful because Shrek saw her as beautiful.

            Today we remember another story. I’ll be reading it later on, and I encourage you to listen to it. It’s about Jesus. It tells about how he was “transfigured” in the sight of Peter. It says his face shone like the sun and his clothes became dazzling white. And then a cloud descended, and Peter heard a voice say,

“This is my Son, whom I love,
with him I am well pleased.
Listen to him.”

When the cloud went away, Peter saw Jesus as he was. His face wasn’t shining any more, and his clothes weren’t dazzling white. But I think something changed in Peter. He no longer saw Jesus in the same way. Maybe he saw love’s true form…

When I read that story later on, I’ll draw your attention to it, okay? Maybe you’ll think of the story of Fiona and how she was transformed. Deal?

from an idea suggested by Carolyn C. Brown in Worshiping with Children.

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

The season of Lent begins this Wednesday. As part of tradition, many Christians give up something for Lent, taking seriously what Jesus said:

If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?

             As you return your offering just now, come down the mountain for a moment and ponder what it means to deny yourself. If truly gaining our life involves losing it – dying to self – how might that be working its way into how we’re living now? Allow the following reflection to ‘prime the pump’ of your own thoughts and prayers.

"Lent and Dying to Yourself"


On the mountaintop, when it was time to go, Jesus told Peter, James, and John,

“Get up and do not be afraid.”

Those are simple and good instructions for us. What were they, again?

“Get up and do not be afraid.”

The path down the mountain can be rocky. We may fall. But Jesus tells us,

“Get up and do not be afraid.”

Facing into our own mortality may be frightening. But Jesus invites us,

“Get up and do not be afraid.”

Along the way, we may be tempted to ignore our sin, to downplay our own brokenness, to play at confession. But Jesus challenges us,

“Get up and do not be afraid.”

From this mountain, we have seen the cross off in the distance, and beyond that a glimpse of an empty tomb. This is the direction in which we are headed. But never forget, the One whom we follow is there ahead of us, and we hear him shout,

“Get up and do not be afraid.”



(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.

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)


return to
Worship Orders

return to

return to

return to
Long Green Valley Church