Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
August 26, 2012
Worship 10:00 am

      Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve… but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”   (Joshua 24:15)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)             "I love thy kingdom, Lord"              308
  Prelude                                        "Andante"                                   Beethoven

  Call to Worship                            Psalm 84

*Hymn                         "Unto thy temple, Lord, we come"                              4

*Opening Prayer

  Imagining through Scripture                                Ephesians 6:10-20

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

  Hymn                                    "Be thou my vision"                                      545

  Pastoral Prayer

  A Shared Song                            "Blessings"                           Meghan Knight

  Annual Conference Moment                                                          Gary Miller

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

  Responsive Scripture Reading           Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18          (see insert)

  Message                       "As for me and my house" (mp3)

  Litany                                                                                    (back of bulletin)

*Hymn                           "When we walk with the Lord"                              544


*Postlude                     "I owe the Lord a Morning Song"                           Herr

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

            "The exuberant anticipation of coming to God's presence and the references to traveling (vv. 5-7) and to entering God's house (v. 10) suggest that the Psalm was used in processions by pilgrims to Jerusalem.”*    Thus comes the suggestion that at least one of the two readers be reading while processing forward.

*James L. Mays, Psalms. ©1994, John Knox Press, p. 274

1 - How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!

2 - My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the Lord;

1 - my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.

2 - Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.

1 - Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise.

2 - Happy are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.

1 - As they go through the valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools.

2 - They go from strength to strength; the God of gods will be seen in Zion.

1 - O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;

2 - give ear, O God of Jacob!

1 - Behold our shield, O God; look on the face of your anointed.

2 - For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.

1 - I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than live in the tents of wickedness.

2 - For the Lord God is a sun and shield; he bestows favor and honor.

1 - No good thing does the Lord withhold from those who walk uprightly.

2 - O Lord of hosts, happy is everyone who trusts in you.

Psalm 84 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.

Opening Prayer

O God, whose perfect love does indeed cast out all fear,
      forgive us when we open that other door
            and allow our anxieties back in.
      Nudge us to welcome you, instead,
            into the home of our hearts and minds.
O God, whose gospel light shines upon this time,
      forgive us when our words and attitudes
            almost unknowingly try to blow out this candle.
      Instead, help us to move your truth out
            from where we often hide it
                  and let it illumine this place.
                        This household of faith
                              we call the Long Green Valley Church
                                    is your home,
                              and we are your people
                                    gathered here in expectation.
                                          Speak to us this hour.
                                                In Jesus’ name, we pray.

Imagining through Scripture
Ephesians 6:10-20

(2 speakers, one saying the words in italics,
the other reading the scripture in regular print)

When we wake up in our own homes, we prepare for the day to come. Along the way from our bed to the door that takes us out into the world, we get dressed. A new year of school begins tomorrow for our children. New clothes and school supplies are ready to be put on and packed up, ready to go. 

We are in God’s house, sisters and brothers. Wake up! Prepare for a new day. It’s time to get dressed for our journey. It’s time to put on what God provides. In his letter to the believers in Ephesus, the apostle Paul wrote about getting ready for the tasks we all face. Let’s actively listen to what he had to say, using our imagination. It’s okay to pretend doing what he suggests, realizing that acting out his words with our bodies moves us in the direction of living out our faith. Everyone, please stand, if you are able, and fully listen.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power.

(flex your muscles)

Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

(put up your dukes)

For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

            (stand at attention)

Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist,

(pretend to put on your tool belt. Like a backpack, it holds what you need for the day, so that you will know what is most important)

and put on the breastplate of righteousness.

(pretend to put on your bullet-proof vest. Your relationship with God, who loves you and has taken the initiative in Jesus to save you, will protect you, even when you feel most vulnerable and all seems lost.)

As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.

(pretend to put on your running shoes and, if you feel so moved, run in place as if ready for a race. Amid all this talk of armor and enemies, remember that you follow the Prince of Peace, who came to reconcile everyone to God, not by force but by faith. Therefore...)

With all of these, take the shield of faith,

(pretend to hold up a shield. It is by faith that we are saved. Trust in the Lord with all your heart!)

take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

(hold up your shield and pretend to feel it stop: bullies, hateful words from others, or even your own bitter or negative thoughts. “Flaming arrows” come in many forms, and you are not without protection!)

Take the helmet of salvation,

(pretend to put on your helmet. Your mind is a terrible thing to waste. God gave us a brain to think things through, to discern what is right and just, to have compassion for others instead of thinking only of ourselves, and to make good decisions. Don’t allow your mind to be stolen by those who want you to think you can buy your way out of your problems, or those who want you to be afraid of anyone who is different from you, or everyone who wants to control you for whatever reason. Remember, you were not given a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind. Protect it!)

and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

(pretend to unsheathe your sword from your belt and hold it high. You are not alone in all this. There is a presence with you at all times. Breathe in the Spirit. Open your Bible daily. Listen for the Lord to speak. Of course, this sword has two edges. One is aimed back at you, so wield it carefully. May it become more like a surgeon’s scalpel, used for healing a broken world, following the great physician.)

Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication.

(pull your palms together in an attitude of prayer. This is your greatest resource. Use it often. With it hold others up.)

To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.

(stand at attention)

Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.

(And all God’s people said… “Amen!”)

Please be seated.

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.

Pastoral Prayer


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


Annual Conference Moment

            Our delegate to the annual meeting of our denomination, Gary Miller, will give a partial report on this event. This is the second installment of what may be several other moments during worship in the weeks to come, as he spreads out his report into more easily digestible portions.

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

            As you prepare to return your tithe or other offering to the Lord, pay attention to these words, from the same letter Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus from which we read earlier:

19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, 20built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. 21In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.*

Pray with me.

            Whether it be in a larger gathering such as Annual Conference, or here in this congregation, we are your household, Lord God. Help us to continue the work of Jesus - peacefully, simply, together. Guide us in wisely making use of the resources you provide, that we might more truly become your dwelling place. Amen.


*Ephesians 2:19-22 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.

Responsive Scripture Reading
Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18

Narrator:  Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem.  They stood before Joshua and before God.  Joshua retold the whole story of their people.  He started with Abraham, reminded them of the hardships of slavery in Egypt, and recounted the way God led them out of slavery.  He reminded them that God had been with them while they wandered in the wilderness and had given them their new homes in the Promised Land.  Then Joshua said to all the people,

Joshua:  Now therefore honor the Lord, and serve God sincerely and faithfully.  Put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.  If you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

Narrator:  Then the people answered,

People:  Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight.  The Lord protected us along all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed.  And, the Lord drove out before us all the peoples who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for the Lord is our God.

Narrator:   This in the Word of the Lord.

People:   Thanks be to God.

adapted from the NRSV by Carolyn C. Brown
from her wonderful resource Worshiping with Children


One:     Lord, the world wants us to choose violence,
            and you ask us to choose peace.

All:       Today we choose the Lord.

One:     The world wants us to build the kingdom of self,
            and you ask us to bring your rule and reign to the world.

All:       Today we choose the Lord

One:     The world wants us to use people and love things,
            and you call us to seek justice and mercy.

All:       Today we choose the Lord.

One:     The world wants us to consume and use,
            and you call us to give and share.

All:       Today we choose the Lord.

One:     The world wants us to bow at the altar of self,
            and you call us to kneel at the cross.

All:       Today we choose the Lord.

One:     The world's way leads to death and destruction,
            but your way leads to abundant life and resurrection.

All:       Today we choose the Lord.

by Jimmy Baker, pastor
Lorida (Florida) Church of the Brethren
 Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"


Go out, and make known the mystery of the gospel.
Keep alert and pray at all times.
Draw strength from God’s power
and so stand firm against all that would corrupt you.

And may God arm you with truth and righteousness;
May Christ Jesus give you words of Spirit and life;
and may the Holy Spirit draw you near to God’s presence
            and bless you with honor and grace.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton laughingbird.net


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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