Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
July 8, 2012
Worship 10:00 am

      But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.”  (James 3:17-18)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)          "For we are strangers no more"          322

  Call to Worship                            Psalm 123

*Hymn                            "Come, we that love the Lord"                               14

*Opening Prayer

  A Moment to Connect us to our Global Church

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

  Responsive Prayer of the People                                                               720

  Hymn                            "For the healing of the nations"                              367

  Scripture                                 Matthew 5:38-48                       (pew Bibles p. 839)

  Video                               "Sowing Seeds of Peace"
                                 (the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria)

  Scripture                                 Matthew 5:21-26                    (pew Bibles p. 838)

  Responding with our Tithes and Offerings

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

*Hymn                         "Strong, righteous man of Galilee"                            540

*Unison Closing Prayer                                                                               756


*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

Listen to the Psalmist:

1To you I lift up my eyes,
            O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
2As the eyes of servants look    to the hand of their master,
             as the eyes of a maid    to the hand of her mistress,
                    so our eyes look   to the Lord our God,
                                    until he has mercy upon us.
3Have mercy upon us, O Lord,
                                    have mercy upon us,
               for we have had more than enough of contempt.
            4Our soul has had more than its fill of the scorn
                        of those who are at ease,
                        of the contempt of the proud.

(pause to be clear that the Psalm has ended)

Arise, in body or spirit, and
            “Come, we that love the Lord.
                        Let our joys be known.”
                                    We are marching on holy ground.

Psalm 123

Opening Prayer

            You, Lord God, who sit enthroned in the heavens, are the source of peace in a violent world. In you we discover hope when and where we are tempted to think there is none. You surprise us daily, not only with the regular rising of the sun, but also with unexpected joys that dot the landscape of our lives. Amid our discouragement, you pour out your Holy Spirit, and we are refreshed, strengthened, and renewed. And so, we are empowered to lift up our eyes and look beyond the horizon with expectation, knowing that in your mercy, contempt can change to respect, enemies can be transformed to friends, and peace rises like seeds planted in the wilderness to become a harvest of righteousness.

            Bless this hour of worship with an awareness of your presence, O God. Open the eyes of our hearts as we stand upon the holy ground of this dwelling place, such that when we head from here to our other neighborhoods, we will be aware that you precede us there. This we pray in the name of the One who said, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Amen.

A Moment to Connect us to our Global Church

At this very moment, delegates from most every congregation of the Church of the Brethren are gathered for worship at our Annual Conference in St. Louis. Gary Miller is there representing you. Also in attendance are Sue Ellen and Richard Wheatley, and Pastor Pete. In his absence, we will be inspired by a video of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, which we will view after sharing and praying over our joys and concerns.

In 2009, Pastor Pete traveled to Nigeria, and met many of the persons you will see interviewed in this video. Markus Gamache was driver, guide, and companion to the group with whom Pete journeyed. Of note is that Markus was raised in a Muslim family and chose to follow Jesus as an adult. However, he maintains his relationships with the Muslim community and is a salt-of-the-earth peacemaker. Samuel Dali and Toma Ragnjiya are mighty peace evangelists among the Brethren. They are seeking to model another way of living with people of other religions, leaning upon the teachings of Jesus emphasized by the Brethren who shared the gospel in northeast Nigeria many years ago. We have much to learn from them.

            Since this video was made, there has been more violence. On June 10, in the city of Biu in Borno state, gunmen opened fire during a Sunday morning service at an EYN (Church of the Brethren) congregation there. An usher and another worshipper were killed, and others were injured. Then, a week later, a Brethren church in the city of Kaduna was burned in an attack, and three people were killed. Can you imagine how you might feel, or what you might do in response, as a follower of the Prince of Peace, if that happened here? Let’s make this our first concern to be shared this morning, that our brothers and sisters in Nigeria will be in our prayers.

Responsive Prayer of the People

ALL: Listening God,
               you hear our prayers before we speak,
                     yet welcome our praying;
               therefore we come with confidence
                      to lay our requests before you.

Leader: We pray for Christian everywhere,
                   for our denomination and our congregation,
                   for faithfulness and strength to persevere in righteousness.
             We pray for the whole people of God.

People: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: We pray for the nations of the world,
                   for all leaders
                   and for those who make policy decisions.
             We pray for the commonwealth of our global community.

People: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: We pray for those who are overcome by violence,
                   for victims of injustice or oppression,
                   and for those in poverty or pain,
             We pray for all who need healing and peace.

People: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: We pray for those who endure trials,
                   for those who are dying,
                   and for those who mourn.
             We pray for all who need comfort and hope.

People: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: You have heard the prayers of your people, O God.
             We rest in the comfort of your care,
                   as we pray in Jesus' name.


#720, Copyright © 1992 The Hymnal Project

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

            We often pick and choose the scriptures we take literally. What if we were to take these words of Jesus seriously? How might it affect our speech? Is it only an insult – the kind that gets us in spiritual trouble – when the person we insult is someone who thinks like us? Are we off the hook with God if they are of another religion? Can our “brother” with whom we need to reconcile be someone very different from us?  Perhaps it wouldn’t be a good idea to take this scripture literally this morning, for our imperfections might make for an empty offering plate. What if we took it seriously, however? Is there someone with whom you need to make peace? Think about that person as you return your offering just now, and prayerfully consider what you might do this week to make a first step at reconciliation. Our Nigerian brothers and sisters have set us a mighty example. Are we brave enough to follow the “strong righteous man of Galiliee” in the way of peace with them?...

Ushers, please guide us in the discipline of stewardship.


Unison Closing Prayer

O God,
     for too long the world
     has called us to war,
     and our dead lie sprawled
     across the bleeding centuries.
But you
     break the bow and shatter the spear,
     calling us to sow seeds of peace
     in the midst of despair.
In tenderness,
     may we take the tiniest sprouts
     and plant them
     where they can safely grow
     into blossoms of hope.  AMEN

Hymnal #756
©1988 Linea Reimer Geiser
Used by permission


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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