2 Timothy 2:1-14, NRSV
1- We enter worship this morning through what is, in reality, the
beginning of a personal letter.
2- As you listen, be drawn toward to the One who stood behind
both sender and receiver of it long ago,
1 - the One who has inspired believers down through the centuries
with these words.
2 - Get ready to stand and sing your faith-filled response. But
1- (pause) From Paul, an apostle of
Christ Jesus by the will of God, for the sake of the promise of life
that is in Christ Jesus,
2 - To Timothy, my beloved child:
1- Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ
Jesus our Lord.
2 - I am grateful to God--whom I worship with a clear
conscience, as my ancestors did--when I remember you constantly in
my prayers night and day. Recalling your tears, I long to see you so
that I may be filled with joy.
1- I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived
first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am
sure, lives in you.
2 - For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God
that is within you through the laying on of my hands;
1 - for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather
a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.
2 - Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord
or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel,
relying on the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy
calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose
1 - This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages
began, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our
Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and
immortality to light through the gospel.
2 - For this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle
and a teacher, and for this reason I suffer as I do.
1 - But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have
put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day
what I have entrusted to him.
2 - Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard
from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
1 - Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of
the Holy Spirit living in us.
2- (pause) Stand, if you are able, and sing
scripture text from
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
God of grace, mercy, and peace, may your Spirit re-kindle in us a
fire that no hurricane can put out, no misfortune can diminish, no
outer circumstance can smother. Empower us this hour to remember who
we are, and to - without shame - speak the truth as you have
revealed it to us. We may not know all the "whyís,"
"howís," and "whereís" of this life to which
you have called us. But we know in "whom" we have
believed. Thank you, God, for being who you are.
By faith we pray in
Jesusí name. AMEN
While the rest of the congregation pays attention to the next
portion of worship, the pastor will exit with our young folk to
share some time around a book about the effect of something very
small, a fly, on the much larger creatures around it. A fly may
not grow into a larger plant, like a mustard seed, but with a
"wink" at the end of the book, the main character of this little
tale has thwarted Elephant, Hippo, and Tiger. What fun! Thanks to
Storypath for suggesting this delightful book as a connection
to today's gospel.
about what God is doing here, part 4
was given on Sept. 8 of our recent church board
retreat, at which these persons whom we have call to lead us identified
three themes emerging in our fellowship:
Guidance, and Energy. On
Sept. 15, the group that developed the
shared of what they had discerned. (mp3)
The next theme,
Guidance, was mentioned on Spet. 29. This morning, those who
had a passion for the
Energy theme shared.
our Tithes and Offerings
Faith the size
of a mustard seed, thatís what Jesus spoke about. There are,
indeed, times when thatís about as much faith as we seem to have
when facing into the storms of life, when the words, "I canít,"
describe our ability better than, "I can." ... Still, a
mustard seed! Tiny. Almost invisible - yet mighty. Thatís what
Jesus said. Makes you wonder, doesnít it?
If such a little
bit of faith goes such a long way, I wonder what an apple seed size
would do? "I canít" becomes "I can!" "We
canít" transforms into "we can!" Ponder this as the
plates are passed. Will you respond to the Lord with an "I
can do all things through him who strengthens me" (Philippians
4:13) kind of faith? After all, Godís faithfulness to us
is truly great. May "mustard seed" be the size of your
faith, not the extent of what you return to the Lord... Ushers?
Receiving a new member
[After being "introduced" by a member
of our congregation...]
John, would you join me up front, along with Bill and Teresa,
whom you have asked to ďintroduceĒ you to us?
As they come forward, let me begin by saying that it has been a
joy getting to know John, a good friend of the Albrights. I want
to recognize the value of a simple invitation on their part which
led him here when his church closed. I encourage the rest of us to
be ďcuriousĒ enough to reach out and get to know him.
[After being "introduced"...]
Knowing that Christians never fully arrive, but are
always in the process of becoming, do you now
reaffirm your faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and
Believing that Christianity is experienced in a
faith community that supports and strengthens us in
time of weakness and doubt, and that learns from us
as we learn from it, do you promise to live and
share with us in the bonds of Christian fellowship?
Recognizing that the church is organized to fulfill
its mission, will you worship, serve, and share in
the program of the Long Green Valley Church by your
prayers, regular attendance, loyal service and
outreach, and faithful stewardship?
Becoming a member of this congregation, will you
make every effort to witness to the Christian gospel
and keep alive the concerns of the Church of the
Brethren where you live and work?
from For All
A Worship Manual for the Church of the Brethren
©1993 Brethren Press, p. 143
Would you in the congregation turn to #777 in the back of your
hymnal and, if you are able, please stand with us. Through these
words, spoken in unison, we officially welcome John
into this fellowship of believers. Remember your own baptismal
vows as we speak them.
|As we now receive you into the fellowship of the
we make this covenant with you
as we renew our own covenant with God:
to bear each others' burdens,
to assist in times of need,
to share our gifts and possessions,
to forgive as Christ has forgiven us,
to support each other in joy and sorrow,
and in all things to work for the
thus making known Christ's presence among
to the glory of God
As we unite with each other now,
may we all be joined with Christ, our Lord.
Adapted from The Mennonite Hymnal,
©1969 Faith & Life Press/Mennonite Publishing House,
based on Anabaptist baptismal vows, 16th c.
written closer to the time (if not at the
Go in safety,
for you cannot go where God is not.
Go in love,
for love alone endures.
Go with purpose,
and God will honor your dedication.
Go in peace,
for it is the gift of God to those
whose hearts and minds are in Christ Jesus.
by Earle W. Fike, jr
Taken from For
all who Minister,
©1993, Brethren Pres, Elgin, IL, p.122