Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
March 20, 2011
Worship 10:00 am              Sunday School 11:10am

The Second Sunday of Lent 

      Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above. (John 3:3)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)                "If you but trust in God"                576
  Words to direct us                        Psalm 121                    (pew Bibles, p. 536)

  Responsive Call to Worship                                              (back of the bulletin)

*Hymn                           "Sing praise to God who reigns"                               59

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                                  Genesis 12:1-4a

  For Children

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings              Romans 4:1-5         (The Message)

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

*Response                      (vs. 1) "The God of Abraham praise"                           162


  Scripture                                  Romans 4:13-17                     (Laughing Bird)

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

  Response                      (vs. 3) "The God of Abraham praise"                           162

  Pastoral Prayer

  Hymn                                    "God sent his Son"                                        345

  Responsive Scripture Reading                          John 3:1-17                        842

  Message                                  "God’s Doulas" (mp3)

*Hymn                               "God, who touches earth"                                  511



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

Left:     We lift up our eyes to the hills.
            We give voice to our questions.
            We give flight to our longing.

Right:    Where is the help we know we need?
            Who tends us in this complex and confusing age?

All:      Our help comes only from the Lord!
            This is the truth that rises from a raised place.
            This is the balm that directs our desiring,
                        feeds our seeking,
                                    and calms our anxious hearts.

Left:     As we come here this day,
            As we go from here into this week ...

Right:    God will guard our lives.

All:      We are held always by
            The Lord guards against all harm -
                        more constantly than we can ever know.
            Our God is the ground of our being,
                        the One who tends the soil of our lives
                                    toward the fruit of our days.

by Glenn Mitchell, Spring Mills, Pennsylvania
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"

Opening Prayer

            The Psalmist wrote about God’s help being  persistent and everlasting. Living and loving God, we are blessed with the truth of these words in a way that the Psalmist could only dream about.  In your great love for the world, your desire to help us became visible when you sent your Son, to be our Savior and Lord. That you - creator of heaven and earth  - should so care for us is almost beyond our imagination.  How can we come with anything other than praise and adoration for this priceless gift of lives lived eternally with you, O God? A gift made possible through the sacrificial love of Jesus, your Son, our Lord and our Savior. This we pray in his name. Amen

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

For Children


            Children's storyteller Ed will be working with the story of Abraham, sharing with the kids about moving from one place to another, changing schools, making new friends, leaving the familiar and going to the unfamiliar, etc. He writes, "As a child, my grandmother moved us seven times in an eight block radius of the city in about four years. Then I moved four different times between the city and county, from my Mother's to my Grandmother's, so I have a lot to draw from."

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

            From the first book of the Bible, let’s to the Jesus portion, as hear what the apostle Paul has to say in his letter to the Romans. I’m reading from “The Message,” a paraphrase.

1-3So how do we fit what we know of Abraham, our first father in the faith, into this new way of looking at things? If Abraham, by what he did for God, got God to approve him, he could certainly have taken credit for it. But the story we're given is a God-story, not an Abraham-story. What we read in Scripture is, "Abraham entered into what God was doing for him, and that was the turning point. He trusted God to set him right instead of trying to be right on his own."

 4-5If you're a hard worker and do a good job, you deserve your pay; we don't call your wages a gift. But if you see that the job is too big for you, that it's something only God can do, and you trust him to do it—you could never do it for yourself no matter how hard and long you worked—well, that trusting-him-to-do-it is what gets you set right with God, by God. Sheer gift.

Romans 4:1-5 from The Message
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Shifting “into this new way of looking at things,” let’s respond to the “sheer gift” of God with our tithes and offerings – not because we have to, but because we want to. It’s not the price of admission, brothers and sisters. Because of Jesus, we’re already part of the family, born of the Spirit. Ushers?


            Creator God, you cradle us with your sanctifying spirit. In sharing these gifts, change our timid murmurs of faith to joyful proclamations of your holy will. We believe and pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Copyright © 2011 David S. Bell. Reprinted with permission from www.DavidSBell.org

Romans 4:13-17
(Laughing Bird)

........When God promised Abraham that he and his descendants would inherit the earth, it was not because Abraham had earned it by following God’s instructions to the letter. Instead it was a gift given when God put things right for Abraham in response to the trust he had shown. If it were possible to earn the rights to the earth by rigid compliance with the law, then basic values like trust and promise would be irrelevant. It would all become just another legal contract to be negotiated. Tie it all up in fine print and it will only end up serving as evidence against you; but where the relationship is conducted on the basis of trust, no one goes on the lookout for very possible breach.
........So instead of being a legal matter, the fulfillment of the promise is conditional only on people’s willingness to put their trust in God. It is simply an expression of God’s generosity, and that’s why it is guaranteed to always be available to everyone. Whether you were raised in a culture where observing the religious law was the norm, or whether you have simply stepped out and put your trust in God like Abraham did, the promise is open to you. After all, both groups can rightly trace their line back to Abraham, and the scriptures say that God promised to make him the father of many nations. When it looked like Abraham wouldn’t ever become the father of anyone, he trusted his future into the hands of God, believing that the God who can bring life out of death could create something out of nothing.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Pastoral Prayer


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


Responsive Scripture Reading
John 3:1-17

Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God."

Jesus answered him, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above."

Nicodemus said to him, "How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother's womb and be born?"

Jesus answered, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, "You must be born from above." The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."

Nicodemus said to him, "How can these things be?"

Jesus answered him, "Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?

"Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him."

Hymnal #842
New Revised Standard Version


The birthing time has come.
A moment’s pain leads to the cry of a new creation.
Do not be afraid of life in the waiting arms of a loving God,
for the One who was sent as a gift is worth your trust.
He died that you might really live.
So live this week, as if it were your first,
and be God’s doula right where you are!

(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)


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