Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
August 25, 2013
Worship 10:00 am

Camp Sunday

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)                        "Teresa’s prayer"
  Prelude                                "Fairest Lord Jesus"                  German folk melody

   Call to Worship                      Isaiah 43:16-21                     (from The Message)

*Song                                        "Indescribable"

*Opening Prayer

  Hearing what God did this summer at Shepherd’s Spring

  Song                                   "Trading my sorrows"

  Hearing what God did (part 2)

  A few fun songs

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

   Song                                          "Sanctuary"

  Pastoral Prayer

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory                              "Hands of the Potter"
(Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

  Scripture                                  Jeremiah 18:1-6

  Message                 "Like clay in the potter’s hand" (mp3)

*Hymn                                  "Have thine own way"                                    504


*Postlude                                      "Moderato"                                        Rinck

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship
Isaiah 43:16-2
(from The Message)

(During the Prelude, cups of cold water will be distributed to each worshiper.)


1 - This is what God says,

2 - the God who builds a road right through the ocean,

1 - who carves a path through pounding waves,

2 - The God who summons horses and chariots and armies -

1 - they lie down and then can’t get up;

2 - they’re snuffed out like so many candles:

1 - “Forget about what’s happened;

2 - don’t keep going over old history.

1 - Be alert, be present.

2 - I’m about to do something brand-new.

1 - It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?

2 - There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.

1 - Wild animals will say ‘Thank you!’ - the coyotes and the buzzards -

2 - Because I provided water in the desert, rivers through the sun-baked earth,

1 - Drinking water for the people I chose,

2 - the people I made especially for myself,

1 - a people custom-made to praise me.

(pause a moment to indicate the scripture reading is finished)

2 - Were you listening? God makes all things new.

1 - This is not just something from days gone by.

2 - Nor is it only about the far off future.

1 - This promise applies to the here and now.

2 - Look what God is doing!

1 - You hold in your hand a cup of water.

2 - Recall the promise of water to wet the whistle of God’s people, in preparation for praise.

1 - Drink it now and get ready to sing.

2 - God is making all things new!

(motion for everyone to stand)

The Message.
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002.
Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group

Opening Prayer

             Creating God, you have called us here together to do a new thing. Open our eyes to see you in new places; open our minds to experience you in new ways; open our hearts to Christ in old and new friends. Amen.

 from the summer camp curriculum, p. 211
Developed by the National Council of Churches' Committee on Outdoor Ministries

Hearing what God did this summer at Shepherd’s Spring


             As you may have guessed, the theme for our summer camp program this year was “All Things New,” with the encouragement to “Look what God is doing!” Now, we don’t have time this morning to read all the scriptures that were woven into a week of camp. We will only focus upon a few. You have already heard the first in our Call to Worship, words from the prophet Isaiah (43:19–21). This promise of God formed the theme for the day campers arrived: “A New Thing.”

             Imagine being a camper. You come with your parents, but soon they will leave, which is either exciting or frightening, or perhaps both. After registering comes the wagon ride to your cabin, and the choosing of your bunk. You may know some of the other campers, or you may not. You may have been here before and know what to expect, or you may not. The promise through it all is this: “God wants to do a new thing with me this week. How will I respond?

             Every day has a theme and scriptures to go with it. Do the campers remember these? Maybe or maybe not. However, let’s quickly list them. Please note that the curriculum was written for seven days. Since we only had six days of camp in a typical week, we had to be creative, adapting as we went. The theme for the second day was “New Creation,” based upon the first chapter of Genesis and a portion of Psalm 104. The important point for this day was that “Creation is past, present, and future—and we are part of it!” Since the creation story is pretty familiar, this was the day that often was omitted or merged with the days around it.

             Day three brought the scripture we will focus upon later in this morning’s worship, especially the Bible reading from the prophet Jeremiah (18:1–6, along with Isaiah 64:8 and Genesis 2:4–7). This day’s theme was “New Shape,” with the encouragement that “God is always working with me. I need to be open to God’s shaping of me like clay in the potter’s hand.”

             “New Expressions” was day four’s theme, based upon readings from the book of Exodus (31:1–13) and the gospel of Luke (10:38–42). In it, we learned that “God gave me gifts to be creative. God gives me rest to be re-created.” This was followed in day five by the theme of “New Understanding.” “God calls me to know God more and more and take next steps of faith and discipleship. New understanding results in new behavior.” A story from the book of Acts (17:19–34) was the focus.

             Common to every day is the word “new.” A New Thing, a New Creation, a New Shape, with New Expressions and New Understanding. For all this to happen, we have the gift of “New Life” in Christ. That was the theme for day six, as the campers started moving toward re-entering life back home. Based upon readings from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (4:1, 15–16, 22–32) and the book of Acts (11:26), come a decision, based upon a promise: “I’m going to live more fully for and with God. God will constantly be renewing me. I can always grow up more and more in Christ.” This leads to the final day’s theme, as the campers leave the shelter of a six day home in the woods: “New Community.” Grounded in some words from Paul’s letter to the Philippians (1:3–6), we exit knowing that “God isn’t finished with us! God is with us wherever we go.”

             That was a summary of the curriculum for the summer. It was lived out in a variety of ways, since every week was different. We want to move now toward a time of personal sharing. While we sing the next song, I invite anyone who was at camp to come forward, whether you were on staff like me, or a camper, or a volunteer counselor, or if you were there this summer in some other capacity. Come on down!


Hearing what God did (part 2)

             An informal time of sharing, each person having been encouraged ahead of time to ponder what they might say about their experience at camp this summer. What was the favorite part? Challenges? etc. Listen to what they had to say. Along the way, we sang few a few fun songs from the summer.

Pastoral Prayer


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


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

             Within a prayer confessing the sins of God’s people, the prophet Isaiah added the following. Listen.

                                                                 “Yet, O Lord, you are our Father;
                                                                     we are the clay, and you are our potter;
                                                                     we are all the work of your hand.

             Our offering this morning has two parts to it. First, we will pass the plates, and you are invited to give. Soon afterward, however, another basket will come your way, from which you are welcome to take a piece of clay. Okay, so it’s not actually clay, but rather playdough, which is less messy and easier to clean up. Still, take a bit of it and pass the basket on to the next person. We’ll let you know what to do with it in a bit. For now, let’s give and receive.

*Isaiah 64:8 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.


             It seems fitting to end our time of worship with a reminder that God is not finished with us. Over the years, our young people have been shaped by the Potter’s hand through the experience of camp ministry. Some have even returned to serve in this outdoor setting, helping others to also drink from the Shepherd’s Spring. As always, we need to build upon this experience as a congregation. Throughout the year, it’s up to us
                         to stoke the campfire of the Holy Spirit,
                         to journey down the trail upon which God is leading us,
                         to jump into the pool of joy,
                         to (as that old camp song sings) “make new friends and keep the old,
                                                                               one is silver and the other gold”
                               as a living and growing community of believers, and
                         to celebrate how God makes all things new each day.

             The apostle Paul began his letter to the Philippians with the following encouragement, words that gave focus to the last day at camp this year, as campers turned toward home. May they bless us as we head back to our homes and schools and workplaces. God is on the move everywhere we go. Listen and be sent forth:


Every time I think of you,
            I thank my God.
      And whenever I mention you in my prayers,
                  it makes me happy.
            This is because you have taken part with me
                        in spreading the good news
                                    from the first day you heard about it.
 God is the one who began this good work in you,
       and I am certain that he won’t stop
             before it is complete
on the day that Christ Jesus returns.

Philippians 1:3–6
from the Contemporary English Version

Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society




©2013 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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