Worship Order for
Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
July 31, 2011
Worship 10:00 am
it was evening, the disciples came to him and said,
“This is a deserted place, and the hour is now
late; send the crowds away so that they may go
into the villages and buy food for themselves.”
Beginning with Praise
"O let all who thirst"
Call to Worship
"O let all who thirst"
(be refreshed with a cup of cold water as we sing)
Psalm 145:8-9, 14-21
a joy, a concern, a word of testimony or praise
(please be brief, and aware of God's listening presence)
thou the bread of life"
Returning our Tithes
(Please sign the attendance pad
and pass it on)
Lord and Father of mankind"
*Rise in body or in spirit
#'s are from Hymnal:
A Worship Book
Worship leaders - see basic
(7 persons come forward, one at a
time, each with a pitcher of water, which they pour into a punch
bowl up front on a cart, while the congregation reads in unison
each of the following scriptures.)
There is a river
whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of
the Most High. God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be
moved; God will help it when the morning dawns.
Blessed are those
who trust in the Lord, whose trust is
the Lord. They shall be like a tree
planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall
not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in
the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to
The eyes of the
blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then
the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the
speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the
wilderness, and streams in the desert;
For I will pour
water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will
pour my spirit upon your descendants, and my blessing on your
“…those who drink
of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty,” Jesus
said. “The water that I will give will become in them a spring
of water gushing up to eternal life.”
“I am the Alpha
and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will
give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.”
Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have
no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without
money and without price.
(The Worship Leader then wheels
the cart halfway back the center aisle and extends the
following. Make sure there are Dixie cups around the bowl, with
2 or more ladles.)
The bowl will be
here in the center aisle. Feel free, while you sing our first
hymn, to come and ladle some water into a cup, and quench your
thirst, that together we may rejoice in the simple goodness of
God. Come to the water.
Lord God, there is no “soft” drink that
truly quenches our thirst like your living water.
No “hard” drink can really refresh
and renew us in the ways you do.
May your streams flow through our wilderness,
your river make glad this habitation of your
Pour upon us your Holy Spirit.
May the words we speak,
the songs we sing,
the prayers we pray,
what we think and feel this hour,
flow with your goodness and mercy,
your steadfast love,
your peace that runs
deeper than tranquility.
May we hear, even if in just the sound of sheer silence,
or in the trickling of our
your still, small voice.
In your name, we pray. Amen.
Over 20 years ago, I
was pastor of a church in Greencastle, PA. Two special people in
that congregation were Mary Catherine and Raymond Myers, who
just so happen to be the mom and dad of someone in our church.
Floyd, would you join me and the children up front? In the
basement of their house was a place my children liked to visit.
It was a candy store, Raymond’s candy shop. Do you remember when
your dad first set that up, Floyd? What kinds of candy did he
have in his shop? Who came to this candy store? (maybe ask a few
more simple questions) As I remember, there was something very
special about Raymond’s Candy Shop, beside the fact that it had
all sorts of candy in it. Children coming to this store didn’t
have to pay. The candy was free. Raymond gave it to his children
customers, “without money, without price.”
Now, I think that Mr. Floyd
brought some candy with him this morning, like the candy that
was in his father’s basement store. And he, like his father,
would like to share it with you. I’d suggest that you only eat
one piece now, and save the rest for later, giving it to your
mom or dad or aunt or uncle or grandparent when you go back to
your seat. It lasts longer that way. If you eat it all at once,
then it’s gone. No more candy. Besides, if you eat it all up
right now, you’ll have more energy than you’ll know what to do
with. It’s hard enough to sit still when you don’t have a bunch
of sugar in your body. Why not save it and enjoy it more the
rest of the day?
Isaiah in the Bible invited
people to God’s candy shop. Oh, I know, it wasn’t candy. It was
refreshing water on a hot day. It was wholesome bread when you
are very hungry. It was milk and wine. The important point is
that, like Raymond’s Candy Shop, everything in God’ store is
free. God gives it “without money, without price.” Of
course, God gives more than just water, bread, milk and wine.
Even if you save all these things to eat or drink later, they
still only last so long. You may enjoy them later that day, or
the next day, but then they are gone. No more.
However, God also gives some things that last
forever. Jesus talked about giving “living water.” He
also said, “I am the bread of life.” I don’t expect you
to understand what that means now. As you grow, I pray you’ll
come to know what he meant. For now, I just want you to remember
that what God gives is free, “without money, without price.”
Like Raymond’s Candy Shop. There’s a Bible verse I’d like you to
repeat after me. “Taste and see that the Lord is good”
(Psalm 34:8a). Say it again. Okay, now keep saying it as you
return to your seat. And give the rest of your candy to a
grownup to save for later.
after each petition:)
One: Break open our lives, O Lord, like bread to be
All: Pour out your Spirit, Holy God, that
we might be changed.
For the thin skinned who wear every comment
as a thorn, and the tough-hided who are insensitive to the needs
For the too-generous who can’t seem to say
no, and the mean-spirited who shut their hearts tightly against
For the anxious who imagine unseen dangers
around every corner, and the over-confident who do not think
before they leap…
For the young who sometimes think they know
it all, and for the foolish among the old who believe that
ageing automatically bestows wisdom…
For the peacemakers who risk themselves for
the cause of reconciliation, and for the belligerent who put
others at risk to attain their selfish ends…
For politicians who well understand their
ignorance and weakness, and those who are self deluded enough to
see themselves as the wise and infallible…
For leaders who are dedicated to serving
those who follow, and others who use their position just to
build their own little empire…
For the churches who act as if they have
all the answers, and for the churches that are too reticent
about the Gospel committed to their stewardship…
For the sick and injured who long for
healing, and for some who become so attached to the sympathy
they remain an invalid…
For the dying who pray that the end will
come quickly, and for others who cling frantically to every
moment of breath…
For the grieving who wonder if their tears
will ever stop flowing, and for some whose grief seems banked up
like a dam within their hearts…
Hear us as we pray those words that Jesus taught:
All: “Our father…..”
adapted from prayer written by
Bruce Prewer, Uniting Church in Australia.
Annual Conference Moment
For those who have
never been to our denomination’s annual meeting, let me take a
minute or so to give you a taste. There is much more than
official church business that happens. This four-day gathering
provides many opportunities for God’s people to connect with one
another. Mealtime is a good place to start. I attended one
luncheon sponsored by Bethany seminary. The food and fellowship
around the table were good, as was a brief presentation. I must
mention, however, that the latter involved a slide presentation
with the lights turned down – a recipe for a nap. I enjoyed
several meals in various restaurants, touching bases once again
with numerous old friends as we ate.
More does on at
Conference than what anyone can take in. Every evening after
worship, as well as after lunch are “insight sessions” you can
attend on many different topics. There are also Bible studies
and prayer opportunities scheduled. In the exhibit hall is the
Brethren Press bookstore, a Serrv store where you can purchase
items from third world artists, a welcome area sponsored by the
Michigan churches, a place to lie down and take a nap, a Red
Cross blood donation area, as well as exhibits and booths from
all sorts of Brethren organizations. There are available all
sorts of freebies, from the popular BBT bag to all the pens,
letter openers, jar openers, candy, etc. and brochures with
which you might fill up that bag. Hopefully, along the way you
will have taken time to talk with folks about those
This year I took
Tessa and Lydia with me, and they attended the youth activities
that ran alongside the conference agenda. You’ll have to ask
them about what they did. There are always events planned for
children at any stage of growth. Conference is really aimed at
all ages, not just those who sit in the delegate section.
Speaking of which, business sessions usually last 2½ hours, each
morning and afternoon. Most of the time, I sat in the front row,
next to Leon’s brother. That’s one of the ways I made sure to
keep awake (that and coffee). It didn’t always work.
On Monday, July 4th, the area just outside the
convention center became ground zero for Grand Rapid’s fireworks
display. My plan, after evening worship, was to get across the
river to my hotel, get more comfortable and then watch from
there. Unfortunately, I got a later start and could not make it
across any of the bridges, packed as they were with onlookers.
Even the police couldn’t get across. Instead, I found a glass
covered walkway between buildings where I watched the display in
air conditioned comfort. Now, there were other “fireworks” that
week, of the conference business variety, but let me put that
discussion off till yet another moment. Again, thanks for
sending me as your delegate.
our Tithes and Offerings
It might be easier
to operate as a church on a pay-as-you-go basis, charging an
entrance fee to attend, a pew tax to sit, an hourly rate (or
portion thereof) to worship or learn, a tab and a tip jar for
the coffee hour, a toll parking booth, and a monthly bill for
services rendered… It might be easier to meet budget that way,
but then we become just another commodity in this world, and
start thinking that God can be bought or sold. How then do we “come
to the waters” and receive from the Lord that which is “without
money and without price”?
Though paid for
with a price far beyond any of our pocketbooks, the grace of God
in Christ Jesus is free. The richest person alive could not
afford to buy it, and yet we are given what we most need without
any charge. It takes us a lifetime to fully comprehend this. As
we come to this point in worship where we return our tithes and
offerings, let’s be clear that we are not “paying” for anything.
That doesn’t mean we are getting nothing in return. Far from it.
If anything, God multiplies our giving in ways we cannot begin
to imagine. But our giving is simply our response to the One who
far out-gives us. Our cup runs over with God’s goodness and
mercy, and any giving of money or time or talent on our part is
just pouring it out, so that the stream of living water flows
Pray with me:
but earthen vessels into which you pour your life, O
Lord. Multiply your love in our giving. Amen.
(para traducir a español, presione la bandera de España)