Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
November 18, 2001
Worship 10:00 am Sunday School for all ages 11:15 am

Thanksgiving Sunday

      "But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating..."                 (Isaiah 65:18a)

  Call to Worship

*Hymn                                   "We gather together"                                         17

*Opening Prayer

*Doxology                                                                                                 119A

  Scripture                               1 Chronicles 16:8-9

  Childrenís Time                "Writing it Down"

  Hymn                              "For the beauty of the earth"                                   89
                  (sing softly from the heart as children write/draw)


*Hymn                             "Now thank we all our God"                                    85
                               (you are invited to bring forward your offering
                                                as well as your 2002 pledge as we sing.
                                                       Children then leave for choir)

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

  Pastoral Prayer

  Anthem                                   "O Happy Day"                                     Rimbault
                              (traditional, gospel style: lyrics/chords, music)

  Scripture                                 Isaiah 65:17-25

  Message           "Living in the middle of what we build"

*Hymn                                   "God, whose giving"                                        383


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

         "We gather together," our first hymn states, "to ask the Lordís blessing." These words of thanksgiving were born out of a very difficult time in the Netherlands 400 years ago, and became a song of celebration of freedom from oppression for the Dutch people. "Sing praises to his name," is the encouragement passed on to Godís people of every land and time, for "he forgets not his own." Listen to the Psalmist:
         "O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, those he redeemed from trouble and gathered in, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south." (Psalm 107:1-3)
         Brothers and sisters in Christ, stand if you are able, and "give thanks to the LORD!"

Opening Prayer

O God,
         who blesses this world with goodness and mercy,
         who brings good news to the oppressed,
         who binds up the brokenhearted,
         who opens the eyes of the blind,
         who sets the captives free;
We bless you, as those who have been
         touched by your Holy Spirit,
         filled to the brim and overflowing with your gladness,
         clothed with your joy and praise,
         planted by you to be like trees of blessing for others.
Forgive us, just now,
         for allowing the bad news to win,
         for shutting our eyes to what you are doing all around us,
         for not proclaiming your salvation,
         for not reaching out, but instead,
         for paying attention to our own needs and desires,
                  instead of seeking your will.
Forgive and Live in us.
         This we pray, in the name of your Son, Jesus - our Christ.

(refers to Isaiah 61:1-4 and Luke 4:18-19)

"Writing it Down"

         Right now I want you to think of all the things you are thankful for. Thatís not too hard to do, is it? Instead of telling me about it, why donít you tell God. Of course, you can talk with God anytime, and thank God anytime. But, how about right now? Iíve got some handy-dandy "thank you" notes right here, and some pencils and crayons. While everybody else sings a thanksgiving song, why donít you write down what you are thankful for. You can even draw it if youíd like. By the end of the hymn, weíll put your note in an envelope, ready to give to God. Okay? Letís start.

(adapted from both Childrenís Sermons to Go, pp. 51-2, and Welcoming the Children, p. 68.)


         Indeed, there is so much for which we need to be thankful. The events of recent months have made that even more clear. Are you truly thankful for what really matters in this world?
         Our children have been writing down their "thanksgivings." As we sing the next hymn, we invite them first to bring these and place them in the plates on the worship table as an offering to God, and then head back to choir or to their seats. You are then invited to bring forward your offering. Yes, this means your tithe or monetary offering for today, as well as your pledge for next year - what you are challenging yourself to give to and with God, a response to how the Lord has abundantly blessed you. But donít just give money. Give yourself. May your heart overflow with thanksgiving as you come forward. Indeed, there is so much for which we need to be thankful.
         The hymn is a familiar one. It also was born out a difficult time, but reaches beyond to celebration. Sing it by heart, whether or not you have to look at the words in the hymnal. May our song be a prayer of dedication. Now thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices! Please stand if you are able.


Interested in Sunday School?
Below is a growing list of possible sites to visit. As you discover others, please let us know.

International Lesson thoughts
from the
Mennonite Publishing House

International Lesson
Commentary by
Richard Hughes
(posted on Saturday)

International Lesson
Commentary by
Edwin Elliott


©2001 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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