Worship Order for
Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
August 7, 2011
Worship 10:00 am
who calls, ‘Help, God!’ gets help.”
But how can people call for help if they don’t
know who to trust? And how can they know who to
trust if they haven’t heard of the One who can be
trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells
them? And how is anyone going to tell them,
unless someone is sent to do it?
(Romans 10:11-15a, quotes Joel 2:32)
Beginning with Praise
"There is a place of quiet rest"
"Prelude in F Major"
Call to Worship
"Praise to the Lord, the Almighty"
"When the storms of life are raging"
a joy, a concern, a word of testimony or praise
(please be brief, and aware of God's listening presence)
"When the storms of life are raging"
Returning our Tithes
(Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)
Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
"My life flows
"Oh, How Happy Are They"
*Rise in body or in spirit
#'s are from Hymnal:
A Worship Book
Worship leaders - see basic
1 - O give thanks to the Lord,
- Rise, O people of God, in body or in spirit, and give “Praise
to the Lord, the Almighty,” #37 in your hymnal.
2 - call on his name,
1 - make known his deeds among the peoples.
2 - Sing to him,
1 - sing praises to him;
2 - tell of all his wonderful works.
1 - Glory in his holy name;
2 - let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
1 - Seek the Lord and his strength;
2 - seek his presence continually.
(next 4 lines are
one sentence, read it as such)
1 - Remember the wonderful works he has done,
2 - his miracles, and the judgments he uttered,
1 - O offspring of his servant Abraham,
2 - children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
Psalm 105:1-6 from
Revised Standard Version,
copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Holy God, we
gather here to worship you with praise and thanksgiving for all
you have done, are doing, and promise to do in the world and in
our lives. We have done nothing to deserve such grace and
goodness and so we cannot help but respond with joy and delight
for being so loved by you and so precious to you. We rejoice
because we no longer have to earn your love - only to accept it.
You, O God, graciously revealed this love forever when you
entered our world and our history in person - in Jesus Christ
our Lord. He enters our very lives through the gift of the Holy
Spirit. We pray that this time of worship may reveal the depth
of our love for you and for this world you created, for we offer
it in the name of Jesus, our Lord and our Savior. Amen
by Rev Moira Laidlaw,
Uniting Church in Australia.
written closer to the time (if not at the
Annual Conference Moment
How do you condense into a “moment” the issue that was
front and center this year at Annual Conference, which occupied
so much of our time and energy through a special response
process the last 2 years? Let me simply begin with the bottom
line. The query (or question) which asked our denomination to
reconsider our position on covenantal relationships between
persons of the same sex was returned – i.e. it was not accepted.
If you recall, tied to that query was a statement from a
previous standing committee, a confession of how we have not
handled this issue well, how we have not lived up to our calling
as a peace church in dealing justly and peaceably with one
another. That also was returned. This year’s standing committee,
having heard the report back of the special response process,
recommended to the delegate body simply that we return these 2
items. Period. I don’t believe this answer satisfied anyone. It
made no further recommendations in any direction. Most of us
wondered, “what, then, does this mean?”
The committee of three persons who had listened to all
the responses to these two items from throughout our
denomination during the past year gave an excellent presentation
of their findings. Copies of their
written report are available in the back. It revealed how
divided we are on this issue, and in how many different ways,
which is probably why standing committee stepped out no further
than it did.
Instead of launching into open discussion on the floor,
we entered a careful, step-by-step approach created for dealing
with strongly controversial topics. When the time eventually
came for motions, the first person in line added this amendment:
“It is further recommended that the 2011 Annual Conference
reaffirm the entire 1983 ‘Statement
on Human Sexuality from a Christian Perspective’ and that we
continue deeper conversations concerning human sexuality outside
of the query process.” After much discussion, this was passed.
Many other amendments were suggested, but none passed. That’s
the bottom line.
This means that our 1983 paper, which states that “Covenantal
relationships between homosexual persons is an additional
lifestyle option but, in the church's search for a Christian
understanding of human sexuality, this alternative is not
acceptable,” remains the denomination’s position. We are,
however, called to “deeper conversations concerning human
sexuality,” and I pray this happens. The Annual Conference
business process is just not to be the place.
(read the entire section on "Homosexual
Persons and Sexuality" from the 1983 paper)
I predicted this would be where we’d end up. After all,
we are basically a conservative denomination … in some ways. We
have also been remarkably progressive in others. If I might
speak personally, I was disappointed at the tone I heard over
the past year on this issue. Many Brethren made this the battle
line over “biblical morality.” To be honest, I’ve heard that
line many times before. When I was a kid, I recall impassioned
quoting from the Bible concerning integration and inter-racial
marriage. These are no longer issues of “biblical morality,” are
they? Such statements today are an embarrassment.
Everyone “interprets” the Bible, even the literalist.
What conservative today would quote the apostle Paul in
Colossians 3:22, “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in
everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to
win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for
the Lord,” to a young woman taken from or sold by her family
into sexual slavery, something which happens too much, even
today? Yes, the Bible assumes homosexuality is wrong, even
beyond the few places where it outright says so. The Bible also
assumes that slavery is a fact of life, and that – for the most
part, polygamy is right. We have since shifted our
interpretation on both of those. Slavery is not acceptable, and
marriage is between one man and only one woman. Does this
shifting of interpretation mean that we, therefore, do not
believe in the inspiration and authority of scripture? Not at
Now, from the other side of the equation, I agree that we
have spent a lot of time and energy on this issue at the expense
of others. For instance, we need to be talking about our mission
philosophy, and how our relationships in the Dominican Republic
have recently fallen apart. Over a meal at Conference, I
listened through tears to the pain of two of my good friends who
had been our representatives there. Where was there time to
discuss this as a church? There wasn’t. I do agree that the
query process is not the right way to deal with the issue of
human sexuality. “Deeper discussions” are needed,
person-to-person talk, because this is not just an “issue,” it
involves real people. Just like most every other “issue.” The
measure of our church will be what we do from this point on.
Forgive me for taking more than a “moment” to bring you
up-to-date n this as your delegate. Forgive, also, my
sermonizing. I certainly don’t have all the answers. But now you
have before you the “answer” of Annual Conference to this
As I said, the printed
summary of the special response process, as well as a
wrap-up of the 2011 Annual Conference are available in the
back. After worship next week we’ll show the
20 minute video wrap-up for any who are interested.
our Tithes and Offerings
Jesus sent his
disciples to the other side of the lake, while he took time to
be alone and pray. During the night, the wind picked up, and the
disciple’s boat was tossed about. In the middle of the sea of
Galilee, they made no progress toward their destination, for the
wind was against them. And then they saw Jesus, walking on the
sea toward them. The sight was terrifying at first, and then he
spoke. “Take heart, it is I. Don’t be afraid.” … Pray with me.
Amid the waves of
everyday life, the storms which come and go, may our eyes catch
a glimpse of you coming toward us. Fearful at first, for there
is much we don’t understand about your ways, we hear your words
of calm, and your invitation to trust. We also hear, regardless
of where we stand on any particular issue, your challenge: “You
of little faith, why did you doubt?” Thank you for climbing into
our boat. We respond to your peace-bringing Word, and your call
to faith and confession, with our tithes and offerings. Help us
to reach the other shore where you are leading us to go. In your
name we pray. Amen
brother, O sister,
No matter what storm may come,
don’t be afraid.
The Lord is with you, in your boat.
Trust with all that is within you,
and know that
what may have been meant for harm,
God intends for good.
Cling to the Rock of your salvation,
and sing! Amen!
(para traducir a español, presione la bandera de España)