Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
May 19, 2002
Worship 10:00 am Sunday School for all ages 11:15 am


      "When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."  (John 20:22-23)

  Hymn                     (vs. 2) "Holy Spirit, come with power"                             26

  Call to Worship

*Hymn                          "I sing the mighty power of God"                               46

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                                     John 7:37-39

  Hymn                     (vs. 2) "I heard the voice of Jesus say"                            493

  Water and NYC

  Alleluia Choir                            "I feel the Spirit"

  Responding with our Tithes and Offerings


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

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                    John 20:19-23
                                            (first see preface to reading)

  Message                 "The Holy Spirit and forgiveness"

*Hymn                             "O Holy Spirit, making whole"                              300


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

         On this day we celebrate Pentecost, remembering how the church was born by the fire of the Holy Spirit, and praying that God will pour out this Spirit like cool, refreshing water in a drought-stricken land.  Fire and Water, these are two of the many images the Bible uses to describe the Holy Spirit.
         Come, sisters and brothers, step into God's fire. Sing your praise as those set ablaze with the presence of God. Don't seek to put out the flame. That's not what the water is for. Instead, drink and live. As the prophet Isaiah once invited, "Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters" (55:12).
         If you are able, please stand and "sing the mighty power of God," #46. 

Opening Prayer

Spirit, blowing and blazing,
Pentecost wind and Pentecost flame,
Spirit of power, invade this hour.
Blow, Spirit, burn, as when you first came.

Spirit, helping and healing,
our lives are troubled, tense, we confess.
Spirit, draw near us, anoint and cheer us.
Come with your balm to comfort and bless.

Spirit, righteous and holy,
we bring our hearts repentant, contrite.
Spirit forgiving, hallow our living.
Lead us from darkness into your light.

Spirit, vibrant and lively,
waken our wearied spirits, we pray.
Spirit, pursue us, revive, renew us.
Stir us to follow Christ's holy way.

by Kenneth L Gibble, 1996 
#1012 in Hymnal Supplement.
Brethren Press, Elgin, Illinois

Water and NYC

         In July, 10 youth, 3 advisors, and Pastor Pete will be headed from this congregation to National Youth Conference in Ft. Collins Colorado. During the opening worship service, each district will bring forward a vessel of water from their district to pour into a fountain. Our Mid-Atlantic District has requested that each church send a small container of water from their meetinghouse to pour into the larger vessel our district will take to NYC. Here is ours. We will take it today to a district youth activity to be held this afternoon at the Locust Grove church. In a way, this water represents how God's Spirit is moving here at Long Green Valley church. However, we know that the Holy Spirit is much bigger than this church, our district, and our denomination. This "living water" is poured out wherever there are those who thirst for God... Please pray with me.
         God, bless this water - not to make it holy, but to make us holy. Create in us, those looking forward to this trip to NYC and those who will remain here, an inner thirst which will only be satisfied by the living water you provide. May our youth grow in their anticipation not just of a fun activity but of a life-changing event. Prepare the rest of us to grow in the Spirit with them - not to quench their fire before or after NYC, but to drink deeply of the same Spirit. This we pray in the name of the One who said, "out of the believer's heart shall flow rivers of living water." Amen!

Responding with our Tithes and Offerings

         Fire and Water, are but two of the many images the Bible uses to describe the Holy Spirit. Another one we recall especially on this day is Wind. On that first day of Pentecost, according to the book of Acts, "there came a sound like the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting" (2:2). The disciples of Jesus were filled with the breath of God and this wind blew open the doors which shut out the world. You could say these early believers were blown out of their little huddle. This wind blew them in the direction of people who needed some good news. Not only did God nudge them out of themselves and toward others, but the very breath they needed to speak was provided by God as well.
         As you respond to what God has provided to you by returning your tithe or offering, think about this holy wind of the Lord. Take a deep breath. Rejoice and give thanks. Your Redeemer lives!... Will the ushers now come forward to serve?

Preface to Gospel Reading

         While we usually remember the first Pentecost through the eyes of the book of Acts (2:1-41), the first coming of the Holy Spirit is recalled a bit differently in the gospel of John. It also takes place behind closed doors, but it happens on Easter. The disciples, in this account, are still very afraid - for good reason. Jesus had only recently been put to death like a common criminal. "Were they next?" they may have wondered. Puzzling accounts of an empty tomb had filtered in, from the disciple Peter (no less) and his companion (20:1-10), and from Mary Magdelene (20:11-18). What did it all mean?
         As we turn to the main scripture for today, are we also huddled behind closed doors? Let hear what happened next. May God speak to us through these words. Listen.
                                          Read John 20:19-23


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International Lesson thoughts
from the
Mennonite Publishing House

International Lesson
Commentary by
Richard Hughes
(posted on Saturday)

International Lesson
Commentary by
Edwin Elliott


2002 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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