Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
August 19, 2012
Worship 10:00 am

Camp Sunday
Secrets of the kingdom

The kingdom of heaven is like…

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)                     "Here I am to worship"

  Opening Song                          "Kum-bah-yah"

  Video                                 "Parable of the Sower"

*Medley of Camp Songs            "Garden Song"
                                          "This is my Father's world"
                                              "Grab another hand"

*Lord's Prayer

  Summer Theme

  Parable for Day #1                 Mark 4:1-9,13-20

  Creative Confession

  Song                                         "Seek ye first"

  Parable for Day #2                    Luke 11:5-10

  Some fun, “asked for” camp songs
                                               "Fred the Moose"
                                              "Herman the worm"
                                       "Bazooka, zooka bubblegum"
                                                   "Beaver Song"

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

  Medley of Prayer Songs              "Pass it on"
                                           "Spirit of the living God"

  Pastoral Prayer

  Acting out the Parable for Day #3                       Matthew 20:1-16

  Song                                      "Vine and Fig tree"                    (a 2-part round)

  Parable for Day #4                 Matthew 13:31-35

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory Video                    "The Mustard Seed"
                                        (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

  Parable for Day #5                Matthew 25:31-46

  Sharing about this summer experience

  Parable for Day #6                    Luke 15:1-10

*Closing Songs                        "Peace like a river"
                                 "He’s my rock, my sword, my shield"

*Sending                            "You shall go out with joy"

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

"Parable of the Sower"


Lord's Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
    hallowed be your name,
    your kingdom come,
    your will be done,
    on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
    as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
    and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
    now and for ever. AMEN

Hymnal #731, from Praying Together
English translation of the Lord’s Prayer
© 1988 English Language Liturgical Consultation (ELLC).
Used by permission.

Summer Theme

The theme at camp this summer was “Secrets of the kingdom.” Amid all sorts of fun activities, every day involved a story Jesus told. In worship this morning, we will retell those parables of Jesus, in six installments. Along the way, we will hear from our campers about their particular week, as well as listen to those who volunteered their time as a counselor or helped out in some other way at Shepherd’s Spring. Of course, there were also some who were on staff for the whole summer. Now that this camp season is over, we want to celebrate it. As we do so, let’s worship the Lord. Come, the “Secrets of the kingdom” await.


Creative Confession

[In prep for this confession, put seed in four small non-breakable bowls. Invite four campers to each take a bowl and quietly go out into the congregation and present or pass these bowls to each person as the above scripture is read. Preface with this instruction: “As our young people come to you during the reading of this parable, please take a pinch of seed and simply place it in the palm of your hand, holding it upright. Do nothing else with it. But listen to this story of Jesus.”]

Feel the seed that is your hand. These seeds, when planted, will grow and become what God intended them to be, given enough (but not too much) nutrients and water and sun. Imagining these seeds as something other than seeds is something we grow into doing as we mature. Only after we have watched a seed gradually grow, day by day, do we understand that it can become a plant which looks much different than it does now. Likewise, thinking of a seed as something other than a plant-to-be is something we are able to do as we grow toward being adults.

And Jesus told a story about a sower, someone who scatters seed upon the ground. Perhaps those of us who are older can imagine this seed now in the palm of our hand as good news that is meant to be shared, words spoken that tell the wonderful things that God does. Jesus was himself a sower of good news seeds, scattering openly and freely the secrets of God’s kingdom. He still is. These seeds are tossed upon us daily. Now, the question raised by this parable is this: What sort of ground are we? What will happen with these seeds?

Let’s think about this story Jesus told and imagine ourselves as the ground which receives these seeds today. Let’s also think about what sort of soil we have been this past week. Be honest. There are times when we are like a sidewalk. Can seed grow on concrete? Have you been like a sidewalk this week, for whatever reason – be it just plain busy-ness or hardness of heart? If so, separate out some of the seed in the center of your palm and put it to the side. As you do so, whisper, “Lord, have mercy.”

At other times we are like rocky soil. There’s an opening for God, but not much depth underneath, for whatever reason. We rejoice in the goodness of the Lord, but return to “life as usual,” forgetting to pay attention to what is really important, and thus hardly growing. If so, separate out some more of the seed in the center of your palm and put it to the side. As you do so, whisper, “Lord, have mercy.”

Sometimes we are full of thorns – anger, resentment, bitterness, hostility, maybe even a touch of hatred. Let’s be honest. The flip side of this is when we shove these feelings inside and grow depressed, seeing ourselves as worthless, without a prayer, unlovable. There are many kinds of thorns. If your ground is full of them, separate out some more of the seed in the center of your palm and put it to the side. As you do so, whisper, “Lord, have mercy.” 

How many seeds remain in the center of your palm? Just a few? Maybe even just one? The wonder and glory of the good news, this secret of God’s kingdom openly and freely shared is that even one seed has great possibility. Listen again to Jesus, “Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” With your palm still bearing seed, though some of it is separated out and to the side, raise up your hands to the Lord. As you do so, say out loud, “Thank you, Lord!”


Pastoral Prayer


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


Acting out the Parable for Day #3
Matthew 20:1-16

(one character starts out lying upon the floor up front, another is just offstage)

1“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner
            (he awakes and stretches)
   who went out early in the morning
            (he heads out into the congregation)
   to hire laborers for his vineyard.
            (he chooses “workers,” all campers and brings them forward)
2After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage,
            (pretends to barter with them until all agree)
   he sent them into his vineyard.
            (shows them where to go and what to do – all pretend)
            (then goes back up and sits down)
3When he went out about nine o’clock,
            (looks at watch and gets up, looks, & heads into congregation)
he saw others standing idle in the marketplace;
            (pick a few others)
4and he said to them,
            (mime speaking)
  ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’
   So they went.
            (shows them where to go and what to do – all pretend)
            (then goes back up and sits down)

5When he went out again
            (looks at watch and gets up, looks, & heads into congregation)
about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same.
            (pick a few others, barter till they agree)
            (shows them where to go and what to do – all pretend)
            (then goes back up and sits down)

6And about five o’clock he went out
            (looks at watch and gets up, looks, & heads into congregation)
and found others standing around;
            (pick a few others)
   and he said to them,
            (mime speaking)
‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’
7They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’
   He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’
            (shows them where to go and what to do – all pretend)
            (then goes back up and sits down)

8When evening came,
            (look at watch)
the owner of the vineyard said to his manager,
            (motion to person just offstage and mime talking)
   ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay,
     beginning with the last and then going to the first.’
            (that person goes and round up everyone)
9When those hired about five o’clock came,
   each of them received the usual daily wage.
            (hand out imaginary money to the 5pm-ers,
             and send them back to their seats, and then the 3pm-ers,
             and the noon-ers, and then the mid-morning workers
                   – not the first ones chosen, however)
from last to first
10Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more;
   but each of them also received the usual daily wage.
            (give out money to the ones who came first)
11And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 12saying,
            (if campers catch on, they pretend to grumble back,
                 if not, just go with the flow)
‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal
         to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’
13But he replied to one of them,
            (mime speaking)
‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
    14Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you.
    15Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me?
    Or are you envious because I am generous?’
            (send them back to their seats and exits)
16So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

scripture text from the New Revised Standard Version
copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

“The kingdom of heaven is like yeast.” That’s what Jesus said. This morning we celebrate how God has been leavening the lives of our young people this summer through the ministry of Shepherd’s Spring. “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed,” Jesus said. We may not see right away the effect of a week of camp. We simply trust that seeds planted there will grow. Who knows what will come of it all, except God. What we do know is that we’ve had a role in creating and empowering this outdoor ministry center. Our offerings long ago helped build this place, and our gifts continue to help make things happen. This is where a portion of what you put in the plate every week goes. Be thankful that God is still sowing this field, and growing things we cannot at present see… Ushers, please receive what we have to give while we view this video. And would you all please sign and pass the attendance booklets while we do so? They’re on the center aisle side of each pew.

Offertory Video
"The Mustard Seed"


Sharing about this summer experience

Everyone connected to camp this summer, as a camper, counselor, staff, or helping there in other ways, is invited to come forward as we pass around the microphone for each to speak as they feel so moved.



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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