Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
May 6, 2012
Worship 10:00 am              Sunday School 11:10am

Fifth Sunday of Easter 

      I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.”    (John 15:5)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)         "Where cross the crowded ways"        405

*With hands raised      "Awake, arise, O sing a new song"                             56

*And hearts open                                                                             (see insert)

*Sing to God                  "Praise, I will praise you, Lord"                               76

*And pray

  Listening                                    1 John 4:7-21

  And speak what needs to be spoken
                                 (please be brief, and aware of God's listening presence)

  Praying for one another

  Listening                                     John 15:1-8

  A “seagoing cowboy” tells his story

  A resurrection song                  "Who are these"                                        270

  Responding with our Tithes and Offerings

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

*Hymn                                   "God, whose giving"                                      383



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

And hearts open
A Call to Worship from Psalm 22:25-31

One - Whenever people gather to worship, LORD, my heart overflows and I sing your praises. Out in the open for all to see I’ll do all that I promised.

  All - At your table, God, the needy will feast; those who hunger for you will be fed till they burst with praise! They will be able to live it up, now and forever!

One - In every corner of the earth people will wake up to themselves and turn back to you, LORD.

  All - Every race, nation, tribe and family will offer themselves to you in worship, for you have the last word on everything; what you say goes.

One - Even the dead will bow down to you, LORD; those who are trampled in the dust will look to you in hope, and I will live for you and you alone.

  All - Our kids and their kids will serve you, LORD; as we pass the message down from one generation to the next. People not even born yet will hear the story; they will be told of what you have done to set us free.

text from the Laughing Bird Version
©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

And pray

We, like the Psalmist, cry out in praise and thanksgiving in response to your eternal loving-kindness, O God, as you hold, guide, and enfold us with your grace. And, as we gather here as your people, we pray that our worship will reflect your divine love. We offer our worship today with the remembrance of Easter still filling us with joy, and with the anticipation of Pentecost firing our devotion.  Let our praise for all that you have done, are doing and will do, truly resound within our hearts and our homes, within these walls and beyond. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen

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

Pastoral Prayer


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


A “seagoing cowboy” tells his story

(audio file)

            As part of a month-long emphasis, Ellis Shenk will share today about his experience transporting cattle to Europe after World War II, as a young adult working with Heifer Project. A panel of three persons, Sara Shenk, Jean Sack, & Mike Hanna, will be sitting up front with him to ask questions along the way of his testimony. The congregation will be asked to participate, sharing any questions they might have using 3x5 cards placed in their bulletins, passing them to ushers who will bring them forward to the panel members.

A resurrection song

Amid the carnage of the Spanish civil war, which preceded a much larger conflict that left Europe in ashes, Dan West had a vision. Common, ordinary heifers from farming communities like the one in which he grew up, could be a part of the restoration and rebuilding of distant lands. We have just heard from our brother Ellis, how he - along with many others - stepped into that vision. There were additional Brethren who saw further possibilities for helping people rise from the ashes of war.

I marvel at the creativity of our own denomination after World War II, working in cooperation with people of different faiths to make a difference, one heifer or one person at a time. By the way, don’t think that there weren’t naysayers back then, Brethren who didn’t buy into all this ‘service’ stuff. I’ve read of Dan West being described as a thorn in the flesh of some Dunker leaders.

You will always have disagreement among the faithful, just as war, famine, and sickness are always with us in this world. The last book in the Bible symbolically refers to these things as “horsemen” arriving on the field of battle. However, there is another already on the scene, the risen Christ on a white horse. In my mind, I connect the prayerful imagination of John in the book of Revelation to the vision of persons like Dan West and M.R. Zigler. These persons saw Jesus ahead of them and sought to follow him, not with swords and chariots, but with heifers and seagoing cowboys, among many other creative options.

      When evil runs rampant, God’s people pray and sing, according to Revelation, and prayer and song weave their way into action. The sixth chapter of Revelation, which pictures Christ calling forth * the red horse of war, the black horse of famine, the pale horse of disease, and the unfolding of horrors similar to what was witnessed once again in war-torn Europe seventy years ago; this chapter ends with the question, “who is able to stand?” amid all of this.

The next chapter reveals that the angels stand, as do God’s people – first described as “144,000,” and then as “a great multitude that no one could count, from all tribes and peoples and languages.” “Robed in white, with palm branches in their hands” (sound familiar?), they cry out a salvation prayer and sing a song of thanksgiving. The question is then asked, “Who are these?” The answer? “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
                              For this reason they are before the throne of God,
                                    and worship him day and night
                                          within his temple,
                                    and the one who is seated on the throne
                                          will shelter them.
                              They will hunger no more, and thirst no more;
                                    the sun will not strike them,
                                    nor any scorching heat;
                              for the Lamb at the center of the throne
                                          will be their shepherd,
                                    and he will guide them
                                          to springs of the water of life,
                              and God will wipe away
                                    every tear from their eyes.

This passage lies at the heart of the resurrection song we are about to sing. I think it’s appropriate that this song originated in Poland, the words derived from an old Latin Easter vesper hymn. Poland was torn apart by both world war and cold war, but Brethren have been active there. Over the years, many BVS’ers worked in this country, and they had a role in the collapse of the iron curtain and the resurrection of a people, one person at a time.

      As those who are helping to lead us in singing this song come forward, please turn in your hymnal to #270. We’ve been learning this refrain the last two Sundays. There are seven verses, of which those of us who are up front will only sing three, each followed by the refrain you are invited to sing along. Let’s begin with that refrain.

"Who are these" (with verses 1, 2, & 7)

*the lamb - through one of the four living creatures (the four gospel writers?) surrounding the throne. The first horse called forth, a white one, has variously been interpreted as Christ, or the proclamation (or, I'd add, the living out) of the gospel, or even the anti-Christ, tho' the latter seems improbable with the usage of "white" everywhere else in this book. The above interpretation does not make tribulation only a future event. This book was meant for all ages, not just our own, giving hope to every generation going through tribulation, especially those who originally received this letter from their overseer/bishop, John. I have greatly appreciated Eugene Peterson's work, Reversed Thunder, in making sense of this work.

Responding with our Tithes and Offerings

      You are invited this month to participate in our special offering emphasis on Heifer International, the worldwide effort continuing the vision of Dan West. On your bulletin insert are descriptions of various living things you can help send to places where they are needed, and how much they cost. This ministry involves more than heifers. In fact, our own Outdoor Ministry Center, Shepherd’s Spring, has a growing “Global Village,” where persons of all ages can come and learn what it’s like to live in places around the world where Heifer International is at work. Go and visit sometime. Feel free to place your special offering, above and beyond your regular offering, toward Heifer International in the plate as it is passed any Sunday this month. You can even designate which animal or plant (or portion thereof), toward which you’d like your offering to go.

      Before the ushers come forward to collect our offering, please pray with me. I’ll be praying the song of God’s resurrection people found in Revelation 7, verse 12:

Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.



How will this new week unfold for each of us?

There may be new opportunities; there may be setbacks and dangers.

If we cherish our place in the vine of Christ,
receiving the very sap of his abundant life,
some things might frustrate us but nothing shall defeat us.
            Thanks be to God!

Go cheerfully then, and live boldly.
            The grace of the Savior,
            the love of the Creator,
            the friendship of the Lover,
            is yours forever!

by Bruce Prewer, Uniting Church in Australia
from Resources: Based on the Revised Common Lectionary.

(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:
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)

International Lesson:
International Bible Lesson
a weekly column by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.
in "The Oklahoman" newspaper
also found

International Lesson:
Living Web Sunday School Project

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)


©2012 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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