Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
February 3, 2013
Worship 10:00 am          Sunday School 11:10am

Service Sunday

      If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  (1 Corinthians 13:1)

   Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)          "Love divine, all loves excelling        592
  Prelude                                 "Andante Religioso"                                   Fielitz

   Call to Worship                         Psalm 71:1-6                    from The Message

*Hymn                             "Come, let us all unite to sing"                                12

*Unison Prayer of Invocation                                                   (back of bulletin)

Surprise! God chooses YOU!

  Scripture                                  Jeremiah 1:4-10

  A few words of Encouragement

  Shared Affirmation (spoken to persons around you)
                        "__________, God knows you and has given you
                                         gifts to do important things."

  Sharing a joy, a concern, a word of testimony or praise
                              (after each we prayerfully sing one of the below responses)
                             "We thank you, Lord. We thank you, Lord"
"For this we pray. For this we pray"

Surprise! God’s love is bigger than yours!

  Scripture                                   Luke 4:21-30

  A few words of Challenge

  An Offering of Prayer             "Dear Lord and Father of mankind"             523

  Bringing our other Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory                                 "The Quiet Hour"                           Christopher
                                        (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

Love is more important than anything else!

  Scripture                             1 Corinthians 13:1-13

   A Testimony                                                                               Frank Moses
                              (postponed until next week, due to weather)

*Hymn                                   "Renew your church"                                    363

*Responsive Reading                                                              (back of bulletin)


*Postlude                                  "If Christ is mine"                                 Herman

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

             Please note: This week, I am heavily indebted to Carolyn C. Brown for pointing out the “Surprise!” in the three scriptures, for I which I borrowed her wording for the three segments of this worship. Though the wording of the encouragement and challenge is mine, I also borrowed from her the shared affirmation and the idea for the offering of prayer for those we struggle to love. Her Worshiping with Children is a marvelous resource! With gratitude to this (retired? but not retiring!) Presbyterian minister for her weekly insights into involving children in worship.

Call to Worship

I run for dear life to God,
    I’ll never live to regret it.
Do what you do so well:
    get me out of this mess and up on my feet.
Put your ear to the ground and listen,
    give me space for salvation.
Be a guest room where I can retreat;
    you said your door was always open!
You’re my salvation—my vast, granite fortress.
My God, free me from the grip of Wicked,
    from the clutch of Bad and Bully.
You keep me going when times are tough—
    my bedrock, God, since my childhood.
I’ve hung on you from the day of my birth,
    the day you took me from the cradle;
    I’ll never run out of praise.

Psalm 71:1-6 from The Message.
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002.
Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Opening Prayer

Faithful God, we lift our praise to you.
Come, bless our worship with your presence.
Bless our fellowship with your Spirit.
Let us learn together of the love that never ends
From the one who proclaimed it best -
Jesus, your anointed one,
In whose name we pray. Amen.

by Carol Spicher Waggy
Interim District Executive Minister
Northern Indiana District Church of the Brethren
member of Rock Run Church of the Brethren
Goshen, Indiana
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"

A few words of Encouragement

             In the life of our congregation, as well as our denomination, today is “Service Sunday,” a time to recognize, celebrate, and once again hear God’s call to fulfill the mission of Jesus. This “mission” is more than words. Following World War II, Brethren heard the call to help restore a broken world and responded by establishing Heifer Project, by creating an opportunity for young people to put faith into action through Brethren Volunteer Service, by joining with other Christians in relief work through a Christian Rural Overseas Program (or CROP) and Church World Service. Service lies at the heart of what it means to be “Brethren,” along with our desire to be peacemakers.

             Of course, to focus upon “our” service runs the risk of losing track of the One who calls us to serve. It is God who forms us, God who consecrates us, God who appoints us. Before we are even aware of it, God is at work upon us. That’s not just “us” as individuals, it’s “us” as a congregation, a denomination, a people. This was true of the prophet Jeremiah and the people to whom and with whom God was calling him to serve. It is true of us today, which always seems to catch us by surprise. I mean, God chooses me? God chooses you? God chooses us? Come on! Who are we, after all?

             We’re just a small congregation, part of a small denomination. Like Jeremiah, we may see ourselves as not knowing how to do what God calls us to do, or as too immature, or too old, or too full of faults. If we focus upon ourselves, that probably is very true. If we step forward to serve relying upon our own strength and ability, we too quickly lose steam and too easily lose track of what we are to do and where we are to go. But it’s not about us. Surprise! It’s God who chooses, and God who empowers, and God who sends. And, listen to me well, God chooses YOU! Surprise! Those whom God chooses, God will give the ability, the gifts, the strength, the wisdom to live out the calling.

             Do you believe this? If so, let’s take a few moments right now to tell each other that. Right where you are, if you able to do so, please stand. You may need to move closer to some of the folks nearer to you to do this. If you don’t know the name of those around you, ask. Now you can say this in the exact way it’s printed in the bulletin, or you can put it into your own words, but I invite you now to speak the following words to those around you, and to truly listen to them speak it to you. “__________, God knows you and has given you gifts to do important things.” Let’s move around the sanctuary and make sure everyone speaks and hears this affirmation.

Sharing a joy, a concern, a word of testimony or praise

             Instead of a formal pastoral prayer spoken after all the sharing is finished, we will sing our prayer together after each concern or joy. Depending upon whether what is called for is gratitude or intercession, we will respond with one of the below. Sometimes, however, both are appropriate, and so we will sing both.

A few words of Challenge

             Last week, we heard the verses leading up to this in Luke’s gospel. Jesus read from the Isaiah scroll words that fit his own messiah mission. “God’s spirit is upon me, and I am anointed to bring good news to the poor, to shout out that the doors of every debtor’s prison be flung wide, and that blind eyes may see, to set the downtrodden free, and to usher in the Jubilee year of the Lord.” There in his childhood home, the congregation which helped to raise him to manhood, where he learned of God’s will and way as a boy, Jesus spoke of how these words were now “fulfilled.”

             Of course, there was a surprise that day. On the one hand, here was Joseph’s son, and evidence that something good could come out of Nazareth – a reason to be proud. It takes a village, after all, to make a man. Unfortunately, on the other hand, God’s love was proving to be bigger than anyone dared imagine.

             Yes, charity begins at home (you can't love if you haven't experienced both tough and tender love somewhere along the line). However, according to Jesus on that day, God was reaching out beyond Nazareth. This was not altogether new, however.  Jesus pointed out that Elijah had long ago done the same thing with a foreign lady, and Elisha had also with an enemy officer. Ouch! The good folks of Nazareth were stung by these words and lashed out at the one who spoke them. That sometimes happens to those whom God calls into service. People don’t understand or don’t welcome the news. Even today.

             Let’s be clear. God still reaches out beyond "us." And that is a gospel surprise, especially when God loves those whom we have a hard time loving… In your bulletin you will find a green slip of paper with nothing on it.  I challenge you to take a moment and think about one person, or a group of people, that you do not love, or have a difficult time loving or even liking. Do not actually write anything on this slip of paper. Do so only in your mind. (pause) Once you are ready, fold up this paper and prepare to place it in the baskets the ushers will pass while we sing a song of confession. These baskets will then be placed on the worship table as an offering of prayer for these persons with whom we struggle.

Bringing our other Tithes and Offerings

Would you join me in prayer?

             Lord, love is hard work. Responding to your call to serve brings us face-to-face with hatred and bigotry and misunderstanding and mistrust – in other words, with sin. However, the truth is, we have met the enemy and he is us. You so loved the world that you gave, you sent your beloved Son to meet us face-to-face, and to die in our place. From him we continue to learn about real love.
            You have received our offering of prayer for those with whom we struggle to love. Receive now our other offerings as a response to your love to which you daily give birth in our lives. Yes, charity begins at home, as we labor to make it real in whatever neighborhood we find ourselves. Help us not to hold it in, but to unleash it. May Jesus’ mission be fulfilled today in our hearing, an ongoing journey of faith.
            In his name we pray. Amen


Responsive Reading

One:    No matter what language we speak,
                        or how loudly or dramatically we proclaim…
            No matter how strong our faith is,
                        or how generous our giving is...

Two:    Without love, we haven't gained a thing.

All:      Love never ends.

One:    Love is patient and kind, not arrogant or rude.

Two:    It rejoices in truth and bears up to any challenge.

All:      Love never ends.

One:    Our partial knowledge in this world will one day end.
            And then we will see God face-to-face.

Two:    We will know fully, and be fully known.

All:      There are three things that last forever:
                        faith, hope, and love.
            But the most important of these is love. Love never ends.

by Carol Spicher Waggy
Interim District Executive Minister
Northern Indiana District Church of the Brethren
member of Rock Run Church of the Brethren
Goshen, Indiana
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"


One:    Go in love,

Two:   for love alone endures.

One:    Go in peace,

Two:   for it is the gift of God.

One:    Go in safety,

Two:   for we cannot go where God is not.

Both:  Amen!

adapted from Hymnal #764
by Earle W. Fike
from Book of Worship
©1964 by Brethren Press



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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