Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
December 2, 2001
Worship 10:00 am Sunday School for all ages 11:15 am

First Sunday of Advent

      Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, and security within your towers."       (Psalms 122:6-7)

  Call to Worship                                                                       (back of bulletin)

*Hymn                        "Come, thou long-expected Jesus"                              178

*Opening Prayer

  Lighting the Advent Wreath - the first candle

  Hymn                            "Oh, how shall I receive thee"                                 182

  Scripture                                    Psalm 122

  Children’s Time               "A wreath to welcome"
                            (children then leave for choir or pre-school play)

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings


*Response                  (vs. 3) "O little town of Bethlehem"                              191


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

  Call to Prayer            (vs. 5) "O little town of Bethlehem"                              191

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture Reading                            Isaiah 2:1-5

  Message                               "Plowshare Prayer"

*Hymn                             "It came upon a midnight clear"                              195


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

One: Now begins our time of watching and waiting.
  All: We wait for the revealing of God's purpose to be born in its time.
One: The prophets have told us of the coming of a Savior.
  All: We wait in trembling expectancy, anticipating God's touch of creative love.
One: We wonder what God has in store for us.
  All: We wait in suspense for God's perfect time.
One: The answer is happening; it flows forward.
  All: We wait for its instant of fulfillment.
One: Let us begin.

written by Pattie Stern, McPherson, KS for the
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin

Opening Prayer

         Eternal Creator, we ask you to make us watchful as we wait for the coming of Christ. May we hear the prophetic words of hope and comfort in our time of waiting. We would stand watch with eagerness even when it seems there is nothing there, because we want to be ready at the moment of fulfillment. Come, thou long-expected Jesus, come. Amen.

written by Pattie Stern, McPherson, KS for the
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin

Lighting the Advent Wreath

1 - Today is the first Sunday in the season of Advent,
               the time when we prepare once again for the coming of Jesus.

2 - We light a candle each week to remind us that Jesus brings light
               into the dark places of the world.

3 - Today, the prophet Isaiah describes a future shaped by peace for all nations
                as they walk in the light of the Lord.
                We wait in hope for this prophecy to be fulfilled.

All 3 - We light the candle of hope to proclaim that God’s light is coming into the world.

(Light the first candle)

[slightly adapted from liturgy written and belonging to Rev. Moira B. Laidlaw.]

Children’s Time
"A wreath to welcome"

         Did any of you notice any changes in how our church looks today? You did? What is different? Yes, you saw the special advent wreath on the worship center, with five candles in it. (Go up and look at the wreath together). What are the candles for? (Draw from them the sequence of events, how each Sunday a new candle will be lit in addition to the previous weeks’ candles, with the one in the middle saved for Christmas Eve.) I wonder why the candles are surrounded by branches from an evergreen tree. (See what the children come up with - fly with their thoughts).
         Is there anything else different about how our church looks today? Yes, there were evergreen wreaths on the front door of our meetinghouse. Some of saw them when you entered. Many house have wreaths on their doors at this time of year. Why do you think that is? (Again, run with their ideas). I think it makes a house look inviting, maybe a way of welcoming visitors as they come in. Psalm 122 starts out, "I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’" Well, are you glad to be here? Do you feel welcome? I hope so.
         I wonder if the wreath on the worship table isn’t a bit like the wreath on the front door. Maybe with this wreath and its candles we are inviting Jesus into this house. "Welcome, Lord, we’re so glad you are here. May this house be your house - evergreen."
         Well, I want you to be watching for changes in how our church building looks in the next few Sundays. Each week, something new will be added. See if you can notice what is different. Okay? Would you pray with me?

         Dear God, thank you for welcoming us into your house. We are glad to be here. Thank you for your light, for your hope and peace, for Jesus. We welcome you into our hearts. Amen.

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

         In his letter to the Romans, the apostle Paul encourages us to "wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light ... let us put on the Lord Jesus Christ."   (Romans 13:11-14)

         Think about this as you return your offering. Will the ushers now come forward to receive what we have to share.

Offering Prayer

         Thank you, Lord, for entering in to our hearts and lives. Help us to let your light shine in us, as we lay aside the works of darkness and put on your whole armor of light. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.


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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