Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
July 31, 2011                                    Worship 10:00 am 

      When 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. (Matthew 14:15)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)                    "O let all who thirst"                   495

  Call to Worship

*Hymn                                    "O let all who thirst"                                      495
                                      (be refreshed with a cup of cold water as we sing)

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                                    Isaiah 55:1-5

  For Children                 "Raymond’s Candy Shop"

  Scripture                             Psalm 145:8-9, 14-21

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

  Hymn                             "Break thou the bread of life"                                360

  Pastoral Prayer

  Annual Conference Moment

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

  Scripture                                Matthew 14:13-21

  Message                                "A better menu" (mp3)

*Hymn                        "Dear Lord and Father of mankind"                           523



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

(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.)

Psalm 46:4-5

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.

Jeremiah 17:7-8

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 bear fruit.

Isaiah 35:5-6

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;

Isaiah 44:3

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 offspring.

John 4:13-14

“…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.”

Revelation 21:6b

“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.”

Isaiah 55:1

    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.

Opening Prayer

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 people.
                      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 pondering hearts,
                       your still, small voice.
In your name, we pray. Amen.

For Children
"Raymond’s Candy Shop"

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.

Pastoral Prayer

(Response after each petition:)
One: Break open our lives, O Lord, like bread to be shared.
       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 around them…

For the too-generous who can’t seem to say no, and the mean-spirited who shut their hearts tightly against compassion…

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 organizations.

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.

Returning 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 on.

Pray with me:

We are 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)


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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